Blaming others when there is a problem and finding excuses is a human tendency.
In fact, psychologists have long concluded that people tend to judge others more harshly for their negative actions, assigning fault and blame more often than praise and responsibility.
The reason is simple. Our brain takes a lot of energy from our body (about 20%), and it’s not really interested in spending any more than it has to.
Think about it: blaming others and making excuses is easy. It’s a solution that doesn’t require much energy from the brain, so it defaults to that.
Accountability is much more work. You need to figure out your responsibility, clarify it in yourself, and decide what to change and act accordingly. That’s a lot more work than keeping the status quo.
So your brain says “let’s blame someone else and be done with it.”
But great leaders are accountable in their relationships. They don’t blame or make excuses.
Here are three steps to being more accountable in your relationships:
Step 1: Declare
Declare to yourself in one sentence what the problem is. Write it down.
This way you ensure clarity for yourself first.
Step 2: Define
Get out of your own head and define how much of this is your responsibility. On a scale from 1-10, is it a 1? Is it a 10?
Step 3: Decide
Decide to change something on your end in order to hold yourself accountable to a solution. This could be:
- Delegate better (define how)
- Assign different responsibilities to different people
- Become clearer in your directions (define how)
- Communicate better (specify how)
Now act with confidence.
Change doesn’t happen when you blame others or find reasons why something didn’t happen.
Change only comes from taking accountability and deciding to do something differently in order to get different results.