This month we will focus on the powerful word, accountability. Accountability is closely linked in with being dependable, responsible and trustworthy. It’s a powerful word that asks people to keep their promises, admit mistakes, and take action when they realize that they didn’t make the best choice.

Being an accountable person takes courage. Many people fear the consequences of their mistakes and choose to blame others rather than be accountable for their choices. Others get so caught up in feeling like their mistakes are a reflection of their own intelligence that they are quick to berate themselves rather than take productive action.

A recent study published in Psychological Science (Oct. 2011), shows that those who think that they can learn from mistakes have different brain reactions to mistakes than people who think intelligence is fixed and that they can’t learn from mistakes.

In other words, those who reflect the mantras “when the going gets tough, I put in more effort” or “if I make a mistake, I can learn from it” are going to perform better in school and in life than those who run from their mistakes. Not surprisingly, accountability is a vital part of success both in and outside of school.

As part of accountability, children must learn to both look back and look forward. By looking back at the choices they’ve made and asking themselves; “What did I do? What happened when I did that?” they claim their contribution to the outcome or mistake. By looking forward and asking themselves; “Now, what can I do? By when can I do it?” they set a plan to take action, fix the mistake and charge forward. They must practice this over and over so that it becomes a habit.

Having an “accountability partner” can help with the process. When we can report to someone and let them know our plans and when they’ve been put into action, accountability can become more likely!

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

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