Yes I Did and I’m Sorry (WT586)

Yes I Did and I’m Sorry (WT586)


WT 586 Yes I Did and I'm Sorry

Our theme this week is taking responsibility.

It always amazes me how themes arise.

I often hear stories from different people around the same topic.

Here’s a couple of examples:

  1. A worker isn’t performing. The worker fails to produce an expected outcome on time. The supervisor calls a meeting. The worker offers excuses as to why it wasn’t his fault. The supervisor asks, “What’s your 50% in this?” The worker continues blaming circumstances and others. The worker doesn’t seem to understand, that we are all co-creators and that if it’s happening and you’re involved, then you too are responsible.
  2. Watching the TV show, SAS Australia, celebrities are tasked with completing 30 rounds of a number of activities. The staff are not physically watching, however the celebrities do not know that they are being filmed. One of the celebrities only completes 15 rounds instead of 30 for one activity. The Leader asks for anyone who didn’t complete all rounds to step forward. A couple of people step forward. They may have completed 27, 28 or 29 rounds. They can step back. The “cheat” did not own up. The “cheat” did not take responsibility for his actions and made excuses. His actions did not help to create good trusting relationships with the other “team members”.
  3. Elizabeth vents loudly to Cassandra. Elizabeth complains about Margaret not pulling her weight. Cassandra encourages her to confront Margaret. “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I was rather hoping you could have a word to her for me”, replies Elizabeth.

In all three situations, no-one is taking responsibility for their actions. No-one is taking ownership of what needs to be done.

Years ago some friends of ours shared a story about their three sons. They were laughing as they told us about their middle son, we’ll call him Mark. Mark was always up to no good. He would borrow things from his brothers without asking. He crashed his bike. He broke things, however, unlike his brothers, when asked if he was responsible or whether it was he who had done “the thing”, he always answered, “Yes, I did and I’m sorry”. 

“How can you get angry at that?” our friends asked. “At least he is taking responsibility and apologising, unlike his brothers who would look to blame or give excuses.” As it turned out, his brothers got into more trouble for blaming and lying to get out of trouble than Mark did for actually doing the wrong thing.

When it comes to working with people and interacting with your family and friends, who would you rather hang out with; someone who gets into BED with Blame, Excuses and Denial or someone who takes responsibility and says, “Yes I did and I’m sorry?”

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What Are You Going To Do About It? (WT555)

What Are You Going To Do About It? (WT555)


WT 555 What are you going to do about it

This was the question the guy at the counter asked Ross when Ross pointed out the damage to the bumper bar on our motorhome.

“What am I going to do about it? Ross repeated the question.

“I’m not going to do anything. You’re going to get it fixed. It was you (as in their company) who damaged it”, Ross continued.

We had taken the motorhome to get its yearly service on the truck and engine. It was also due for registration, so we needed a roadworthy certificate.

We had only recently had the bumper bar replaced after waiting almost 12 months.

“How about you get it fixed and we’ll waive the invoice for today?” the assistant offered.

“Do you know how much these are worth?” asked Ross, who was totally flabbergasted at the offer.

Ross answered for him, “We got a quote for $7,000 from company X and we ended up getting another repairer to fix it for $4,000.

Blood drained from the assistant’s face.

“I’m not leaving here until I have it in writing that you are going to fix it”, demanded Ross.

After some lengthy negotiations and still no apology, Ross finally left after having waited 5 hours for the service because they had failed to update their booking system when the date had been changed, nor had they confirmed it. From a business and customer service point of view, they score 1/10.

Apart from a rant, here’s the point.

Both Ross and I went into the primal state over this. Ross was so rattled he missed a turn and we ended up 40km out of our way when we didn’t have the luxury of time.

As soon as we arrived at our destination, Ross jumped out of the van and apologised. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

I had been following in Harry Hilux and had been fuming at how late I was for an appointment.

My mood only got worse when he told me about the damage.

Fortunately, I remembered my training. There is no suffering in any experience. The only cause of our suffering is our own thoughts, or what we think about the experience.

I started to calm down. The facts were: the motorhome got damaged and I was late for a meeting. That’s it. No suffering in the experience, only my thoughts, so I focussed on it being an experience and let it go. (A ride on my new ebike also helped.)

So, please remember this story and training for the next time things don’t go according to how you want or expect.

There is no suffering in the experience. The only cause of your suffering is your own thinking.

I trust this is helpful. Thanks for listening.

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