Sandy slapped her palm against a clammy forehead. She looked up and around the office to make sure no one was within ear-shot or eyesight. Then she groaned and picked up the offending report again. How did she miss this last month? Her single mistake could cost the company thousands. And her boss was known for calling confession excuses.
Sandy felt heat creep up her neck and fought a boil of tears in the corners of each eye. She stared at the documents in a paralyzed state for close to an hour. Her productivity was lost for the rest of the day while she tried to figure out what to do.
In discussing accountability, it helps to understand why many people don’t fess up when they mess up. One word spells it all — fear.
Some are afraid of punishment, getting fired, or simply another person getting mad and no longer accepting them. If we’re going to expect an employee, significant-other, a child, or even our boss to confide a mistake, we need to offer a soft place to land. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all have a safe person to help us navigate the challenges of making wrongs right.
If you are the employer, spouse, parent, or co-worker, offering to help separate facts from the emotional dirt a mistaken person piles on top of themselves levels perception and creates a cushion. This enables confession and allows steps to rectify. But if this crucial element is missed, the offending person becomes paralyzed by their fear, and unable to take actions to turn things around for the better.
The outcome is harder on everyone when there is no soft place to land. I’d wager this invisible drain costs the global economy billions every year. The specific steps of Teshuvah could save us time, energy, and money — once we know how to tap into its power.
What about you? Do you have a soft place to land? Who is that person or where is the place? Or do you fall in a prickly clump of an unacceptable response?
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Expert, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri. Contact her via anitabrooks.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.