Owning It Isn’t The Same As Stopping It

I pretty much love everything

about coaching.


the too often irresponsible

use of “owning it”.

In coaching, we sometimes

encourage our clients

to “own” their behavior.

Good or bad,

positive or negative.

Landed a sweet promotion?

Don’t be shy—own it, baby!

Screwed up w/ your girlfriend?

Own it, dude.

Call her back and apologize.

It’s a useful way to encourage

people to take ownership and

responsibility for their

behavior and feelings.

My problem is when

owning it

becomes a substitute for

stopping it.

“I own that.”

is too often the

get-out-of-jail-free card

that is played whenever someone is

called on his/her shit.

Awareness is indeed the first step to change.

But it’s only the first step.

And, claiming to “own” your faults

gets you little credit until you actually

move toward changing the offending behavior.

As human beings,

we don’t expect each other to be perfect.

But we do make the assumption that

once we’ve declared our shortcomings–

be it chronic tardiness, selfishness,

know-it-alls, control freaks

relentless interrupters, temper losers,

gossips, bossy mcbossys

(see also control freaks), perfectionist

lazy asses or assistant drivers —

we’re all working hard to

move toward

not just owning it

but taming it.



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