According to VitalSmarts Master the first step to achieving the results we really want is to fix the problem of believing that others are the source of all that ails us. It’s our dogmatic conviction that “if we could just fix those losers”, all would be better. That keeps us from taking action that could lead to dialogue and progress.
When we approach an accountability conversation, it’s important to know that we must work on ourselves first. We can’t go in determined to “fix everyone else” and expect to get the results we’re after. We can only ever change ourselves.
Although it’s true that there are times when we are merely bystanders in life’s ever-ending stream of head-on collisions, rarely are we completely innocent. More often than not, we contribute something to the problem’s we’re experiencing.
Good communicators understand this simple fact and determine to “Work on me first.” They realize that not only are they likely to benefit by improving their own approach, but also that they’re the only person they can change. As much as others may need to change, or we may want them to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod, and shape – with any degree of success – is the person in the mirror.
There’s a certain irony embedded in this fact. People who believe they need to start with themselves do just that. As they work on themselves, they become more skilled at holding difficult discussions with others. So here’s the irony. It’s the most talented, not the least talented, who are continually trying to improve their communication skills.
Skilled people ask questions like:
- What do I really want for myself?
- What do I really want for others?
- What do I really want for the relationship?
- What do I really want for the organization?
- How would I behave if I really wanted these results?
By learning how to talk about violated expectations, broken commitments, and bad behavior in a way that solves problems while improving relationships, you’ll increase individual, team and organizational effectiveness. Contact me to bring an accountability workshop to your organization.