This is the 6th in a 7-part series on the topic of accountability, based on book “Crucial Accountability”, 2013 (authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler)
Step 4: Make it motivating and easy
If you are in a leadership role, it is your job to remove barriers to success by evaluating them and putting steps in place to overcome them.
Employees are generally the closest to the problem, so engaging their thinking is likely the best. Make sure you don’t push your biases, ideas, or manipulate them. Create shared solutions and ensure that nothing was missed by recapping what was said and then ask “If this is all done, are you going to be accountable to results?” If the answer is no, there is more to be explored.
Use discretion in providing quick fixes and advice; rather, ask the employee “What do you think it will take to fix this?” Involving the employee in finding solutions will increase options, acceptance and commitment to them.
In order to be motivated, we must know what is expected of us. Without clear expectations, the brain can’t make the link between behaviour, action and results. Make sure expectations are clearly understood and agreed to by both parties.
Step 5: Agree on a plan and follow-up
After an accountability conversation, agree on a plan and then follow up. Don’t assume that accountability is guaranteed. To optimize success, determine:
– Who is doing what
– When it will be done
– What follow-up will happen and when
Follow-up is critical and the type and frequency should be based on the level of complexity, risk, trust and competence of the recipient. Follow-up dates and times could be pre-booked or done at particular events to ensure both parties follow-through on promises.
Next time – the last part in this series – we’ll review the remaining components of Step 5, including What About Holding Your Boss Accountable, and Dealing with Difficult Situations.
Glen Sollors, Senior Consultant