Where do you spend most of your time? 

Above the line? Below the line? Let’s find out.

When something goes wrong, do you attempt to shift the blame elsewhere or do you own the situation and begin solving the problem? Hopefully, you answered the latter. We all find ourselves slipping below the line at times.  Where we choose to reside is what separates us.  Are you living below the line or above the line?

Above or Below the Line ImageThe above the line/below the line behavioral model is one of the most powerful tools you will discover. Subscribing to it provides us the opportunity to begin each day in a positive place. Namely, above the line. The key is to be able to recognize when you begin drifting below the line and immediately take action. But what does below the line really look like? Below the line behavior is comprised of denial, excuses, and blame. Operating above the line is about ownership, accountability, and responsibility.

The next time you have the urge to make excuses, shift blame, or flat out disregard your involvement, ask yourself:


  • What is my role in this situation?
  • Do I bear any responsibility here?
  • How can I cooperate, support, or add value to the situation?
  • Am I being honest with myself?

By asking these questions, and honestly answering, you just pulled yourself back up above the line. Now, keep yourself there and start building a solution. Again, it is all about self-awareness and self-management.

Beyond the handling of an awkward situation, above the line/below the line behavior also applies to our everyday work. Instead of just dredging through your daily processes, complaining internally about your frustration and dissatisfaction, empower yourself. Pull yourself back up above the line and solve the problem. There is a reason you are feeling that frustration. Instead of allowing yourself to continue wasting every ounce of your energy on your dissatisfaction and resentment, use it to target solutions. Ask yourself. What is causing my frustration? Is it a people issue? Is it a process issue? Is my frustration due to my own lack of patience? Once you understand the root cause of your frustration, you can act. You can improve that process, have that conversation, or work on becoming a more patient person.

Self-awareness leads to self-management.  Success in all these areas leads to enhanced relationships.

By committing to conduct yourself above the line, you are assisting Covenant Health in creating a positive culture. A positive culture is vital for Covenant to continue to put our patients first and grow as an organization.

Thank you!