We all usually think that bringing the best of ourselves to our work, organisation, community and family, is the way to achieve our goals. We may not pay much attention to it, but the best of ourselves and our achievements also bring about an essential human emotion; that of hope. This is the emotion on which energy and ongoing achievement can be built. It galvanises our goal seeking behaviour.
Hope gives us energy to achieve in ‘calm waters’ and resilience when we’re in the ‘rough seas’ of political change. Sometimes our hope takes a severe dent. This is especially true in business and public administration when we’re called to account for past decisions.
There is a way to prepare ourselves for this and minimise its impact on your work, organisation, community and family.
One of the significant components in maintaining the hope, that energises us to achieve our goals, is having realistic expectations of our world. Then base our actions and plans on them. However as our cultural and political world is in constant evolution, we need to be on alert for changes that are occurring now. These could be changes for which we may be held to account by an evolved set of cultural and political norms, say in 5 years time. For example, the ABC quietly and recently started challenging the use of the term ‘guys’. Most people when questioned think of ‘guys’ as a non-gendered term and greet mixed gendered groups with ‘Hi guys’, without anyone taking exception. But if we considered people’s reaction to greeting a mixed gendered group as ‘Hi gals’ we’d have to agree, that there’s like to be some sort of reaction.
When we also consider that the spoken word is so easily recorded and can re-emerge many years later, it’s prudent to consider if some of us may be held to account for saying ‘Hi guys’ in 5 – 10 years time (especially if the ABC’s point of view persists). Or we may be held to account for some other unexamined norm.
In the Oars Across the Waters counselling rooms we support many people who are being held to account. Often these people are being investigated for minor or serious misconduct and their careers, way of life, hopes and dreams are all on the line. They nearly always have the view of themselves as being ‘really good people who’ve made just decisions in the best interests of others’. Despite this they are called to justify themselves.
From what we see, believing you’re a good person, who makes good decisions, supported by others, so you’ll not be held to account is being unrealistically hopeful; even wearing rose coloured glasses.
Being realistic and adjusting expectations, would lead a considered person to the view that: it’s not that that ‘I’ll never be called to account’, it’s not ‘if I’m called to account’, it’s ‘when will I be called to account and what for’. This view changes our approach and our emotions. Then when we’re called to account we can adjust and respond more effectively.
Oars Across the Waters, through our Managers Assistance service, is in a unique position to support managers who’re being investigated. We can assist managers to maintain hope and continue to do their best for their organisation, community, themselves and their family.
Our combination of senior public administration counsellors, with deep management and leadership understandings, plus our ongoing delivery of Accountable and Ethical Decision Making training to key government agencies and boards since 2008, gives us the knowledge, skills and perspective so needed during an investigation.
If you or a colleague need this help, we are available confidentially. You can contact us: http://managersassistance.com.au/contact-form-7-id53-titlecontact-form-1contact/