Our focus for this month’s email is a concept called ‘Above and Below’ the line – where the line represents choice. One of the reasons this concept is so impactful is that it brings value in a tangible way. The line separates the positive from the negative and success from failure. You can decide whether you want to operate above the line, or below it.
Our behavioural responses are captured in a cool acronym ‘OARBED‘ – the OAR (Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility) representing above the line behaviour while BED (Blame, Excuse, Deny) below the line.
We face decisions every single day. Whether we choose to press snooze on the alarm or get up immediately, to make toast for breakfast or grab a cup of coffee, the decision is up to us. While the decisions in your personal life mostly affect you, the decisions you make in the workplace have ripple effects and implications for others.
Imagine a blank sheet of paper with a horizontal line drawn through the centre. This line signifies a choice between how you can thoughtfully respond to a situation or automatically react.
Above the Line – OAR – choosing ownership, accountability and responsibility.
Below the Line – BED – choosing blame, excuses or denial.
If you want to operate above the line, here are some above the line questions you can ask yourself:
· What are my responsibilities?
· Where can I take ownership and accountability?
· How can I accept what’s happening without blaming someone else?
· How did I contribute to this?
· What could I be doing differently?
· How can I make a difference?
· How can I be helpful?
· How can I support and add value?
THE POWER OF FOCUS
The above and below the line concept can be a powerful game-changer. Use the concept (and the table below showing what above and below the line looks and feels like) as a practical tool to apply every day. You get what you focus on. “You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results,” says author and leadership coach, Mike Hawkins.
During team meetings and daily conversations, bring in the concept of above and below the line. Ask yourself and your team about times you’ve gone below the line in a week, and how you can support each other. Operate above the line and use it in a practical way because this is what you want to ingrain. It might be tricky at first, however making it tangible by writing it down and practicing it consistently will go a long way in embedding above the line thoughts and behaviours.
It’s easy to stay in BED; the powerful response is to start paddling with your OAR.
The following are examples that signal you are operating above the line. Make them consistently yours.
· You invite candid feedback from others about your performance.
· You don’t hide the truth.
· You acknowledge reality including problems.
· You always commit 100% to what you are doing.
· You own your circumstances and your results.
· You recognise when you are dropping below the line and act quickly.
· You make things happen.
· You ask ‘what else can I do to drive my results?’.
Till next month!
Live it! Love it! Do it!