Jeffrey M. Keefer, Ph.D.
Educational Consultant & Coach

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Blaming is the Opposite of Learning from Experience

by | Jan 17, 2019 | Coaching, Discussions, Education, Reflective Practice | 0 comments

We had a really interesting discussion yesterday on the article How the world’s most successful founders approach failure and my take-away message is simple, yet somewhat profound:

Blaming is the Opposite of Learning from Experience

When we fail at something, whether it is in our progressing toward achieving our goals, or a work project that did not succeed, or even a relationship, it is so easy to blame somebody else for its not working out.

When I failed the test, I could blame the professor for not teaching me how to pass.

When I stumbled in my work presentation, I could blame my team for not giving me a heads-up on what the audience would ask.

On and on, it is far easier, and more satisfying for about 2 minutes, to blame others (people, animals, the weather, the stock market, politics, etc.) than to accept it happened and learn. This does not mean that mistakes were not made or other issues exist, but blaming something else as if a singe cause has that much power is just not really . . . helpful.

We cannot change the past, and blaming in no way helps things. Ever.

If anything, laying blame removes my opportunity to learn from something bad so it can help me in the future. Blaming others never helps us to grow or improve or learn. In fact, it can have repercussions that last long into the future, as people who feel our blaming them for things are not readily forgotten. Nor do they forgive how we try to make them feel when blaming them.

The take-away is this, not only does blaming give power to somebody else by making them somehow responsible for our failures, but it also hides the opportunity to learn and thus prevent them from happening again.

It is really good to talk these articles out and move forward with our lessons from them. Time to schedule the next round!

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