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I believe in being very proactive in life and keeping a positive attitude. Growing up in a family where there was no substitute for hard work and indeed your worth was measured by how hard you did work instilled in me an ethic that I abide by today. That old saying goes “a hard day’s work for a hard day’s pay” was true in my house. With my parents you had better follow through or there were consequences.
As a parent now my job has been to raise a healthy productive member of our society. Over the past 21 years there have many challenges in teaching life’s lessons. All of us who have children know that it brings out the best and the worst in us at times. I always felt it was important to be a parent and not my son’s friend. Kids are stuck with us and us with them. We didn’t get that all important rule book. The best way to get through it is by setting boundaries and leading by example. Eventually with these tactics we hope everything we have taught sinks in. So with kids the inevitable “it’s not my fault” is heard for various reasons a lot throughout their childhood. I can accept that with kids because after all they are just that and can grow into accountable adults.
Now what about all of the other people around you who are not adults in the making? Your co-workers, tradesman you hire, friends, and neighbors. I know all of us come across people who say one thing and then do another. Are you tired of people not taking ownership of their actions? It seems with some it’s almost always never their fault or they use that cleverest of all techniques, “blaming” and try to pin it all back on the person who is holding them accountable or on the situation they seemingly have no control over.
The fact is in America 90% of most people’s problems are of their own creation. Almost no one is getting up in the morning and asking the question, “How can I take revenge on Steve today?” Although throughout the day people take actions or none that produce the misery that they complain about.
Here are some of mine and Neil Farber’s MD author of the Blame Game insights for better communication, solving the blame game, and keeping people who don’t take ownership of their actions at arm’s length.
Super Power Solutions
- Set your boundaries or other people will set them for you. Know what you want and need in order to be successful in your relationships and stick to it. You can’t change or control people. You can though control how you communicate with others. Maintaining boundaries isn’t easy. There are many who do not respect them and are like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park and are always testing your proverbial electric fence looking for a weakness. If they see your firm and consistent manner they will go in for the attack less and less.
- Pay attention to your “inner voice” it is usually 99% right. If you get a bad vibe off of someone you are looking to interact with there is usually a reason. Pay attention and don’t try to rationalize your intuition away and talk yourself into something you will regret.
- Be Sherlock Holmes! Just like a job candidate check at least three references when applicable on anyone who you are hiring or going to have dealings with. Don’t just take someone’s word, their past actions with others will say it all.
- Be clear with your expectations up front and if it is a work situation have a formal written agreement. If you can’t make it through a contract up front maybe you shouldn’t be doing business in the first place. Have natural consequences outlined for what will happen if there is no follow through. Be receptive and honest. Communicate back and forth. If you are blamed, discuss with the person how you feel about being blamed, rather than point your finger back at them and blame them for blaming you!
- The “I’s” Have It. Using “I” statements describing how you feel will do much better than pointing the finger back at the person you are having a disagreement with and blame them for blaming you!
- Be a challenge solver! Take ownership for your actions, feelings, and communication. This applies to both people talking. Focus on solutions to challenges and not on dragging the problem out to exhaustion. In fact it is so easy to complain and it sure takes time to think of solutions. Tell people who want to complain or not take ownership that they have to have “two possible solutions” to their problem before they can discuss it with you. After a couple of times of you showing them the door until they are positively prepared will give them the hint.
- Own your actions and your feelings. This also goes both parties. For the blamer, you are in control of your emotions and reactions to others. You have a choice regarding how you respond. Blaming also puts the initiator in the victim role as they are accusing others of controlling their lives and giving their power away. Instead of completely focusing on the negative with pointing the finger or a blame, try to move to the positive and work together. For the person who has the finger pointed at them, you also have a choice not to take ownership of someone else’s negative stuff. You choose how you feel no can make you feel a certain way. You decide how you are going to respond. If you choose to participate in a relationship it is your responsibility to co-develop a healthy environment. That doesn’t mean that you are responsible for someone’s lack of showing up or should be held accountable for their unhappiness. Don’t hold onto what doesn’t work.
Yours in Success,
Essentials Spa Consulting LLC
Durocher Enterprises Inc.