Who Is Responsible?

Posted on January 9, 2019 by Nate Regier / 1 comments
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This is the second part in my series called New Year, New Default Settings. In my previous post I shared my new year’s decision to reset some of my default settings that were holding me back. The first one was from “I’m the only one” to “I’m not alone.”

The second default I am resetting is,

Who is responsible? vs. We are in this together

What is your default setting when you discover something didn’t happen as you expected, or something happened that you didn’t expect. I come home after a stressful day and the house is a mess, kitchen piled high with dishes. I follow up with a prospect and he claims not to have received my previous email with the proposal and client references. A vendor didn’t get the specs in time to have our exhibit materials ready.

“Who is responsible!” That’s my default. I feel this urge to find out whodunnit. Who’s fault is it?

When I operate with this default, here’s how I typically act.

  • I seek to blame and point fingers
  • I become invested in proving I was right and they were wrong
  • I can’t hear what anyone is saying
  • I spend energy looking for justifications and excuses
  • The climate becomes adversarial
  • I assume nefarious intentions
  • Everyone is more tense and defensive

My decision this year is to change my default to “We are in this together.” How will I act differently?

  • I’ll pay attention to what’s going on inside of me instead
  • I’ll stop expecting people to read my mind
  • I’ll ask for what I want instead of attacking people for not delivering
  • I’ll ask curious questions to learn
  • I’ll focus on how I can help move things forward
  • I’ll recognize that most people are doing the best they can

How could this new default setting change things for the better?

  • The climate would be safer to learn from mistakes
  • There would be more genuine ownership for positive results
  • We would feel more aligned towards a common goal
  • We would know that people mostly want to help and do good work

What could you gain by re-setting your default? What other defaults have you re-set this year? Will you share?

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019

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Photo of Riesah
Posted on January 9, 2019

Nate, I can relate to the first instance, the default, as I recognize I too have operated this way and seen how unsafe others feel as a result. I also have learned through a lot of deep inner work that my need for control originates from my own self feeling unsafe and my habitual default is how I batten down the hatches, in order to address my unsafe feelings. Which came first? The feeling of no safety in a place where it should have been the safest of places to be. The rest is all coping behaviours and strategies to create safety in myself and my environment.

I am indeed with you in your new choices and have made 2019 the year for listening – to my inner self and its needs, to others’ self and needs and to bring my curiosity with me wherever I go. Thanks for the reminders and wakeup call.

Photo of Nate Regier
Nate Regier
Posted on January 16, 2019

Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Riesah. I wish you well in practicing these habits in 2019.

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