Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2013 Contents B5
June 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
What is personal responsibil-
ity? Responsibility means being
accountable for what we think,
say and do. It involves working
on our own character and skill
development rather than blaming
others for situations and circum-
stances. It means choosing to
design a life that honours our val-
ues and purpose.
Personal responsibility begins
from the inside and moves out-
ward. We must begin by taking
responsibility for our thoughts,
choices and reactions. Only then
we can be responsible for the cir-
cumstances we create in our world.
Every choice that is made can
either benefit humanity or harm
it. Even avoiding choices is a
choice, and each choice will have
People duck responsibility for
reasons ranging from simple lazi-
ness or a fear of failure, to a sense
of feeling overwhelmed by the scale
of a problem or a situation.
Whatever the reason, if people
fail to take responsibility they ll
fail in their family and social lives,
also in their jobs. But most impor-
tantly, they ll fail to grow as indi-
viduals. Hence the importance of
addressing the issue.
Signs and symptoms
Sometimes it isn t obvious when
people are shirking their respon-
sibilities but there are several signs
to watch out for. These include:
• Lacking interest at home or
in the workplace and in the well-
being of the family, friends and
• Blaming others for mistakes
• Missing deadlines.
• Avoiding challenging tasks and
projects; and not taking risks.
• Regularly complaining about
unfair treatment by family, friends
and colleagues, also engaging in
• Avoiding taking initiative, and
being dependent on others for
work, advice and instructions.
• Lacking trust in family, friends
• Making excuses regularly---
they may often say "It s not my fault,"
or, "That s unfair."
Strategies and tools
Start by talking. Your first step is to
talk to the individuals concerned. Find
out if there are circumstances that are
contributing to the situation, or if there
are problems that you can assist them
with. After all, bad things can happen
in people s lives and this can clearly
affect their behaviour.
Then provide feedback, so that the
individuals know that their behaviour
needs to change.
What you learn in your discussion
provides the context for the next actions
that you take.
Ensure adequate resources
In the workplace, a sensible early
action is to ensure that employees have
the resources they need to do their job.
This might include providing training,
equipment, access to mentors and
This is a key step in helping people
take responsibility for their work---if
they don t have the tools needed to do
their jobs, it s easy to shun responsi-
responsibilities and objectives
Individuals need to know clearly what
their roles and responsibilities are,
whether at home or at work.
Make sure that they understand every
responsibility that they have. Repeat
as many times as necessary until they
Help people take control
Sometimes people feel that they have
no control over their lives. To them, it
doesn t matter what they do or how
hard they work, nothing makes much
of a difference.
Set modest goals so that they can
achieve some quick wins; and then help
them build their self-confidence.
Also, remind them of their strengths
and past successes, and teach them
how to think positively, instead of
engaging in damaging, negative self-
Give plenty of praise
A final thing to do is to give plenty
of praise when individuals do take
responsibility. Help them improve by
providing them with consistent, effec-
tive, fair feedback.
Take responsibility for your actions
JANICE LEARMOND CRIQUI CPC, ACC
Ideal Life Associate Certified Coach
Model Leah-Marie Guevara wears one of local designer Meiling's creations on
the catwalk during the showing of her latest collection Shirt Tales at One
Woodbrook Place, Port-of-Spain, last Tuesday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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