Stop shaming or blaming: get to the solution, and the lesson, faster!


I learned early on in my time as a practice owner the importance of developing solutions to problems FAST.

A stumbling block to this process that I used to experience is one that I now see JPPS clients suffering.  When a problem is caused by a team members’ mistake, for some, there is a desire to bring that staff member to a space where they are noticeably remorseful, or feel deep regret. This may come from an ‘eye for an eye’ mindset where if you feel slighted, the person responsible should also feel upset, to even things out.

However let me assure you, to deal with problems in this way is destructive; Destructive to your relationship with your team, and destructive to the process of developing solutions.

You may think that focusing on the mistake is a way of making sure it doesn’t happen again, and that you are then perceived as dealing with the problem effectively. This is not the case. It is more likely that others will see you as petty and controlling.

Studies on human behaviour show that when we are called upon to solve a problem, certain parts of our brain become more active. Interestingly, it is also these very parts of the brain that become stifled when we feel badly about ourselves. Making someone feel guilty or blamed results in that person being LESS able to contribute to any kind of solution. On the other hand, helping someone feel empowered and valued makes these problem-solving parts of the brain active and alive.

Moving beyond unhelpful traits make us better leaders. I encourage you to reflect upon your reaction when people around you make a mistake. Do you get stuck in the problem in your attempt to garner remorse? Instead, choose to empower your team and get to the solution FASTER!


Julie Parker was a dental nurse and receptionist for many years before becoming the first non-dentist to own a practice in Australia in 2003. After 10 very successful years, Julie now shares her wisdom and knowledge to other practice owners to facilitate their path to success. Charles Kovess practiced law successfully for 20 years before becoming a motivational speaker and transformation coach, bringing out the unique and extraordinary capacities of individuals, by accessing and harnessing their passion.

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