“Making mistakes does not end relationships; incessantly defending and denying those mistakes absolutely will. Find the courage to be accountable, not defensive.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
Courageous accountability is a game-changer at home, in business, and the world. Unfortunately, few people are genuinely brave when it comes to accountability. Many people are more fragile than strong when acknowledging and repairing their mistakes, harmful actions, and interpersonal hurts. You can’t be accountability fragile without it negatively impacting all of the relationships in your life.
Defensiveness shows up as:
- Denying your actions: “I didn’t do that. That’s not what happened.”
- Minimizing your actions: “You’re too sensitive. It wasn’t that big a deal.”
- Explaining, Rationalizing, or defending your actions: “I’ve had a horrible week so excuse me if you don’t like my tone. I’d like to see how you would handle everything I handle every day.”
- Going on the offensive: “Wow, all you do is criticize! Does anybody do anything right in your eyes? It must be wonderful to be so perfect.”
Defensiveness damages relationships and stops growth, healing, and change in its track; relationships struggle, company growth stalls and cultural issues escalate. Accountability, in contrast, is a powerful relationship, team, and culture builder. Holding others accountable is a necessary aspect of life that promotes growth. Acknowledging your own mistakes, repairing them, and changing your future actions accordingly, is a game-changer when it comes to reaching your highest potential and creating your best life. Without courageous accountability (for yourself and others), powerful life lessons pass you, and genuine growth eludes you.
Give yourself and those around you the gift of accountability. Denying you did something never leads to others thinking you didn’t do the behavior you’re defending against; it only teaches them that you’re not strong enough to repair the impact those actions cause. Without accountability, there is no change. Find the strength to rectify your mistakes. Be courageous enough to hold others accountable for their actions as well.
Challenge: Change your story regarding accountability. It takes fierce courage to have the strength to be accountable and hold others responsible. Do what is necessary to master this skill.