… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Advice for Minions: How not to be the scapegoat.

It’s back, and only two weeks late! Yay! Last time you were given the opportunity to determine if you were a minion. This time we will be taking a look at how minions can avoid being the scapegoats of the organization.

You’ve all been there, your evil and ego maniacal boss just had her plans thwarted by her arch nemesis once again. She gathers you all in a big group, looking for someone to blame. Before you know it, there is a poison dart sticking out of your neck and you’re in for a really bad day. Just a hazard of the job? It doesn’t have to be. Just because you are a minion, it doesn’t mean you have to take the blame for mistakes you didn’t make.

Here are some tips on how to avoid being the scapegoat:

1. Be accountable for your mistakes: At times when you do make a mistake, own up to it. Do so promptly, humbly, and clearly demonstrate that you know what you did wrong and how you will avoid doing so in the future. This will give you credibility in the future when you don’t want to be blamed for others mistakes.

2. Don’t cover up others mistakes. I’m not saying be a tattle tale or throw people under the bus. However, if you find yourself taking on another’s work in order to make sure things get done then you are setting yourself up for failure. If someone is not doing their job, it is not your responsibility to cover for them. They will keep slacking, you will keep being overworked, and if/when you make a mistake because of it, you are the one in trouble, not them. You need to let people succeed or fail on their own merits. The world won’t end, unless they are in charge of the nuclear reactor.

3. Don’t be a jerk. The fastest way to ensure you are on the receiving end of that poison dart is to treat your fellow minions like dirt. You don’t have to be everyone’s best friend, but at least don’t be everyone’s enemy. Try to maintain a professional and positive working relationship with everyone. When someone has to take the blame, people will sacrifice the jerk first.

4. Communicate. Have questions? Ask. Need to allocate duties? Write it down and make sure everyone understands. Need resources? Find them. One of the easiest ways to fail is to not appropriately communicate with others. If you rely solely on your assumptions and opinions then you are setting yourself up for failure. Even if you don’t do anything wrong, if your lack of communication lead to a problem for someone else, it’s still your head on the chopping block.

No one wants to be blamed for something they did not do. Even minions have their pride. More advice to come, and let me know if you want any specific topics addressed in future posts.

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