by Bobbi DePorter

We can take ownership of our lives every day, in many different ways. For example, we can demonstrate that we’re taking ownership simply by the way we communicate. Recently, I was 20 minutes late for an important meeting on the other side of town. When I arrived, I could clearly see the person waiting for me was upset. I started to say, “I’m late because I got stuck in traffic,” putting the blame on the traffic. Instead, I said, “I’m late because I got stuck in traffic. I knew there might be heavy traffic this time of day, and I should have left earlier. I’m sorry and I realize I cost you time waiting for me. Would you like me to stay later than we’d planned? Next time I’ll leave earlier.” Instantly, I saw the anger melt away from my associate’s face. My taking ownership for the situation diffused his anger. It made him realize I was sincere in my apology.