Sunday, September 15, 2013

Response Ability?

Being held answerable or accountable is the official definition of responsibility.  No one LIKES to be held accountable...unless, of course, it is to be recognized for success!  Generally, when we hear the word "accountable", our human nature tends to encourage us to quietly step back.  Why is this and what can we do about it to be more successful?

People often avoid responsibility because of the possibility for pain if things don't go well.  It usually means working harder to oversee the activity.  It means showcasing/testing your skills and putting a part of you on the line: Your relationships and reputation.  Bottom line, it requires extra effort and personal vulnerability - not exactly a recipe for drawing throngs of eager participants.

Healthy people generally want to avoid harmful pain.  Risk, change, responsibility/accountability all involve what may be seen as unnecessary pain, unless approached in a healthy way.

So, what is the best way to be accountable?  Justify then support the risk/effort.

Making the circumstances conducive to embracing the opportunity is the first step.  Determine the discomfort/pain threshold and then create consequences that make the risk worthwhile.  For example, to encourage someone to take on a project (or hold them accountable for an action they are already responsible for), make the reward clearly worth the effort - or make the "punishment" worth avoiding.  Quite frankly, it's all about priorities - when not doing it becomes more painful than doing it, people will usually do it.

The second step is to support the process of taking on the responsibility. Having the "ability" to be responsible is proven only by ACTION.  Plain & simple: If a person truly cares enough to do something and is able to do it, they do it.  Period.

As it's been said: We judge ourselves by our intentions.  Others judge us by our actions/results. "response able" are you...really?

Think about it.  But more importantly, do something about!