(1 minute read)

The traffic was ridiculous.

The meeting went 15 minutes longer than scheduled.

I didn’t see your text.

I wasn’t speeding, Officer.

Bloody politicians!

This could be any number of conversations, on any given day, in any town or city.

The common theme? They’re all an attempt at removing the responsibility from one person – let’s call them the victim – to another, the persecutor.

We’re all susceptible to this way of thinking, we just need to monitor it to ensure it doesn’t impact our behaviours or actions.

What is this ‘way of thinking’? It’s commonly referred to as above or below-the-line thinking.

Above the line, we take ownership, accept accountability and take responsibility for our actions.

Below the line we allocate blame, provide excuses or plainly deny our involvement.

The acronym for this model of thinking is known as O.A.R.B.E.D.

Widely used by performance coaches worldwide, the O.A.R.B.E.D. model encourages us to focus upon what is within our control and to take ownership for our behaviours and actions. Similarly, it discourages us from excusing ourselves from the situation and adopting the role of a victim.

The test is not whether you think below-the-line, but how quickly you can switch your thinking allowing you to act or behave above-the-line.

“There’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad choice of clothing. (Norwegian proverb)

Photo by Daniel Palma on Unsplash


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