Is your team or organization suffering from a lack of accountability? Then you already know how weak accountability affects business performance. Lack of accountability is a management, leadership, and cultural issue.
These posts offer various tips for improving accountability in your team.
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December 30th, 2011
Have you noticed a member of your team who seems to be hiding at the boardroom table? They seem to speak often, but say little? However, when it comes time to report on their own progress, they often perform a lengthy soliloquy of excuses and/or blame others for not doing their part? If you do not see a video below please click on this link.
If so, then you have a passive (why do any work myself), aggressive (it’s his fault) bully on your team. If performance reviews are not done effectively or peer-to-peer accountability is not in place, this type of bully can bully all day long, without consequences.
I recently worked with an executive team who had a passive-aggressive bully at the table. This team was steeped in the need to keep up their own ‘relationships’ and ‘kindred spirits’ at work. They found it really difficult to be direct and honest with one another. Therefore, the peer-to-peer accountability was not a realistic option.
Instead, I coached the bully’s boss to;
- Clearly articulate expectations,
- Measure ongoing results, and
- Use very aggressive 30- and 60-day timelines
Lucky for the team, this boss was ready and interested in following my direction to make a change. Bombarded with clear expectations and regular follow up, this team’s bully felt the pinch. Less than 30-days later, the passive-aggressive bully made a bold move; she moved on.
Using peer-to-peer accountability and effective performance reviews, this team is now bully-free. Are you? If not, call us now to sign up for your FREE bully coaching session.
March 22nd, 2011
If you think your team could do a much better job at getting project results, being accountable and supportive of one another, then I would assume you have yet to establish and agree upon a set of team norms.
Team norms are a set of rules or guidelines that a team establishes to shape the interaction of team members with each other and with employees who are external to the team.
Once developed, team norms are used to guide team member’s behaviour(s) by;
- assessing how well team members are interacting,
- bringing to attention any behaviour that is dysfunctional or that is negatively impacting the success of the team.
It’s important to build team norms together. By gathering agreement from all parties and being clear about what the consequences are if the norms are not upheld, your team becomes accountable for themselves and each other.
Once you’ve recognized that your team needs to create team norms, how do you decide what areas to focus on?
- Focus on 3 areas where your team feels like they’re walking in quicksand.
- Once you’ve chosen your 3 team norms, think about the most effective ways to achieve your ideal scenario
- Lastly, attach a consequence to each team norm as a safety net for how to deal with a situation if the team norms are not being followed.
For example, I recently worked with a team that created key norms for these three areas; accountability, communication and celebration.
Team Norm: ACCOUNTABILITY
- Work out issues face-to-face using communication model (which one)?
- Make sure requests are prioritized
- Make clear when a response/action is needed
Consequence: If repeated communications (e-mail or face-to-face) do not resolve issues, have both parties meet with a manager to try to work things out.
Team Norm: COMMUNICATION
- All communication will be direct, open and honest – no gossip.
- Each team member is responsible for their own communication loop (both listening and speaking).
- In all situations, be respectful and use appropriate tone in both verbal and written communication.
- Hold each other accountable – if you are not getting the required communication, let the other person know.
Consequence: Not adhering to the norm will be dealt with by all of us in a team meeting.
Team Norm: CELEBRATION
- Look for ways to recognize and appreciate the many great things that we do for each other and the company.
- Celebrate our successes on a quarterly basis.
- Focus on building and maintaining personal relationships with each other to help strengthen our team.
Consequence: There is potential for members of the team to become disengaged or unmotivated. We could end up working back in silos, causing isolation to go up while productivity goes down. We miss out on celebration or fun times of team focus.
With effective team norms in place, your team will be able to focus on its purpose and continuously improve and achieve its goals.
Does your team need to establish team norms? What areas would you focus on? If you’ve already created your team norms, we’d love to hear how they’re working.
December 22nd, 2010
We’ve been writing this blog for almost 2-years and couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for your participation.
This past year, we covered team alignment, meeting productivity, the importance of communication and emotional intelligence. Some of our favourite posts have been;
- The Highs and Lows of Emotional Intelligence in Conflict Navigation
- Emotional Intelligence and Teamwork
- How to Prevent a Loss from Destroying Team Productivity
Since we started blogging, our most popular post has been The Secret to Email Productivity for Executives.
What was your favourite post and why? Your comments help keep our blog alive.
Which areas would you like more insight on? Emotional Intelligence? Communication? Feedback and Performance? Accountability? Team Development? Leadership and Followership? Perhaps you have a situation about a topic we have yet to cover. If you’re experiencing a stumbling block or a particularly difficult situation, chances are that others are as well. We love hearing from you, so please keep posting your feedback, comments and questions.
Look for a new post early in the New Year.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
October 22nd, 2009
When team accountability declines, I question if the leader or manager is trapped in a communication myth – a widely held but false belief or idea.
As a leader/manager, it’s critical to be aware of your communication style and its effectiveness. It could be as simple as asking yourself, “Do I believe in these myths and if so, what can I do differently?”
“While you may ignore the truth because it is uncomfortable to face, other times you accept myths over truth because you don’t know the difference” – Joshua Uebergang
Myths of Communication
1. If I tell somebody to do something. they are actually going to do it.
To raise the bar of accountability, leaders and managers need to take the time to check-in with the individual to make sure they agree with the need, and are willing to set a target date for the completion of the task.
2. If I tell somebody to do something, they have heard it, and they understand what they need to get done.
Reflective/active listening is critical to effective communication creating improved results. First ask the individual to repeat back what they heard you say. If they didn’t hear it correctly, re-word it and ask them to repeat it again. This can take a moment but it is worth it! Attaining clarity with reflective listening decreases errors and misinterpretations.
3. If I say it once, once is enough.
Retention 24 hours after a presentation ranges between 8 – 12% (check out my post about “the forgetting curve“). That means if you stick to this myth you will receive 8-12% of the results you are looking for! To improve this, check in regularly with the individual.
If you are leading a team, watch that you don’t get trapped in these myths. Instead, shake it up!