This is a hard topic to write about without calling society out directly but here goes!
Accountability. . . an obligation or willingness to take responsibility.
My confession to you is that growing up I was the one that would make sure that I wasn’t the one getting in trouble for whatever just happened- even if it was my fault. Why should I when I could get away with it? I’d like to think that my lameness then has shaped me to how I feel about being accountable now. Don’t worry it’s definitely made me a better person. Let me tell you from personal experience on high’s and low’s; it actually feels great to stand up when something happens and say “yes, I did that…” whether it is positive or negative. It’s really like peeling off a Band-Aid, it really only stings your ego for a minute if it was something bad. BUT if it is something great and you can take responsibility for it, you can gloat all day!
This challenge is for you to listen to yourself and those around you.
I’ve worked 15 years in customer service and people lacking the ability to be accountable for their words and actions runs rampant. If you have ever been in that type of environment… well here, let me give you an example or two:
Have you ever stood in a line to pay for something, and the person in front of you pulls out their debit/credit card, it get’s swiped and the cashier politely asks for another form of payment because it wasn’t going through? Yes, things do happen where perhaps a check wasn’t processed in a timely manner, but in all my years I never heard someone fess up and say something like “oh perhaps my account is over drawn, how embarrassing” or “I’m sorry, I thought there was more money in there” or really whatever the reason might be.
Recently there was a story I read in the Huffington Post the title: “Maybe you get bad customer service because you’re a bad customer,” I am not sure what actually happened because I wasn’t there, but from previous experience’s my guess would be as the writer stated: “I’m betting you actually forgot to ask for No Ketchup.” In this situation, for some reason this person was programmed to freak out at the person that had wronged them instead of sucking it up, If the case was that she didn’t say “no ketchup,” well I guess it was just easier to blame the peon worker behind the counter. (no I don’t really think they are peons, but I bet she did!)
And then there is buyer’s remorse… We’ve all been there, but when is the point that you just say, “you know what, I made this decision. Either I stick with it, or I find a reasonable way to remedy the situation?” Let’s be TOTALLY honest with ourselves, no one forced us to hand over our cash or credit card or to sign on the dotted line. Sometimes we make bad decisions, we have to live with them and learn from them.
Why is that? Why are people afraid to take accountability for their actions? Is it out of fear of consequence? Is it ego?
It’s not only in customer service but our personal lives as well. Why are we so self involved that we can’t step up and say sorry? Whether we hurt someone’s feelings or let them down. Why is it so hard that we cannot offer an apology and just fess up? I find that when hearing someone take accountability for a situation, it seems to smoother over much quicker without a bunch of drama.
Are we so accustomed to excuses? Afraid we will be judged for making a mistake?
I am sure you can think of plenty more examples. I’d love to hear them.