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Creating an Accountable Team: What Accountability is NOT

We're going to switch gears. For the last several months we have been covering some of the best time management tips from High-Performance Training Solutions' Managing Chaos learning events. Now we're going to move to another very important topic: how to create a more accountable team. Many of the ideas we'll be covering are collected from my five year study on the topic including discussions and learning from attendees in my Building a Team That's Accountable workshops.

Today: What accountability is not.

I've found that sometimes people don't like the idea of “being accountable” because they think that this means taking on everything themselves, or throwing up their hands and saying, “Okay, it's my fault!” whenever something goes wrong. But accountability is not:

  • Trying to fix everything ourselves
  • Doing other people's work
  • Rescuing people who aren't performing
  • Making excuses for our employees

In fact, it's just the opposite: a big part of being accountable is holding other people accountable. Think about that!

Also, rather than taking on or trying to fix everything ourselves, being accountable means asking what role did I play in this breakdown of results or this damaged relationship? How did I contribute? What did I say or not say, do or not do?

And, THEN, what can I (or we) do next? How can we move forward and take meaningful action rather than staying stuck in blaming and complaining. This is the core of accountability.

If we can make it a habit in any situation to look first to ourselves and our part in things before looking for someone else to blame (and getting stuck there), our entire lives will change and we'll have better relationships and get better results at work and in life.

Next month we'll build on this idea by discussing the fascinating topics of self-deception and blame. Stay tuned.

Check out a Learning Event on This Topic

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