Be accountable if you want to hold others accountable.
Think of accountability as having someone in the boat with you.
Who rows with you?
Shout your goals from the rooftop. Secrets protect. Accountability requires transparency. Your team should know if you’re developing the skill of dealing with tough situations, for example.
Who knows your growth and performance goals?
Seek feedback. You make yourself accountable when you ask others to tell you what they see. Ask behavior-based questions about specific objectives. “I’m working on bringing up tough situations in a more timely way. What do you see me doing? How might I improve?”
Use curiosity as the first expression of accountability.
Use curiosity to deconstruct past performance and design future success.
Think of accountability as “interest in.”
- What have you already done/completed?
- What’s next? To make it personal, ask, “What are you doing next?”
- What are you working on?
- What makes you think you’ll succeed?
- When will this project be completed?
At the end of a progress report ask, “What do you want me to ask when we meet to discuss this project next time?”
If it’s a team meeting ask, “What will we ask each other when we meet to discuss this project?” Identify who answers each question.
Interject your own questions. “The next time we meet I’ll ask what you did to seize this opportunity.”
Elevate curiosity from inquisition to interest.
- Cultivate supportive environments where leaders dedicate themselves to the success of team members.
- Clarify, agree on, and commit to specific goals. Commitment comes before accountability.
- Add support to challenge.
Quick tip: Progress reports are the simplest form of accountability.
Skill, experience, and track record determine frequency of reporting. A bad track record indicates weekly or daily reports are appropriate.
Reports are the day-to-day expression of accountability.
How might accountability give energy rather than drain it?
What healthy forms of accountability might you add?