The buck stops here: moving from victim loop to accountability loop

  • ” That is not my job.”
  • My previous manager never asked me to do it this way.”

Some people deny they have anything to do with the problem. Accepting that there is a problem means taking responsibility and looking for the solution. This means lot of pressure and therefore they feel it is better to deny or ignore a problem.

They have a great strategy “If I win, it is because of me and If I lose, it is because of you.” How convenient?

How much of your success or failure is up to you, and how much is determined by outside conditions, like environment, other people, or luck? 40% 60% 80% 100% . Do you feel accountable for your failures too or you blame it on others?

If you take ownership and take responsibility for the consequences, you have accountability. Personal accountability means no-nonsense, no excuses.

The model of Accountability has three steps

  1. Personal Responsibility — I own it!
    To be responsible for the success or failure of everything you do, even before you know how it will all turn out. Own all of it, even if you are working for or with somebody else.
  2. Self- Empowerment – I act on it!
    To Empower yourself to succeed, to empower yourself to take actions and the risks.
  3. Personal Accountability – I answer for it!
    Be accountable for your actions. Answer for the outcomes that result from your choices, behaviors, and actions, without fault, blame, or guilt.

Remember, At the center it is important to have clear agreements.

How to move from Victim loop to Accountability Loop?

The Victim Loop

The victim loop starts with ignoring the choice. The victim always says he/she had no choice and they had to do it. Some people naturally bury their head until everything is alright. This is the victim loop.

Ignore & Deny: We deny there is a problem and why do we do that? Because there is a fear of people making fun or judging our capabilities. We ignore and deny the truth about the problems.

Blame “- It’s their fault”: And, then we start blaming others for our problems. We blame parents, elders at home, while at work we blame supervisors, peers, or company. It is ANYONE BUT US. It is their fault and it is because of them we suffered, that is what we feel and believe.

Rationalize- ” I have evidence“: The next phase is where we invest our time in collecting evidence to prove that it was someone else’s fault. Our aim is not to find a solution to the problem, but to find evidence to justify our blame.

  • ” They don’t understand what I am going through.”
  • ” They don’t know me.”
  • ” Why would they care for me?”
  • “Anyway, they wanted to promote someone else. “
  • He is their favorite and that is why they didn’t promote me.”

Resist- ” You are not my boss”: This is the phase where the frequency of conflicts and irrational actions increase.Control is what we want and power is the goal we aspire for. We start making self-righteous statements like

  • “I don’t work for you.”
  • ” You can’t make me.”

Hide – ” You can’t find me “: Once we have reached this phase, it means we have tried all the other methods. At this stage, we don’t answer phone calls, we don’t respond to emails. We do all this to generate a crisis. We purposely confuse everyone and feed rumor mills with the fodder they crave for.

Hiding successfully means completing the victim loop. Some poisonous beliefs of victim loop are – ” I am right.”, ” This is unfair.”

Moving from Victim Loop to the Accountable loop

The accountability loop is about owning your successes and your failures. To realise that sometimes you fail because of your own fault, and also how to take ownership even when it was not entirely your fault. There are two circles or loops – the victim loop or the accountability loop.

Forgive– People may be under the influence of organizational structures and have to make decisions under a lot of pressure. They are trying to do their best and are doing it with a positive intention. Let us realize and discount them for that

Examine – Check, if we have any role to play. Is there anything about our behavior or attitude that affects the other person and produces undesirable results or effects. Remember, we tend to justify our actions and overlook the other person’s perspective. Examine it carefully. Judgment and criticism make it difficult to see things.

Learn – Mistakes are experiences, this is how accountable people feel. It is not easy to bounce back after making mistakes, using the opportunity to learn something new from mistakes, and becoming more successful in the future. They don’t blame external factors , rather they find solutions using their experiences.

Take Action: Having ownership and ready to receive consequences for our actions and behaviors. Those consequences can either be positive or negative is accountability.

To cultivate greater accountability:

  1. Don’t play the victim card.
  2. Don’t get into the self-pitying mode.
  3. Make choices, try new things. 
  4. Surround yourself with “Accountable.

Accountability makes us successful. Why? When people become accountable and take responsibility for their actions they make changes, they are not fearful of doing something new, they experiment, they find solutions, they innovate and they become more successful.

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