September 28, 2016

Take Responsibility

Posted in Emotional Maturity, Personal Image tagged , , , , at 10:13 pm by Yvonne LaRose

This season’s election campaigns are creating fertile ground for coaching career candidates and job seekers. Perhaps that’s because the candidates for office are actually using the political process to get a job in public service. Defining “public service” is a topic that can be considered another day. Today it’s important to take stock of a dynamic that keeps happening for some of those trying to get elected or hired, no matter whether in politics or in the typical workplace. The dynamic is the propensity to blame other people and other things for failure to perform as expected for one to be hired.


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You Failed and You Know It

One of the things that happens when we fail to meet the mark is that there is a feeling of letdown. The encounter may have started with lots of enthusiasm and confidence. But there was one stumble after another. If this were a gymnastics event, the judges would be taking off points for each stumble. If this were the track field, the stumbles would impede what should have been reached. The time to complete was too great, the completion inadequate; the rest of the field came in ahead of the other. It’s obvious to everyone, including the competitor.


Some will acknowledge that their preparation wasn’t good enough. There wasn’t enough practice. There were too many things taken for granted that should have been checked and reinforced. They own up to the lack and know where the responsibility lies.

Others with less character become argumentative. They yell and shout and blame something or someone for impairing a better performance. Are we really about being a constant victim? Is anything and everything the fault of a malfunction or bias on the part of someone who doesn’t want to offer equal opportunity?

What Really Happened – Better Preparation

There are some ways to deal with restraint. One is to be diligent about researching where you’re going so that you have some familiarity with who your audience is and what they do. Once that part of the research is completed, it’s important to evaluate the findings with a clear mind and decide if that’s a place that will actually provide what you want for your career and your life. If not, move on; if it does, be diligent about speaking up and doing reasonable follow-up. Determine whether the atmosphere and the culture is a good fit for your temperament. Decide whether the product or service something in which you are thoroughly invested. Decide what you want from this situation. Maybe it’s just a paycheck so that your bills can be paid while you take care of the things that prepare you for your real goal. Keep in mind that this is a good admission (for yourself) because during your tenure, you’re learning and enhancing your skills; you’re becoming better and more marketable.

What Contributed to the Problem

The fact is, the performance wasn’t good. In fact, it was marginal at best. No, you shouldn’t have stayed in bed instead. It’s good you got out and tested yourself and exercised your abilities. You have a better idea of what to expect of these types of situations in the future. Adjustments can be made for getting better based on what you’ve already learned. But what contributed to the failure? No, making excuses and blaming others is not the answer to what went wrong.

Blame It on the Equipment

The equipment that was issued didn’t operate properly. To an outsider, the message is, “I didn’t do well. I’m going to make an excuse (used as a noun) for my poor performance based on the fact that the equipment wasn’t in top condition.” According to, an excuse is a pretext or subterfuge used to avoid responsibility.

But You Could Have Done Something About That

So the equipment didn’t work or didn’t work properly. There were options. No familiarity with that particular item? If it’s a new item and never used before, take time to practice using it. Get the feel for it. In the alternative, a replacement could have been requested. Otherwise if it was malfunctioning, the equipment could have been repaired. It should have been tested before it was put into use to assure that no issues with it would arise when the time came to actually use it. The end user should have spoken up before the actual performance was to start. Or if the flaw was noticed during performance, it should have been pointed out and a replacement requested.

The candidate needs to take charge of the situation. They are the one who will determine their success. The candidate needs to take charge of and accept responsibility for assuring that the best performance possible will be delivered. If nothing is done when the problem is exposed, then there are two failures – the equipment and the candidate for not doing something about it, along with the flawed performance. The bottom line is you need to speak up when you realize there’s a correction or adjustment that needs to be made.

On the other hand, this may be part of the interview scenario. The potential employer wants to see how well you do in spontaneous circumstances. They want to see your creativity in action and how resourceful you are without making a scene. Realize that your performance during the interview predicts how you will handle yourself with clients and customers. You will help the employer attract new business while also generating repeat, long-term business.

Be an Adult – Take Responsibility

Whether it’s your own performance in a situation or whether your performance is dependent on a piece of equipment to aid in delivery, it is you who is responsible for whether or not you are prepared and capable of doing what needs to be done. Consider the choices available to you and choose the best option given the circumstances. Sometimes that will mean asking for a rescheduled meeting when whatever distraction is resolved. Sometimes it means admit to yourself that there was a lot more preparation that was needed before this meeting. No matter what the outcome, the situation to a great extent was in your control. You just needed to speak up in an appropriate manner. And ultimately, you need to take complete responsibility and acknowledge that you just weren’t ready.

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