Posted on May 19th, 2006

- You should have…
- I didn’t know…
- You could have told me…
- Why didn’t you…
- They could have…

When things move along nicely, we rarely rush in and ask – “Who’s responsible for this?” Only when things are not quite right do we look for someone to blame. Many people seem to think that an ok explanation can excuse a poor result. Have you ever thought of how much time you use on explanations and justifying bad, or poor results with “she should..”, “They did it..”, They wouldn’t listen to me anyway” etc.?

These kinds of answers put us immediately in a victim position; something outside our control is causing pain and stress on us. We feel powerless, and with time we lose the interest in what we’re doing. Adding to the accountability lapses is behaviour like the passive, almost in-visible yes/no nodding during meetings, gossiping at the coffee machine, venting with other colleagues behind closed doors… Just fill in the list.

Whether you’re a team leader, CEO, or a secretary, YOU have the capacity to affect the culture for better and for worse, by YOUR capacity for full and complete accountability. When you start to take responsibility for the results in your life, you will be a full time player in the middle of the champion league.

Following are 5 guaranteed shifts that immediately will move you into a feeling of empowerment, and bring clear space into any kind of struggle, conflict or dispute you may encounter:

1. Feelings
When you find yourself feeling angry, upset, sad, fearful… Ask yourself; “How can I choose ease and confidence instead?”

2. Stress
When you feel your buttons being pushed constantly… Ask yourself; “How do I keep making choices that keep this pattern going?”

3. Lack of energy
When you feel flat, no energy, no drive… Ask yourself; “What feelings and emotions have I ignored and not let myself feel?”

4. Having bad results
When you experience a stream of bad luck, poor and negative results… Ask yourself; “Do I have an unconscious intention for things to turn out like this?

5. Seeking solitude because others irritate or upset you
When you avoid certain people, being distant, or aloof… Ask yourself; “What agreements have I broken?” “What unspoken communications do I have?”

To communicate your lapses with your team, boss, spouse, kids, or whoever it is you feel is the right person to address, simply describe what you are feeling and what your perception was of the things you did to add on to the situation. Then invite each person to ask the question “What did I do to produce this result?”

It sounds so simple, but most people look for what the other person did or did not do in the first place. Share, communicate and make new agreements on how to handle this kind of situation in the future.

Keep track of yourself catching your accountability lapses, and celebrate each time you’ve stepped up and acknowledged them. You’re on your way to becoming a Master!

This is an excerpt from the course program “Eliminate Burnout and Ignite Your Career”. If you are looking for more strategies and techniques for stress management and career success, go to and join the Tele seminar series “Eliminate Burnout and Ignite Your Career”.

Liselotte Molander, Professional Certified Career Coach, and experienced Business Professional, founder and CEO of LKM Communications AB Group of Coaching and Training Companies, Executive Career Coach, facilitator and Public Speaker. Contact via the website or call: +46-40-47 08 88 (CET time zone)

© Copyright 2005 Liselotte Molander and LKM Communications AB. All rights reserved

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