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When a worker passes the buck

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

"Al, I hear you're saying Wilma's to blame for the problems with the Driver account," Caitlin told her team member. "But isn't that your account? What's happening here?"

Al sighed loudly. "Caitlin, I asked Wilma to cover it when I was working on the Butcher project. I don't know what in the heck she did, but now the Driver people are on the warpath. She really fouled things up."

Now it was Caitlin's turn to sigh. Al was a good employee, but Wilma was a better one, and Caitlin found it hard to believe the Driver problems — which she'd only heard about after the customer complained to her manager — were all someone else's fault.

Managers are often maddened when employees blame co-workers when things go awry. Here's the strategy Caitlin used to deal with Al's buck-passing:

- Ask for the facts. Ignore any unsolicited assessments of others' performance or failings. Get the buck-passer's side of the story. "Al, this is the first...(register to read more)

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