We get wrapped up in how we think things ought to be. Being wrapped around the axial of whatever is going on inside our heads prevents us from connecting with the reality of the situation unfolding around us. Our emotions flare. Things get thrown or doors get slammed. In the worst cases we wind up hurting someone we don’t intend to hurt. It happens even when we are trying to control ourselves like the first of the presidential debates of 2016. Sensitivities are forgotten and we find more pain than ability to solve the problem. Instead of answer the questions asked we give information we think is important but fundamentally not needed. Sometimes this winding up around an internal ideal can take days, weeks or months. Then one person sets us off on some tangential but related topic.
It happens to all of us whether we want to admit it or not. For those who don’t admit it to themselves the angst gets projected onto others thereby distributing more difficulty than necessary. Communication erodes and exchanging meaning in dialog is damn near impossible. Responsibility and accountability are also projected onto others instead of where the real issue resides inside of our own twisted sense of how things should be. Relationships get strained and begin to dissolve if projected responsibility continues unabated. Problems from time past show up to haunt us. People and organizations lose trust in our ability to meet their expectations. The cycle begins to spiral into issues unrelated to our original projected responsibility and lack of accountability. We find ourselves amidst a myriad of troubles and stress. We begin accepting problems and deviant behavior in ourselves and those around us. This is called “normalization of deviance” and has resulted in catastrophes like Space Shuttles disintegrating in the atmosphere.
To stop our accepting deviant behavior, we first need to be aware of how we are enabling this behavior in others and allowing ourselves to deviate from our own integrity. We may have to ask others for feedback or seek other external information to determine how we are enabling ourselves and others to accept unacceptable behavior. Second, we need to step back in the midst of our stressful situations and reflect on our ownership of the problem. We ultimately can not control how others decide and act, but we can take ownership of our own decisions, actions, and behavior. It helps to admit it to others which gives them the opportunity to reflect on their own piece of the puzzle. It’s a slow methodical process of owning up to what’s happening and helping others to do the same. We have to do this over and over with the purpose of fostering integrity in ourselves and others. Ideally (at least in my head), this starts with leadership in the organizations we integrate with. However, there are varying degrees of awareness, ownership and accountability in the leaders in business today.
And there’s the crux of our peculiar situation. There’s only one person who can manage the biz of you and make your life and experience of it better. You have to be accountable to yourself first and foremost. Else, you are at the whims of the market, advertising, your manager or the group you feel comfortable with. If you don’t manage your biz, someone outside you will and it will be to their benefit not your own.
I apologize for any typos, punctuation or grammar errors.
Feel free to comment and let me know of my errors so I may correct them and better my biz.
other pages on Normalization of Deviance: