Blame is detrimental to problem-solving.
Image via Pixabay.

Blame is counterproductive in problem-solving. It engenders divisive negative emotions and distracts us from the task at hand of solving the problem.

Finding out why the problem occurred and who is or what behaviors are at fault is a useful learning exercise. But it often inevitably leads to blame. Especially when emotions are already running high.

Blame threatens collaboration and adds fear (of being blamed) to an already stressful situation. It divides people and makes them paranoid. When people are defensive and wary, they are not going to be thinking at their best, nor will they be collaborating effectively.

Blame is easily weaponised for factional fighting. We see this most obviously, and sadly, in politics. Instead of solving a problem (like, I don’t know, a pandemic?) world leaders engage in blaming each other and stirring up distracting outrage through dog-whistling xenophobia.

Blame also focuses attention onto the past, at what should have been, and had we only… Problem-solving is by nature future-focused. We are trying to work out what we need to do next. We cannot change the past.