Your Personal Responsibility Toolkit

Personal Responsibility Toolkit

Our values act as our compass in life.  And, at our best, our actions reflect our values.  This is where personal responsibility comes in – the acknowledgment that we are each responsible for the actions we take, the reactions we have, and the words we say.

We are not perfect as social creatures and, therefore, do not always make responsible choices.  Fortunately, there are tools we can use to help us exercise our authority over ourselves. 

The 5 “P’s”

A toolkit for personal responsibility would be comprised of skills that are helpful to you in being your best self.  Skills that help you think and act from your heart.  Here are 5 “P’s” of etiquette-ful action. 

  • Practice personal respect.  This is a model for loving others.
  • Pay attention!  To where you are, who is there and what is needed, if anything, in the situation you are in. Explore an empathetic approach by putting yourself in the other person’s place.   
  • Pausing is essential.  Are you in a real or virtual moment?  Are you acting in haste?  In the space of the pause there is personal power to choose a response and avoid a hasty reaction.  
  • Preempt kindness.  That is, investigate everything with an attitude of kindness.  Many times, an encouraging word or a notice of something someone else is doing will bring a resolution to a conflict not even born.  As moral philosopher Adam Smith said, “Kindness is the parent of kindness.”
  • Peacefully reflect on your day.  Looking back at the end of every day is a good habit to develop.  A childhood prayer catches the sentiment of benefit: “Let me look on the good things to do again, the bad things to forgo and forget.”  Personal reflection helps anchor us in the moment and see the reality that we want, always aiming to do better next time.

Living Your Personal Responsibility

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Using the 5 P’s implements integrity, kindness, and authenticity in your daily life.  It helps to eliminate hasty reactions and insincerity.

Every interaction we have with another person requires a certain level of intentionality.  Courtesy, helpfulness, honest communication, and tact are just a few intentions that immediately come to mind.  Maintaining these consistently takes practice, which is why a toolkit comes in handy.

No matter how you are interacting with others -- whether you are on a teleconference call with colleagues, family or friends, or communicating on social media -- it is rewarding to know you are sharpening interpersonal skills.

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