Why Drama-Based Accountability Fails
A lot of passionate people are committed to accountability. Watchdog groups, fact-checkers, whistle-blowers, advocacy groups, and the like. Regardless of their purpose, they all share a deep desire to protect people from harm and hold the perpetrators accountable for their bad behavior.
Until the drama creeps in. Drama hijacks the brains of passionate people and leads them down the path of justification instead of effectiveness.
Drama-based accountability manifests like this:
- I decide who’s right and who’s wrong, who’s OK and who’s not OK.
- If you don’t agree with me, you are part of the problem, even if you weren’t initially part of the problem.
- I’m not accountable. My so-called allies become adversaries if they push back or disagree with me.
- Not only will I call you out, but I’ve already decided what you have to do to make it right.
- I’m willing to shame you, harass you, and attack you in pursuit of better behavior (how ironic).
- Collateral damage is OK, as long as you suffer.
- I stop asking, “How’s this working?” My only goal is to make you pay.
Drama-based accountability fails to get lasting change because:
- It is adversarial.
- It undermines human dignity.
- It invites more secrecy, more avoidance, more defensiveness.
- It prevents others from contributing to the solution.
- It rules out so many other ways to reach a common goal.
- Collateral damage to communities and relationships grows.
- Hypocrisy ultimately compromises the watchdog.
The solution is Compassionate Accountability; guided by these fundamental truths about humans and change:
- People want to feel heard and seen.
- People want to be involved in solutions that affect them.
- Preserving dignity reduces defensiveness.
- Collaboration increases accountability.
- There are many ways to reach a goal.
- There’s always another way to see things.
If you are looking for a better way to pursue accountability without compromising human dignity, contact us today.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2021
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