Hearing Hard Things
We all make mistakes. After making a mistake, we need to take responsibility for our words and actions. This is called accountability.
In most cases, taking accountability consists of the following:
- Stop the behavior that’s causing harm and commit to change.
- Acknowledge what you did.
- Try to understand how your words or actions impacted the other person.
- Sincerely apologize for your words or actions, when appropriate.
- Try to do things differently in the future.
It can also include saying, “I’m sorry” and making amends (when appropriate).
Forgiveness is not a necessary part of accountability. A person can be accountable for their words and actions without the participation of anyone else. A person who made a mistake doesn’t have to be forgiven in order to feel empathy, move forward, and try to do things differently in the future.
Listen with an open mind and heart.
cDon’t react immediately. Take time to let it sink in and reflect on what the person had to say.
Be your best self.
Try to see it from their perspective.
What is the heart of what they’re trying to get at?
Try to do better next time, and show this in actions.
Attitudes That Support Accountability:
Every person is basically good and has the ability to change. This includes you.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself.
Don’t blame others.
If you tend to be self-critical, also try to notice and appreciate your strengths.
Feel compassion or empathy—for the person you harmed, for yourself, and for everyone around