“It’s your job to…”
“Why didn’t you tell me before I decided to…”
“I just expected you to know…”
Blame games. He said, she said. Pointing the finger.
Whatever it is, it always looks the same: you’re wrong, I’m right and na-na-na-na boo boo.
I’m a true believer in accountability. I feel when people step up and own it, progress gets made.
You are equally as accountable in whatever situation you’re in and thinking otherwise is denial.
You know the moment.
You’ve just finished a project with a service provider and you’re disappointed. Or, maybe you’re at the end of your budget. Or, maybe you’re just having a bad day and someone made an off-the-cuff remark about your brand new website or set up and it’s got you feeling a tad bit upset. Whatever it is, it’s uncomfortable.
So, to deflect from the discomfort, to remove yourself from the picture and to feel better, you point the finger. Partake in the blame game.
“Had you told me that this would have been like this from day one, I would have chosen differently…” you might say to the person who left you seemingly satisfied.
You might also come at the provider with, “If you had these particular business practices built into your business, we wouldn’t have ended up here…”
But really, you are accountable too.
You are accountable because you are an equal partner in this. There were ample moments for you to speak up and say, “Hey, this is my business, these are my customers, let’s look at this from the ground level and see what makes sense for all, cool?”
There was lots of time and opportunity for you to get clarity, develop the process, ask questions, test the systems… and ensure that you were on the right track. And the other person is accountable as well because they should have sensed the uncertainty and perhaps there are opportunities in their business to build in fail-proof checks to ensure that the project is on track.
Everyone should be held accountable for what they did and didn’t bring to the table but rarely does it happen this way.
People don’t want to be held accountable for their words and actions. Our justice system proves this, the level of awareness we are raising to fight against bullies proves this and the number of people who are numbing out every day, to avoid feeling anything other than happy-happy-joy-joy, proves this.
So, how can we change?
Start being accountable. Today. Right now.
Instead of taking the “you did this to me” approach, think about how you contributed to the situation. Soften into that. Come out the other side and rephrase.
“I know I could have been more clear / upfront / asked more questions but here’s what would have been helpful from your side too.”
Ahhh… collective sigh of accountability. Takes the charge out of the words and progress gets made.
Feels much better, doesn’t it?