One of the key concepts in the transformational approaches I have studied is that of responsibility; meaning, being responsible for your actions, reactions, imperfections, and outcomes. It differs from what one might traditionally perceive as responsibility such as having a job with many obligations, shouldering many duties and tasks, and the like.

When considering responsibility from this perspective, I was reminded of behavior patterns both in my professional and personal life which led me to the following questions:

  • Are you a boss who takes credit for the work of your employees and/or blames them whenever anything goes wrong?
  • When someone gives you feedback because your effort didn’t go well, do you accept responsibility and look at ways to improve, or blame someone other than yourself?
  • When a situation doesn’t turn out the way you wanted or expected, do you take responsibility for your part in the outcome, or react, whine, and complain about what went wrong?
  • Are you a parent who uses phrases like, “it is all your fault”, “can’t you do anything right”, or “what is wrong with you?”

If you answered yes to any of the above, then you might be a deflector. While deflecting can be an automatic response, learned behavior, or a defense mechanism, take a moment to consider the impact on others.

Whether you are on the receiving end of this kind of deflecting behavior or experience the environment they create, it can be draining, frustrating and negative.

  • As an employee, if all your great ideas are owned by your boss, you may feel devalued or frustrated, which can lower your morale.
  • As a receiver of feedback, growth and change is an impossible chore if your response is “yeh but”, or “it was really that other person’s fault”, or a dozen excuses.
  • As an individual, if everything is another person’s fault, you experience a world of blaming, complaining, whining, and general negativity which can make you feel powerless.
  • As a child, when you receive the messages “it is all your fault”, “can’t you do anything right”, or “what is wrong with you?” they can become part of your belief system and lead you bully and beat yourself up because nothing you do is enough.

Do you build yourself up by taking away from others? Are you afraid to do something wrong and need to deflect fault on others? Is there always a reason (other than you) for why things don’t work out?

Everyone has value yet no one is perfect. What would happen if you gave credit where credit was due? If you accepted blame when something was your fault? If you took feedback for what it is and used it as a learning opportunity? Accepted that sometimes you do things wrong and that is okay? If you find yourself challenged in taking responsibility, please contact Systems of Change ( for a 30 minutes Clarity Call.

© 2017 Systems of Change, LLC