Accountability is to take responsibility usually for one’s actions, feelings and beliefs. It is a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.
Victimization is to become the victim. Victimization occurs naturally when someone is duped, swindled or the necessary enforcements are not followed through. (I.e. victim blaming, etc.) However many people will cast themselves as a victim in order to make themselves feel or look better or to deflect a problem away from them. Victimization is also to deny, ignore, defer, criticize and blame.
|Accountable Stance||Victim Stance|
|Sense of reality||Excuse Making|
|Ownership, commitment||Projection onto others, Blaming others|
|Solutions to problems||Deflection, Confusion|
|Determined Action||Attitude of helplessness|
|Implement change||Status Quo|
People who victimize themselves have stories to explain why things go wrong, while people who hold themselves accountable are empowered by commitment and hard work. These types of victims will ignore their responsibility for a situation, often playing the blame game and creating their own reality where they are always portrayed as the victim. They often feel stuck in life feeling confused, asking for help, claiming that they can’t do something or they will wait to see if a situation will miraculously resolve itself.
There are four steps to moving from victimization to accountability. These can be related back to the Wizard of Oz:
|Tin Man||Heart||Own It|
|Wicked Witch||Bully (or yourself/mind)||Victimization|
This first step takes courage and involves acknowledging reality. This can also involve gaining feedback from others to keep yourself on track and gain insight. Accountable people gain other people’s insights and perceptions to add to their own to recognize when you might be acting like the victim
The second step involves heart and owning your circumstances.Recognize where you are at in life. Are you portraying yourself as the victim? Recognize this and take accountability for your actions and behaviors that have kept you from moving forward.
In this step, you must use wisdom to solve the issues. This behavior stems from asking “What else can I do?” It pushes you to find solutions to your problems which leads you to step four.
This step is the means or way and means accepting responsibility for your behaviors and actions. you follow through with your plans, implement strategies and execute ideas. Falling short indicates the lack of accountability and responsibility.
According to the Oz Principle, there are 16 traits of accountability. These are:
- Obtaining the perspectives of others.
- Being open and candid in communication.
- Asking for and offering feedback.
- Hearing the hard things so that you openly see the reality of the situation.
- Being personally invested.
- Learning from both successes and failures.
- Ensuring that your work is aligned with results.
- Acting on the feedback that you receive.
- Constantly asking, “What else can I do?”
- Collaborating across functional boundaries.
- Creatively dealing with obstacles.
- Taking the necessary risks.
- Doing the things you say you’ll do.
- Not blaming others.
- Tracking progress with proactive and transparent reporting.
- Building an environment of trust.
These steps and traits can be used in your personal and professional life.