When I was younger, if by chance something bad happened, I used to immediately point my fingers to some or all of my family members, holding them responsible for such an unfortunate happening. This habit got instilled in me and continued to grow to such an extent that it refused to leave me even after I grew up. This habit of blaming someone else is so firmly rooted in my conscience that even after I started managing things on my own, and if something bad happened, I would either blame it on ‘someone’ and if there was no ‘someone’, then either on God or destiny.
However, after experiencing roadblocks and setbacks in my life, now that I look back at them from close quarters I realized that this habit of blaming is not positive and did not help me in the long run. It was then that I realized that we should start by personally being accountable to every small little action or decision we make. I would like to share some of my personal learnings and how that helped me in becoming the person I am today.
Demonstrating that you are responsible
It is perfectly fine and human for all of us to commit mistakes. However, what is not fine is to not accept them. In fact, my experience tells me that committing a mistake and not accepting it will only create another problem which was not there in the first place. Even at your workplace, say you are heading a team of ten people and one of your team members is unable to fulfill his or her deadline commitments, then as their team head, it should be ‘you’ who should take the onus. This will not just make people realize your true worth but will also help you in becoming responsible.
Integrity goes a long way
From my personal experience I can tell you that pointing fingers or blaming someone is very easy and does not require any guts. However, standing up and owning up your mistakes is something which requires a lot of courage and conviction and at the same time also makes people realize that you are a person with integrity. This will make people respect you more than anything or anyone else. It will also make you feel satisfied from deep within.
Be bold and follow a three-step procedure
Once you own up your mistakes, be bold and be accountable for it. While this is a giant leap to take, especially for people like me who often held someone else responsible, the battle does not end there. After this, make it a point to follow a three step procedure to bring things back to normalcy.
Firstly, if you have failed in keeping up a promise, devise means on what best you can do to make good those broken promises. Secondly, always be aware of the person who you think is going to get most affected by such a lapse and get in touch with him or her.
Inform but don’t explain why or how the mistake happened. Explaining will make it appear as if you are trying to give some excuse, which in fact you are not. Once you inform them about the mistake, also appraise them about the solution which you are planning to suggest and lastly, once you make up for the mistake you have committed, follow up and ensure that the alternative which you have implemented has been used properly and is giving the desired results. This shall make the person realize that you consider him or her valuable and wanted.
I am confident that if you follow these simple steps which I have learnt in my life and incorporate them in your day to day lives, you will be a different and a responsible person. So start today and see the difference.