Accountability as an Energy-Giving Experience
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?
How might accountability give energy rather than drain it? if we develop the understanding what is required, we are likely to perform at a greater level as compared to having no clue what they are accountable for, some accountability is accomplished by designation/appointment, the rest can be follow the leader and lead by example.
What healthy forms of accountability might you add? The Tolerance level is a key component for accountability, when we concisely layout the plan on an even platform, things need to be clear what is expected and how far one can push outside the accountability stages that can cause issues with clients and workforce, back to Black & White today again Dan, just me!
Thanks Tim. Ambiguous accountability is no accountability. Or ambiguous accountability is an opportunity to be blindsided by a leader who needs to find someone to blame.
The topic of what to do when people fail, fall short or disappoint is yet to be fully addressed. Accountability that doesn’t have bite isn’t accountability either.
We might not like accountability but who wants to live a life where their actions don’t count or matter?
Very true Dan, everyone counts, no matter how little or much they contribute.
Hi Dan, thanks for that. I think the Inquisition to Interest is the best for me today. I realized my question asking style was scaring some of the younger people at the company. My earnest interest and enthusiasm felt inquisitorial. I have to amend it a bit so they feel comfortable trusting my motives Cheers!
Thanks Cate. You reminded me that curiosity should include some banter and self-revelation. Just stating motives or intentions before asking a question helps.
Giving energy v. taking energy:
It’s about possession of the work –
agreement on mutual accountability is agreement on mutual committments is establishment of mutual trust –
Strategic authority – the WHY, big picture – is vested in the supervisor (vertical) who is responsible for making sure “reports” are rowing together (as a coordinated team) and in the right direction … (and have the resources to do so) … to ACHIEVE a wholistic objective …
Tactical authority – the HOW, detail picture – is entrusted to those who are DOING the work, who must align with the other parts of the whole (horizontal) to ensure that there is a unity of (mutual) effects …
DIALOGUE (b/t strategy & techne/tactical) is a mutual (win/win) sharing of knowledge & facts (exploration) to get to a consensus of worldview (why & how things DO and WILL “work”) …
(as opposed to
win/lose Debate, Interrogation/Inquisition,
lose/lose Argument, Monologue, or
open-ended/anarchic Conversation, Bull-session, etc.)
Sooo… if I have the responsibility for DOING something, and the authority to see it through and ACHIEVE something (i.e. “a mandate”), I have possession of my work (I own it, both literally and figuratively) and am invested personally (driven, energetic) …
Honest and authentic Dialogue is both
a necessity (because my authority derives from the strategic) and
a desire (because my responsibility is constantly evolving as I progress toward achievement),
all of which generates a constructive and self-regenerative energy (i.e. GIVES energy),
And limits the black hole dissipation of (i.e. TAKES) energy (also known as the WTFreak? effect.
DIALOGUE is key … to trust, commitment and accountability … and prevents betrayal (of same). If I own my work, I have the right of dialogue .. to ensure that the whole effect is greater strategically than the mere tactical effort and resources put into it.
That synergy is what generates more energy than it drains.