If you haven’t done Step 4 yet, please go to Why You Fail to Influence and make sure you finish that before you read this article. I promise you, it will help.
Step 5: With the refined list you created in Step 3, go through each point and consider the extent to which you feel you can influence the item. If you hold your hands up and admit that yes, in the main, it is you who is responsible for the reason stated, place a big tick by that reason and move on to the next. On the other hand if, after careful consideration, you really do not have any ability to do anything about that cause of your lack of influence, just move on to the next item on your list.
Step 6: Calculate the percentage of reasons you placed a tick beside. This is your Personal Responsibility Index.
A percentage greater than 50% is likely to be good news. Give yourself a pat on the back and read on regardless, because you may learn something to your advantage.
However, if your index is less than 50%, I would guess that you are not really trying to influence the situation. You are probably sitting there moaning ― or looking out for others to share your sense of hopelessness with. If you are doing things to try to influence the situation, they are likely to be half-hearted attempts which you are not really committed to. Things may well be tough and seem impossible, but I can guarantee that blaming others is going to be contributing to your problem and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- If you don’t believe you can influence the outcome, others probably won’t believe you can either.
- When your heart isn’t in it, your performance will dip and everyone will sense your defeat.
- Why would others have confidence in what you are asking for if it is clear that you don’t have confidence?
- The real cause(s) will remain hidden by your negative thoughts and emotions ― or perhaps your excuses?
- Many people find it easier to blame someone/something else rather than accept personal responsibility/accountability.
By tolerating a low Personal Responsibility Index, you are accepting your position of powerlessness.
Firstly, realise that you are not alone. Many people feel exactly the same. The advantage you have is that now you have realised it ― you can make a decision to do something about it. Until you make that decision, you cannot become positive about finding out what you can do about it.
Secondly, you may be right. You might not be able to do anything to achieve your influencing goal. The barriers could be too strong. I know a great deal about influence, and certainly more than most, but that doesn’t mean I always get my way. That isn’t real life.
However, if you are mainly leaving responsibility with others, it is very difficult to be sure exactly what is wrong. If you can’t see what is wrong, it is nigh on impossible to do something about it. Don’t lose sight of the possibility that the only thing which is wrong could be your attitude.
Thirdly, notice the effect your beliefs and attitudes have on others. If you don’t believe it can happen, your team may simply agree. This will stifle any serious attempt by them to make it happen.
The final thing to realise is that your attitude is, well, yours. You have far more control over your attitude than you may realise. So, fancy giving a different mindset a chance? Go on, just give it a go and see what happens.
Take a look at Developing a Positive Influencing Attitude.