Victim Cycle Self Assessment

Article | Accountability Insights

by | Mar 2, 2011

Now is a good time to take a personal inventory and assess your own level of accountability by gauging how much time you spend Below The Line, stuck in the Victim Cycle or playing the blame game. Remember, it’s not wrong to go Below The Line; it’s human nature. We all do it—some more than others. Usually, the temptation to fall Below The Line comes when we are facing difficult obstacles to results we need to achieve.

Answer either “yes” or “no” as to whether the scenario presented in a given question has happened to you in the last four weeks. Be sure to be honest with yourself.

Victim Cycle Self-Examination
Were you surprised by negative feedback from someone else when you thought all along you were doing your very best to solve a problem?
Have you spent time blaming others and pointing fingers when things did not go the way you wanted them to go?
Did you suspect something would become a problem for someone else or for your organization but did nothing about it?
Have you spent time covering your tail just in case things went wrong?
Have you said, “It’s not my job” and expected someone else to solve a problem?
Did you feel totally powerless, with no control, over circumstances or situation?
Have you found yourself waiting to see if a situation would miraculously resolve itself?
Have you said, “Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it?”
Have you felt that you would have done things differently if it was your own company, but chose not to say anything?
Do you tell stories about how someone took advantage of you (a boss, a friend, a contractor, a salesperson, etc.)?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions is an indication that you are “only human” and that you make the occasional visit Below The Line. However, the more “yes” answers you tally, the more likely it is that you may be stuck Below The Line on a given issue or circumstance.

If this is the case, the first step Above The Line is to See It, or acknowledge reality. That is, to recognize that you are Below The Line, that it is not productive to be there and that you can move Above The Line. With that recognition, you are now in a position to take the other Steps to Accountability and Own It, Solve It and Do It.

Recognizing where you may be Below The Line will help you get better results and may even help you relieve some of the stress that comes from feeling stuck. To take other accountability self-assessments or to assess your team, go to

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