Have Response-Ability

A business owner’s worst enemy is BLAME. It’s easy to blame other people or situations when things aren’t going well. It’s especially easy during this current economic downturn. “My business is slow because of the horrible real estate market” or “This credit crunch is killing me”. The reason blame is so dangerous is that it takes our focus off of what’s really important – the things we can actually control.

When coaching my clients my goal is to focus them on having greater Response-Ability. Response-Ability is the ability to respond to any situation with the right action.

The first step in having Response-Ability is to stop blaming other people and situations. You need to own your results. That means, first, identifying a result in your business or your life that you’re not satisfied with. You then need to ask yourself what behaviors and attitudes led to those results. Not someone else’s behaviors and attitudes but your own.

This is often the most difficult step in the process. It’s hard for us to admit that we are the cause of our own struggles, even for a coach.

I have a fourteen year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a high functioning form of Autism. He has some really good weeks and really bad weeks. After a particularly bad week, I had a conversation with my coach. She asked me what I had done to cause the bad week. Excuse me? I didn’t cause the Asperger’s! It’s not my fault! However, being a good coach, she continued to push the issue. Finally, she helped me to understand that the biggest difference between my son’s good weeks and bad weeks was me!

The level of stress I was under in a given week affected my attitude towards him and his actions. If I was having a bad week I had very little tolerance and would “explode” easily, resulting in a very difficult week with my son. On a good week, I was much more accepting of his idiosyncrasies, resulting in a joyful and rewarding week with my son. This was an incredibly empowering realization. It was also very upsetting, realizing how many bad weeks I had caused.

Only YOU are responsible for the results in your life.  Be at cause in your life, not effect.

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