Taking responsibility is important for effective communication and building good relationships. If you don’t feel comfortable taking personal responsibility for what you say or do, the likelihood that your communication will be effective is low.
Taking Responsibility Changes the Way We Communicate
Whether in business communication or interpersonal communication, we often blame others for the mistakes in our lives. We try to push the responsibility away from us and instead put it on someone else. In this way, we create a gap between ourselves and the other person. Partly because it’s easier to ignore our own accountability, and make excuses, than to work on ourselves and improve our communication skills.
Taking responsibility is often the most important part of effective communication. In a relationship or business communication, when someone doesn’t take responsibility and doesn’t practice active listening, it often leads to influence ineffective communication and ends up creating conflict.
When We Take Responsibility for Our Actions Instead, We Have a Better Chance of Building Good Communication and a Healthy Relationship
We open up an effective communication between us and them, which is essential to building relationships and maintaining trust.
In business, for example, key stakeholders are more likely to trust a company that takes social responsibility initiatives because they know that the company will get more respect from its customers than a company that doesn’t take social responsibility for its past mistakes. One example: is an environmental impact.
The Same Is True for People
A person who’s offended someone through their verbal communication or written communication, or even through their body language (or facial expression), will be trusted more if they take personal responsibility for the feelings they’ve caused in others than someone who never questions their interpersonal communication.
It’s also important to remember that taking responsibility doesn’t necessarily mean you take all the blame for something. This could cause you to become resentful of the other person and make it difficult for you to communicate effectively with them. Instead, you can simply acknowledge your role in a situation without blaming yourself or anyone else. It’s important that you don’t judge yourself because that makes it hard for you to move forward.
The Benefits of Taking Responsibility for Ourselves
Taking responsibility for ourselves not only has the benefit of making it easier for us to communicate with others, but it also has a number of other benefits.
The first and most obvious benefit is that by taking responsibility for ourselves, we can have a positive impact on our own lives. When we take charge of our own lives, we can determine the direction we want to take, rather than just letting things happen around us. We can align ourselves with the goals and values we want to achieve in life.
Another important benefit is that by taking responsibility, we can find the meaning and purpose in life that most people spend their lives searching for. By being responsible for ourselves and making choices that reflect our personal values, we’re able to answer life’s fundamental questions:
- Who am I?
- Why am I here?
- And where am I going?
When you take responsibility for yourself, you can’t only be accountable, but also demonstrate consistency. If you don’t set goals and follow through on them, you often have a hard time staying consistent in your actions and behaviors. When you give up control of yourself, it becomes possible for you not only to be consistent but also to take responsibility.
Taking Responsibility Leads to Positive Results and Successful Communication
Whether it’s a small decision or a big one, taking responsibility for your actions has many positive effects.
- Assertiveness: by standing by your decisions, you can self-reflect and learn from your mistakes. This allows you to grow personally and professionally.
- Taking responsibility for your actions shows that you’re mature enough to deal with the consequences of your mistakes. When you’re able to face the consequences of your decisions, it shows others that you’re a reliable person who can be trusted to make future decisions.
- Taking responsibility for bad decisions helps build character and reduces the likelihood that you’ll make similar mistakes in the future.
This not only benefits you but also those who rely on you to make good decisions, whether it’s your family or your colleagues.
When you take responsibility, you acknowledge that you have the knowledge and experience to accept the consequences of your actions or inactions for yourself and those around you. You acknowledge that the choices you make have a direct impact on the outcome of an event or situation.
Taking Responsibility Doesn’t Mean That Others Will Automatically Do the Same
You may be thinking to yourself, “If I take responsibility for what happens to me and how I communicate, why can’t others take the same attitude? That’s a very valid question.
Just because you choose to take personal responsibility doesn’t mean others automatically will. Many people are unaware of their power to change their thoughts and actions.
If you have a colleague or friend who refuses to take responsibility for his or her actions and communications, it’s only logical that he or she would expect the same of you.
If someone expects you to take responsibility for everything while they refuse to do so themselves, they’re abusing you in a very subtle but effective way because they’re trying to force you to take control of their lives.
This unnecessarily strains our relationship with them because we feel we have no choice.
When people try to force us into a role we don’t want or need, we often become resentful and angry with them because we’re pressured by taking on their responsibilities and our own.
The Challenge of Accepting Other People’s Egos When They Don’t Take Responsibility
When it comes to effective communication, there’s a lot more at stake than you might think. The way you communicate with others is often a reflection of your personality. No matter how small or large your mistakes, it’s always best to accept them and move past them with grace.
While some people will find this type of behavior admirable and desirable, many others will see it as weak and not so respectable. You must remember that some people are willing to take responsibility for their mistakes and learn from them, while others are unwilling to do so and therefore see no reason to change their behavior.
You Can’t Change Others, but You Can Decide How They Affect You
You can’t change the weather, but you can choose the kind of clothes you wear on a rainy day.
You can’t control the traffic, but you can choose to leave for work earlier so you won’t be late.
You can’t change others, but you can choose how they affect you.
Each of us has a choice, we have the ability to choose what and how we think about our circumstances and about ourselves.
- We have the ability to choose how we react to everything that happens around us and everything that’s happened in our lives.
- We have the opportunity to choose how we behave, who we want to be, and even who we want to become.
If you don’t like your current situation, decide to do something about it, make a plan and take action. If there’s something in your past that’s bothering you, decide to forgive and move on. If you’re unhappy with your life, then decide to change it, but first, you have to decide who you want to be and what kind of life you want to live.
We’re Only Responsible for Our Own Actions, Thoughts, and Feelings, Not for Those of Another Person
In your life, you’ll encounter people who make you angry or upset.
Maybe it was a friend who let you down or a partner who hurt your feelings. Maybe it was a co-worker who took away your appreciation for your hard work. Maybe it was someone on the street who cut you off and almost caused an accident.
Regardless of what the person did, it’s important to remember that they aren’t responsible for your reaction to their actions. You’re responsible for how you perceive the people and situations in your life.
If someone makes you angry, it’s up to you how long you stay angry. You have a choice whether to forgive him or her for what he or she did or said. If you don’t forgive, the anger will always stay with you and have a negative effect on your own life in the future. The only person who’ll suffer if they hold on to their anger is you!
No matter how good or bad another person’s behavior seems, it’s not about them – it’s about YOU! It’s about how you react to others and how their actions make you feel. No one has the power to make us feel anything unless we give up that power.