Want to improve your business growth? Hold your team (and yourself) accountable!
Many times we play the blame-game when we don’t achieve our intended results. We blame the economy, lack of resources, our boss, and each other. This no-win blame-game hinders your business growth (and your career too).
A key employee took over facilitating a project after the former facilitator received a promotion. The former facilitator had done an excellent job of holding team members accountable for their results and setting up the required systems. The key employee ignored the established systems since she was “not a detail person.” After two team members complained, she stopped holding team members accountable because she wanted to be liked. When chaos erupted after failing to meet a client’s deadline, she blamed the team and said, “It’s not my fault!” Her boss fired her.
Team accountability is required to produce intended results. If you don’t have the skills to hold your team accountable, it’s critical that you take responsibility for learning them now!
It’s Never Too Late to Hold Your Team Accountable
11 Key Skills:
- Start with a Positive Attitude. No matter where you are in the project or what mischief has already happened, be respectful and speak positively about each and every team member. Vent your frustrations privately. Otherwise, team members will not don’t feel their efforts matter.
- Clarify the Team’s Natural Strengths and Weaknesses. When you use a qualified assessment tool, the objective data will address “why” some members naturally excel, while others need additional encouragement to succeed. Share this data appropriately with team members to build a “can do” attitude and team comradery.
- Participate in Team and Facilitator Training. Many facilitators don’t know how to conduct an effective meeting, and don’t have team and project management skills. (Often they don’t know that they don’t know!) Attend workshops to gain these skills, especially if you’re in the middle of a project. Additional training can uncover issues lurking in the background and missed opportunities.
- Check on Progress. Too often we believe everything has been handled after each meeting. However, we fail to conduct interim check-ins and follow-up with each person one-on-one to make sure there are no surprises. These check-ins uncover inactivity, nips in the bud brewing resentments, and helps discover additional resources required.
- Listen As Though Your Results Depend On It. Listen for: what’s working and what’s not working. Your ability to truly listen sets the tone for others to pay attention too! Often you can prevent future issues by also hearing what others are not saying!
- Keep the Goal. If you’re not hitting your milestones, changing your goal to support the team’s efforts may feel good. However, it’s only momentary and will diminish the team’s satisfaction, credibility and future career opportunities. Instead, work with an executive/business coach to discover why and get back on track.
- Distribute Minutes from Each and Every Meeting. This traditional idea is still very important today … it keeps everyone accountable. Only keep track of what has been agreed on and who is responsible for completing a task or spearheading a study, etc. Distribute minutes within 24 to 48 hours after the meeting.
- Be a Parrot. At the beginning of each meeting, remind members of the goal, purpose, company values, and company or client mandates. This will set the context for the meeting. Then, conduct a review of team progress.
- Handle Tough Conversations Quickly. Holding people accountable won’t initially win you any popularity contests if it hasn’t been done previously. But, over time, people will change their opinions based on how well you handle tough conversations. Here’s how … Handle disagreements quickly before they escalate. Ask questions to clarify and understand their concerns. Repeat what they said before offering your own opinions. Remain neutral.
- Let Them Go. Holding people accountable will uncover team members who are not willing to do the work. Give them the choice of staying or leaving. Don’t humiliate them with snide comments; these don’t motivate any one!
- Celebrate Every Success. Host a small celebration and use the Brag! exercises to help everyone be fully acknowledged.
Remember, it’s never too late to take responsibility for training your team (and you) to be accountable. Use these 11 key skills to ensure success of your project and grow your business (and your future career options too).
©Jeannette Seibly, 2018
Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. What’s in the way of holding your team members accountable? Don’t wait or it might too late. Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.