It’s been an embarrassing year for many countries in the headlines. It seems a few of our politicians could use a lesson in accountability.
Here are 5 key steps to being more accountable–in life, work and eh-hem… public service–when the you-know-what hits the fan.
1. Ditch the Defence.
Our fight or flight response is a natural reaction to being confronted but you need to resist the urge to respond defensively. What will come out of your mouth will either be a counter-attack or suspicious evasiveness. Instead of putting the barricades up, open up. Hear the accusation, concern or criticism and face it with honesty and care.
2. Drop the Semantics Shield.
If your response to an action includes the word ‘technically’, you’re probably cowering behind semantics. Were you ‘technically telling the truth’, or ‘technically not breaking the law’? Newsflash: people who are accountable and operate with integrity don’t need to use the term ‘technically’.
3. Mirror, Mirror.
Possibly the biggest step in being more accountable is to be honest with yourself. Go on, look in the mirror and face off with some hard truths. Once you admit things to yourself, admitting it to others will be a little less painful.
4. Know You’re Fallible.
We all make mistakes. None of us is better than the other. Knowing this and owning your fallibility is key in receiving compassion. You might want to hand out a little compassion along the way since it functions best as a two-way street.
5. Team Effort.
Perhaps the best way to be accountable is to not find yourself in a position where you have something to answer for. Get yourself an accountability partner(s) who will call you out on your crap. And, because accountability starts with you, get in the habit of measuring your actions against the person you most admire or the person you want to be — what would that person do? Mentors, partners and clear picture of our best-self keep us all in line!
When it comes to being more accountable the best advice is to function with earnest integrity so you never behave in a way that leads people to say, “Trump/Scheer/Trudeau/Boris, you got some splainin’ to do!”