Jumping to conclusions never does favors for anyone, and that’s especially true in the workplace. Although it may seem as though the same employee is always to blame, it’s better to give that individual the benefit of the doubt in each situation. Even when they are to blame for a problem, you can help them and your organization better by finding out the cause of the error or problem.

Believe the Best

When a team member may not seem to embrace positive traits, you should always start from a position of believing the best about them. This involves developing a sense of empathy that you can extend to everyone on your team. When you care about your team members, they will sense your belief in them and strive to perform better.

Investigate the Matter

You should never take one employee’s word in a given situation without looking further. Even when you have known that employee the longest, they may have a reason for deception. Sometimes, they may just be mistaken. The best way forward is to thoroughly investigate the matter by talking to multiple team members until you can arrive at an answer with a high probability of being true. While this will take longer, it will show your team that you’re always fair.

Mend Broken Relationships

Even after discovering the individual responsible for the error or other adverse issue, placing blame should not be your priority. Instead, discovering the truth allows you to address the flaw that caused the problem. Everyone on your team can learn from the experience and, in doing so, they can develop a stronger bond as a team. When you place blame, you’re destroying workplace relationships that once worked well. However, taking a more positive approach gives you the chance to heal damaged relationships as you forge stronger bonds with your team.

Shifting blame is a natural response in a crisis, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to change overnight. Instead, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to avoid placing blame as an initial response. When you train yourself to communicate more effectively and address problems that adversely affect your team and your organization, you can create a more positive force for change.