Accountability with Love

Too often, in our business lives and our personal lives, people talk of love but don’t even show respect. But the fact is that you don’t have to love – or even like – someone to show them loving respect and hold them accountable.

I wrote recently about how workplace accountability isn’t about leaders looking for someone to blame or nailing someone to the wall when they’ve made a mistake. It’s a process based on a foundation of respect and love.

This was proven to me again when I recently facilitated a meeting for a senior management team. There was a lot of division in the room, yet when all was said and done there was also a sense of respect. It started with leaders who took a caring approach, rather than a controlling one.

No, everyone didn’t like what others were saying and doing. In those heated moments, some of the managers probably didn’t necessarily like each other, but they showed respect for each other as well as the rest of their people. That kept the process going so we could work on resolving the issues.

A controlling leadership style might seem more efficient and practical when there are things that need to get done in your organization. Yet control can have the opposite effect.

When you try to control someone and box them into how you think they should be doing things, you completely miss out on using their natural talents and skills. Those skills could be working for you, but instead, they’re buried under that person’s resentment of being told what to do.

Applying accountability with love doesn’t let your people off the hook from completing their work or following through with commitments. It offers a way of supporting them to get things done. And it encourages innovation and individuality in the way things get done.

Love and respect feel better, too; to your team members, but also to you. You don’t really want the people you supervise to fear you, do you? You don’t really want them to go home unhappy, do you? Resenting you and your leadership style? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying if they liked you and admired you, and if they went home at night and exclaimed, “I’m so lucky to have the manager I have!” That’s what a little caring can do for them—and for you.

If you want to create an atmosphere of love, respect and accountability in your workplace, Alan M. Dobzinski is a masterful meeting facilitator who can help you make that happen. Contact him today to get started.