February Book Club SIG Discussed Ben Dattner's "Blame Game"
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Ben Dattner (BD), author of the book "The Blame Game" led the discussion on Thursday February 23, 2012 at the Barnes & Noble 53rd street conference room in midtown. Ben signed our copies of his book right at the start of the event and proceeded with an overview of how the book came about. He was inspired greatly by one of his Harvard Professors when he was an undergrad student, and the book is a good collection of all of his personal and professional experiences. Pop culture references are made throughout the book and should appeal to ATD NY members!
Ben states that personal "introspection" is key to managing the blame issue effectively. Understanding your own "triggers" and their source is very helpful and identifying your own "style" is useful. He offers options for taking assessments to further your own understanding of these issues by referencing various sites in the book. Chapter members may recall that Ben presented and explained the way the assessments work more fully at the chapter meeting in October. We looked at charts and discussed our dominant styles in groups and then discussed with the entire group.
Ben writes with ease about a topic which at times can be very challenging. Most of us can say that "blame" is a part of our lives in one way or another. In some organizations, finger pointing is the normal culture while credit is either not awarded overall or not specifically given to the appropriate party. According to Ben, "The only winning move in the blame game is not to play." The key is understanding your corporate culture before taking any action.
This book is ideal for the person that is on a learning path in life or the Learning Professional that is working in a culture that fosters learning, collaboration and trust. This book examines the dark side of personality, combining insights from organizational expertise and psychology. Practical approaches are provided for anyone willing to perform the "inner" exploration in order to identify their own issues and work with them more effectively.
Personally, since reading this book, I find myself thinking twice before speaking in sensitive situations because some scenarios can be made far worse by "playing the blame game." I find that I use this book to quote the practical approaches when appropriate, and I have also recommended the book to my yoga students so that they learn about themselves in order to navigate situations they confront in the work place more easily.