Responsibility Vs Fault

I was having a conversation with a friend at the weekend where they mentioned a recent injury and that they feel that it was their FAULT that it happened.

Worried young woman being accused v300My instant response (*see below for my explanation of this response.) was to ask if it was their FAULT or their RESPONSIBILITY?

This confused them a little and they asked for me to explain the difference, which in the moment I could not verbalise what the difference was, so we agreed drop the question (as I can’t expect someone to answer a question that has not been properly asked) and to move on.

So then as I was driving home it clicked….

I was asking them ‘Was it your fault, or your responsibility that it happened? ‘ because everything inside of me as asking me the same question about my own recent injury.

Back in November I was climbing over a gate when my shoulder dislocated and when my friend mentioned their own injury and their FAULT my own internal Blame and Shame centre fired into overdrive.

Was I / Am I still blaming myself for dislocating my shoulder?

All the external rationalisation that I have done, about what happened, what I could have, should have done, my own coaching knowledge around “don’t do all that” and by body was still hyper sensitive to the concept that I BLAME myself for it happening.

At which point it all became clear; how to ask the question and how to explain what I meant.

Fault = Responsibility – Power

Therefore in our lives when we Blame someone (including ourselves) for something (ie that there is  fault) we have actually just removed the element of Power to do something about it.

Invariably this Power is removed by adding SHAME .

Posted in Coaching.