Despite our best efforts, things sometimes go wrong. When they do, blame your development process, rather than the people.

If you never make mistakes then either you’re perfect or you’re not trying hard enough; neither is a great position to be in. Perfection often starts out as an attractive thought. Then you realise that there’s no way to improve and no more goals to reach for. Equally, if you’re not trying hard enough then your conscience will catch up with you sooner or later.

Blame is lame

Nobody can be at their best all the time but generally we all try to do a good job. We should trust our colleagues, and ourselves, to do what’s right. We should believe that everyone has the ability to perform, the potential to improve and the desire to make a positive contribution.

It’s easy to blame peers, subordinates or managers when problems occur. Try it out on a busy Monday morning. Stand in the middle of the office and point in a random direction. Chances are there’s someone in the line of fire. If you’re looking to blame someone else then this method is likely to be as effective as any other.

There is an alternative way. The next time something goes wrong, blame the development process rather than the people. If you feel someone is not performing well enough then consider what the reasons may be. Do they receive enough support, coaching, mentoring? Is their workload too heavy? Are they under extreme pressure to get things done? Do they have problems outside of work that you’re not aware of?

Continually improve your development process

Finding ways to improve your devlopment process and working practices means that everyone benefits. Your workforce is happier and the best work comes from the happiest people. If you’ve exhausted all your options and someone still isn’t suitable then perhaps it’s time to review your recruitment process?

In my workplace, we try to do things right first time. This does not mean that mistakes are not allowed. It certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t occur. All we ask is that our people learn from them and make things a little better the next time round. We aren’t perfect by any means but we trust and rely on each other. If you want to achieve great things, start by building great relationships.