Excerpted from The Responsibility Process by Christopher Avery.
It is a thousand times easier to see The Responsibility Process at work in others than in ourselves. Remember this. It is one of the most important principles for practicing responsibility.
Most people, when introduced to The Responsibility Process, start applying it to others in their life and focusing on how others should change. They ask questions like “How can I get my spouse to stop blaming?” or “How can I get my employees to take responsibility?” If you are thinking something like this about your partner, friends, coworkers, boss, direct reports, and so on, then join the crowd; you are normal.
The Responsibility Process is a tool for self-leadership. Applying it to other people will never solve the real problem or bring you increased abilities or freedoms. Only self-applying will increase your degrees of freedom, choice, and power. In the following chapters, we look at how to lead and coach others to find their freedom. Right now, you might do more harm than good by intervening, so let’s focus on you first.
Commit to applying The Responsibility Process only to yourself. Catch yourself applying it to others. Change from judgment to compassion, realizing that they are doing the best they can with what they know in the moment and that there is nothing wrong with them. Forgive yourself. Vow to catch yourself sooner next time.
Christopher Avery studies, speaks, and writes about the benefits and practices of personal and shared responsibility. He founded The Leadership Gift™ Program to make world-class personal leadership development accessible to individuals worldwide. His books include The Responsibility Process and Teamwork Is An Individual Skill.