As humans we like to complicate things. We put a system in place and when it doesn’t work, we put another system in place, as if by constantly adding new systems we can show ultimate responsibility. But unexpected events are by their very nature unexpected and cannot be planned for, otherwise they would be foreseeable not unexpected! If we do less planning, we have more space for being responsible. Here are steps to help improve our capacity for responsibility.
1. Ask ‘What is the purpose of what I’m doing’? Let’s start by getting some clarity. Ask ourselves this question. Is our current task directly fulfilling the purpose we have set for ourselves?
2. Ask ‘What does directlyserve that purpose’? We become a detective. Have a good root around in our reasoning and motivation. We may say, ‘What jobs actually fulfil what I want to do? ‘What actions get me closer to where I want to be?’ Then we can make a list e.g: ‘Making time for warmer leads, taking the time to get to know work colleagues…’- whatever it may be.
3. Ask ‘What do I want to do right now?’ …Ignore the things we might do one day, or the things we get told by others we should do, we’re looking specifically for those that we feel personally committed to…. Our job is to make them happen- focussing on what we want encourages responsibility.
4. Ask ‘If I imagine my day-to-day management – what do I actually need?’ Make a list of the skills we use to achieve the things we want.
5. Ask ‘What skills do I need to meet the unexpected?’ … ok so now we have taken care of day-to-day responsibility let’s think about the unknown. What skills do we need in order to act responsibly when the unexpected arrives? This might be a question we answer differently on any given day. That’s ok. Knowing what we need to do on every day is worth noting, the more days we ask the question the better.
6. Ask ‘What action plan do I need create that will strengthen my skill set?’ …… Write down each skill that you want to strengthen. Ask the question ‘If I know where I want to be, what action can I take to get there?’ and allow space for the answers to come. Other questions could be ‘Whose advice is most helpful here? ‘Whose learning can I use best?’