Monday, December 5, 2011

Beware of claiming full responsibility, Part One

We all admire the courageous soul who steps and takes full responsibility for not only his actions, but the actions of others. It makes for great drama, it's impressive and sometimes it is indeed, the admirable, proper thing to do. But often, it is not smart, especially in business.

If a supplier takes full responsibility for a problem that the customer has primarily created, the customer will be happy and will share that with her superiors. The sad thing about this is that admission will take on a life of its own and will become reality: the supplier screwed up and did a sub-par job. That may be all it takes for the supplier to be fired. So much for for being courageous and taking full responsibility.

Perhaps the toughest and truly the most courageous thing to do is to be accurate in that situation. With great respect to the customer, communicate what role they played in this issue and of course, what role the supplier played. The truth requires real courage and sensitivity.

Being accurate and respectful is not as dramatic, but who needs more drama?

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

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