The Cost Of No Participation

The cost of no participation is today a huge one, both in professional and personal life. But what exactly is it the cost of no participation?

What Is The Cost Of No Participation?

If we have to put it on a definition, we would say that the cost of no participation refers to:

every value, gain, item, or otherwise tangible or intangible scheme that it being lost by our refusal (or denial) to take part in any given business, company, personal, mental, or other activity.

In simple terms, the cost of no participation relates to everything we lose by not participating in a given situation.

Where Is The Cost Of No Participation Applies?

The no participation clause may refer to:

  • A business activity we are unable or consider as unnecessary to follow through (i.e. innovation, promotion of autonomy to human resources, fostering of creativity, cultivating a leadership friendly environment, etc.),
  • A social activity or event we consider as not important (i.e. a party we do not attend, a dinner we do not go, a social meeting we don’t take part, etc.),
  • A personal or family activity we prioritize wrongly and we don’t attend (i.e. the meeting with our significant other, the date with our friends, the quality time with our children, the free time or the vacations for yourself, the skill we didn’t develop, the seminar or the conference we did not attend, etc.)

Why Do We Fail To Observe It?

Why do we fail to see the critical nature of some events, tasks, commitments while we are so ardent to do other, more tedious sometimes, things? Well, many reasons. Among them:

  • Wrong prioritization in our To-Do Lists (business first, then other things!),
  • Lack of time, accountability, responsibility, etc.
  • Wrong estimation of a situation (what good does it bring me my participation in <…>!),
  • Poor judgment and lack of intuition for a situation,
  • Wrong evaluation of an event/activity/task
  • Poor planning and scheduling in order to accommodate the extra time “burden”,
  • Fear of failure in that particular social, interpersonal, community, business, situation (and thus we avoid it),
  • Lack of confidence in our abilities that would let us succeed in that given situation,
  • Procrastination (other things are more important, pressing, significant, etc), and
  • many other reasons, prevent us from participating in a given event, activity, task, …

How The Cost of No Participation Affect Us?

The cost of no participation is first and foremost a personal problem and a problem of personal accountability. Of course, you are not be expected to follow everything, to attend everything, to participate in everything. Something like that would be futile, counterproductive and meaningless.

The cost of no participation, though, raise a flag for everyone to observe. If, in our personal and professional life, we tend to “let people down” (for any reason!), not to keep up with our tasks, activities, promises, (our self-made and designed) priorities, when we hear complains by our significant others, friend, family, co-workers, when we say to our self that “I do that, AFTER <fill it in with your own priority>”, then these are not signs that we have to adopt a different productivity scheme, or that we have a productivity problem!

These may be the impact of our personal cost of no participating in the events and situations that really have a meaning for us (and we have neglected it!). Moreover all these “responses” may provide a (sometimes!) wrong base for the others to judge us poorly, due to our failure to meet the expectations of the others (many times the “others” include our significant other, our children, members of our family, friends, etc.)

There are situations that the no participation option may be valid (especially in personal, family, community or social context). But in reality there is no option on whether you could take part or not in certain situations (especially in public, business, financial, administrative, or governmental context). These demand a continual participation and the “no participation option” is no option at all.

How Can We Handle The No Participation Cost

Given the situation of the no participation hidden costs (and based in the hypothesis that you don’t want to continue to “pay” them), what you can do for balancing and aligning it to your priorities and life goals? Well, there is no any, single one, magic recipe, that going to help you to avoid the hidden cost of no participating! But there are some tips that might be handy!

The obvious ones are of course:

  • Set your life goals and priorities, straight, and observe them meticulously,
  • Select wisely your errands, chores, tasks and activities and no over-committed or cross – scheduled,
  • Review and monitor regularly your activities and re-schedule them if necessary,
  • Focus on the important things, if you can, and neglect or avoid the unimportant ones (i.e. those have nothing to do with your goals),
  • Choose a productivity scheme, tools and modes for being more productive and efficient,
  • Schedule always free time for contemplation, reflection, review and design of the new activities,
  • Give yourself the luxury of free time,
  • Keep your word and promises,
  • Develop good habits and customs that would permit you efficiency in your activities and quality time with your significant others,
  • Monitor the important and crucial

The not so obvious ones might include:

  • The employment of a strategic plan and of the strategic thinking,
  • The development of new skills for listening of others and evaluating best each situation,
  • The adoption of new tools for better decision making,
  • The employment of a new frame of thought that would rather prevent than enhance the costs of no participation (it takes time to be developed and it is different for each one!),
  • The intentional investment in yourself for enhanced skills (including communication and social ones), knowledge, attitudes, behavior, etc,
  • The enablement of new paths, tools, options and schemes for your suitable management of personal, social and business situations,
  • The adoption of leadership skills in your personal and professional way of “doing things“,
  • The “re-design” and “re-engineering” of yourself towards your desired direction

So, what do you think, can you avoid the hidden cost of no participation?

    Takis Athanassiou is an IT Consultant, Blogger, Trainer & Writer, active in the areas of leadership, business consulting, e-Learning and social media. He aims at the development of people, business and assets! You can check out his blog, add him in Google+ and follow him on Twitter.

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