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The right questions (what and how) for personal accountability

The important, yea civil, questions contain an “I” and focus on action. If you ask a better question, you get a better answer.
Ask questions that begin with what or how.
What’s the one thing that needs to be changed in my job?
What can I do to let go of the things I can’t control?
What can I do to move the team forward?
What can I do to achieve more with the resources I have today?

How can I apply what I’m hearing, even if I’ve heard it before?
How can I help them reach their goals?
How can I help him communicate better?
How can I learn this new process?

How can I release my potential if I’m blaming, procrastinating and thinking I’m a victim?
1. Questions that begin with why often reflect entitlement; you believe you’re entitled to something. It’s victim thinking. Why don’t I have better coworkers? Why doesn’t that client understand we’re doing the best we can? Why change? Why don’t they communicate better?
2. When questions show procrastination. When will someone define my job? When will we get the vision? When will I be trained on this? When will that department do its job right?
3. Who questions look for blame. Who missed the deadline? Who will get me this information? Who left me out of this communication? Who decided these were the priorities?

Make personal accountability your mission.
The only person you can change is yourself. Accountability is not a group thing. It’s your power.

Focus on action. Action defeats victim thinking, procrastination and blame. Character counts more than any degree or any title. Whatever the problem, ask What can I do? How can I do it now?

This is synthesized and adapted from a speech I listened to on the Internet by John Miller of QBQ (The Question Behind the Question), http://www.qbq.com/

"Some favorite expressions of small children: “It’s not my fault. . . They made me do it. . . I forgot.” Some favorite expressions of adults: “It’s not my job. . . No one told me. . . It couldn’t be helped.” True freedom begins and ends with personal accountability."
--Dan Zadra