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“As your consciousness, refinement and pureness of heart expands you will become less judgmental, less corrective, less reactive, less black-and-white, less critical, less apt to blame and less tormented by others and their faults and views.” ― Bryant McGill

I love when I notice an improvement in my actions.

There was a big problem with a trade at work today. Somehow, along the way of setting up a new customer, one final step was overlooked. This was not noticed until the trade was closed. After trying to somehow circumvent this problem, we had to give up. The trade had to be broken and handed to a competitor.

The brokers involved were very unhappy. Our firm looked bad, and we lost money. In their conversations with me via instant messaging I noticed that they were hinting at looking for someone to blame (me).

“Blame and praise have no true effects.” ― Marcus Aurelius

I didn’t become defensive. That was a big a-hah! moment to me.

My first instinct was to fix the problem. I proposed alternatives, made phone calls, but in the end nothing could be done, and because time was of the essence it was wiser to let it go.

Often when a mistake happens the first instinct is to try to assign blame. Second, is to become defensive when being blamed.

I don’t want to assign blame and I don’t want to become defensive. 

For the record, I wouldn’t call what happened a mistake. I would call it an oversight. Second, it was not me, or even the broker.  Ultimately the customer is responsible for this last step, but it is up to the broker to remind him.

I always tell my brokers to remind the customer. This time I don’t remember if I did or didn’t. I could look for the record of the conversations, but to me that would be a defensive action, and at this point useless and negative. I didn’t want to waste time with that.

“Blame is the lie by which we convince ourselves that we are victims. It is the lie that robs us of our serenity, our generosity, our confidence, an our delight in life . . . For it is the act of blaming that can’t co-exist with self-responsibility — or with freedom from inner agitation and strained relationships. Abandon the practice of blaming, and we see the fear melt away that we have associated with being honest about ourselves and taking the full measure of responsibility for our emotional and spiritual condition.” ― C. Terry Warner

This one broker in question was already feeling bad. Why would I want to add to that? Why should I compound his pain with blame? He should have crossed his Ts and dotted his Is, but he didn’t.  He knows it. He lost a lot money on that trade.

It is not going to accomplish anything to prove that I am not at fault for something that it is not my function. Even though they originally hinted at blaming the Backoffice/Compliance (me), they knew better and never actually said anything.

In the past, I would have made a point of pointing out exactly who was to blame and what they should have done. I am over that need.  I no longer need to be always right. 

In the past I would want to make sure that others knew that I had done nothing wrong. I take pride in doing a great job and never wanted my image, somehow, tarnished. Now I am confident in the job I do and don’t need to have the others agree with me.  I no longer need others to know I am right. 

Lately, I choose to focus my energy on the lessons in every situation: Could this have been prevented? How? How can we do better next time? Are there any other areas that need to reviewed with the brokers?

I am drafting an email reminding the brokers of all the steps required to set up a customer and who is responsible for each step. I hope this will help everyone be in the same page.

I am feeling light and productive.  Mistakes (or oversights) happen.  How you handle them and move forward is what makes the difference.  

“A great nation is like a great man:
When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults
as his most benevolent teachers.
He thinks of his enemy
as the shadow that he himself casts.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching