“Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain.” – Brené Brown
One topic that comes up a lot within our program days is judgement. As students engage in our challenges, games and experiences, the blame game inevitably rears its head at various times. Whether it is directed at oneself or another, judgement is well and truly a reaction that we all wrestle with. It’s why we use experiential learning as our vehicle of choice. As individuals and groups we must practice bringing awareness around, rumbling with and courageously choosing responses that allow us to lean into discomfort, uncertainty and frustration, while remaining empowered and able to make a difference for self, others and the world around us. Accountability, not the blame game, is what we strive to embody and foster.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” – Walt Whitman
The ball fell off, TOM HAD HIS SIDE TOO HIGH! My idea is the best, EVERYBODY LISTEN! It didn’t work, IT’S HER FAULT? Whatever the scenario might be, power is transferred quickly into a created story or version of events. The judgement of ourselves/another/the situation/etc. might serve to instantly assign blame and ‘discharge discomfort or pain’, but it definitely doesn’t allow us to deepen connection to self, others and/or the world around us, or open up pathways to stretching, growth and change. For us and the participants we keep coming back to the purpose of why we choose to L.E.A.D. If we want to make a difference in our own and others lives then compassionately noticing when we or others slip into judgement, and thus being able to choose differently, redirects power and frees us from being weighed down by the blame game (like the image at the start of this post).
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen Covey
Accountability is an opportunity to accept that our daily thoughts, words and actions matter. Accountability is an opportunity to appreciate that our journey will involve both successes and challenges, remembering that, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” – Winston Churchill. Accountability is an opportunity to own that we are all capable of making a difference in our own and others lives. Accountability is an opportunity to recognise that we are all in this together! Accountability is an opportunity to lean into discomfort and challenge a story or version of events. Accountability is an opportunity to courageously have complex and challenging conversations with ourselves and others. Accountability is an opportunity to set appropriate boundaries and establish what ‘success’, ‘purpose’ and ‘contribution’ looks, sounds and feels like. Accountability is an opportunity to keep coming back to aligning our daily thoughts, words and actions to our individual and/or shared values. Again, and again, and again.
“Personal accountability requires mindfulness, acceptance, honesty and courage.” – Shelby Martin