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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