Personal Responsibility (PR) is so boring. It’s so much more fun to pass the blame. Hey y’all, it’s been awhile.
My manager Anna D. gave me this book “Reality Based Leadership.” I know I talk about her in like every post, but she’s been like my leadership tour guide. Anyway, the book talked about a lot of stuff, but I’m just gonna talk about two things: personal responsibility and cutting drama, but I’m gonna merge them because they go hand in hand.
Okay, am I the only one who wants to punch a wall when someone talks about taking PR? It’s always had this condescending tone it. I imagine some guy wagging his finger in my face telling me how everything wrong in my life is my fault and I should own up to it. When in reality it shouldn’t be/ isn’t like that at all. Taking PR is about looking at the situation after you’ve cut the drama.
This is so boring! It so much more fun to think that Bill in accounting hasn’t processed your order because he hates you and is a fatty fat face scalawag whose shenanigans is sure to get him fired, so you’re not even sweatin’ the issue like that because he’ll be gone soon and on top of that he has a weird phone voice, sounding like a chipmunk with a cold, and who cuts their hair like that, evil people that’s who. Bill is evil. When in reality all Bill knows about you is that you work in sales and he thinks he saw you on the elevator that one time. Plus, you sent in your order at 5 o clock on a Friday before a 3 day holiday weekend and he didn’t see it yet because it’s Tuesday.
PR comes down to two things: making the assumption that people are generally good and looking at the situation from a perspective of an informed outsider.
When you work with the assumption that people are good and have the best intentions in mind, it makes it a lot easier look at things for they are, and turns fatty fat face Bill to Bill from accounting who is actually a really smart guy. Making this assumption may require you changing your worldview, but is critical to taking PR. Take a breath and chill, a lot this extra drama is just stuff you’ve added and isn’t actually happening. Just make the assumption and proceed to the next step.
Jump out of the situation and view it as if you’re an informed outsider, this will allow you to examine the situation objectively. Then you’ll be able to say, Josh sent Bill an order on Friday at 5 before a 3-day weekend, Bill hasn’t got to it yet, but it’s mid-day Tuesday, Josh isn’t the only person sending Bill orders, Josh shouldn’t get upset and should probably just send a follow-up email. It’s not that big of deal. Wow, wasn’t that boring, it’s so much more fun to say Bill is a lazy fatty fat face who is jealous of Josh’s position, and wants Josh to look incompetent in front of the client. It’s all Bill’s fault.
Let me be clear, taking PR is not about taking all the blame. It’s about take responsibility for your part in the interaction. This is something that I’ve been actively practicing for the last month or so, and I can tell you that in this month I’ve experienced less stress in work and in my daily life. Before this month, I found myself telling these stories about all the stuff that’s happening to me, as if I had no had to play in the situations. Now I look at the things that actually happen, figure out what my part in the matter was and move on. It’s a lot less fun, but it’s a lot less stressful. Admittedly, I still have to urge to talk/think about all the drama I’ve surrounded each situation with, but I’m working on it.
Finally, depending on the situation, after you’ve taken PR you must have a conversation with the other person about the situation and how things went down. When Anna told me this, it terrified me. It’s one thing for me to take PR, but then go talk to the other person, nah bruh, but in order for the relationship to continue and improve you must have the conversation. But like I said, it depends on the situation. In the Bill example, I don’t think a conversation needs to be had, because the “situation” was totally made up on one side. The only time you will need to have the conversation in the Bill example, is if your view of Bill as a fatty fat face colors the way you interact with him, that take some self-reflection and you may find yourself apologizing to Bill. In situations where there is actually interactions that lead to conflict, it’s important you make the effort to have the conversation and clear up the misunderstanding move forward together. You’ll be surprised how many things we’ve spent so much time being stressed/angry over can be taken care, by just having a conversation with the person. Talk to people!
I’m working on everything I’ve talked about in post, but I just need to get it out so I can process everything I’m learning.
J is alive…. and still learning
Check out this book: “Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results” by Cy Wakeman