5 Questions to Eliminate Entitlement Thinking

Entitlement thinking … it’s not necessarily a new phenomenon, and yet, it seems to be running rampant in our society. Or, to be more precise, in me.

I’m shocked at how often I find myself succumbing to the temptation to wallow in a victim mindset. Why? Because I was raised in a family that taught me to avoid it, and I work for aEntitlement-thinking company that teaches others how to recognize and run from it! This shows just how easy it is to fall into the trap of entitlement—and just how needed The Question Behind the Question (QBQ) is, since it’s a tool that helps us eliminate entitlement thinking by asking better questions.

Let me share some examples of lousy questions from my life recently:

“When is someone going to teach me how to use WordPress?”

“Why don’t the 10 sit-ups a week I do make any difference?”

“Who’s going to step up to mentor me in this phase of life?”

Instead of challenging myself to takes risks, plunge ahead, seek help, or enjoy life, these questions, all in their own way, lead me to victim and entitlement thinking. And away from personal accountability.

Here are five quick QBQs to eliminate entitlement thinking:

  • What can I do to express gratitude?
  • How can I invest in myself?
  • How can I better serve those around me?
  • What can I change about myself to be more effective?
  • How can I make sure I’m invaluable in my place of work?

Employ these five QBQs and watch the entitlement thinking melt away!

Questions for discussion:

What victim oriented questions have I been asking lately?

Where has entitlement thinking crept into my life?

Please share your comments below! Thank you!

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9 Responses

  1. Personal accountability is one of the key’s that will unlock the door to a better economy, a enriched school experience, less crime, better marriages, better children, and a better world. We can make a difference that will improve “our world”. One person at a time. We need to move from entitlement to enrichment by asking smarter questions and taking responsibility.

    I have used QBQ like thinking before QBQ, but what John has done with his books has made the story easy to read, understand and apply. I highly recommend this for old and young.

    This is the type of thinking that would make a difference in our United State Government. Making a difference, one person at a time.

  2. Thanks Betty! I agree–QBQ! thinking is essential for each and every person in this great country! Imagine if we all asked “What can I do to improve?” and “How can I serve?” each and every day? Thanks for sharing!

  3. Without resources like QBQ, it is difficult to stay productive and positive in business. I realize family life can also be challenging in this regard, but love sustains me there. The ups and downs of business can draw me down unless countered by QBQ!

  4. I heard of this book by my insurance agent of all people. 🙂 I can’t wait to read it. What is interesting about this point is our whole country has the Entitlement Thinking which is being supported by our Government. I would love if this was required reading by ALL politicans!

  5. I worked for an onwer of a company a couple of years ago who has all but distroyed his company by these very actions. The first was the allusion of “empowerment” without authority. This always put you behind the 8 ball. You were held accountable for the results but did not have the ability to make the decissions necessary to affect the outcome of the results. Responsibility without authority. The sad part is that everyone who worked for you knew that you could not make decisions to correct or improve the situation without the Owner of the company getting involved. The allusion was to make people think that as being the President of the Company the buck stops with you.

    The second issue was arrogance. The Owner believed that we owned the market and that no matter what we charged for the product that they would buy from us because of name recoginition and history, this attitude saw sales continually drop for 7 years in a row. How do you motivate sales people to sale at the highest price with a product that is no different than the competition? Does not work.

    When anything went wrong the Owner was always looking for someone to blame, which in return would allow him to fire them, all this did was create fear and lack of decision making by people in responsible positions because of the fear of making the wrong decision which in turn would result is drastic consequences.

    I have seen all of these first hand and unfortunately the results that they cause and have seen a very vibrant, well respected company go down the tubes becuase of these three attitudes.

  6. Harry, sounds like a tough situation to sit by and watch! QBQ! can help in so many areas, and it’s hard when others choose not to practice it. All we can do it focus on ourselves! Best wishes to you!

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