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What Accountability is All About

I need a summer break, too! Here is the first of three of my “Summertime Best Stuff” based on YOUR input.

People often ask me why regularly scheduled accountability meetings are so important. They struggle with the thought of adding one more thing to their crowded schedules. Although the meetings do take time, it’s clear that skipping them costs even more because of the extra time needed to hire, train and retrain new staff, or to do projects yourself because your people are not accountable.

“Can’t we just chat for a few minutes in the hallway?” is something else I hear quite a bit. And these hallway meetings are a big part of the culture in many organizations. But they don’t always work.

Accountability is more than a quick stop in a hallway. It’s a process that takes place over time. The old Chinese proverb comes to mind: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Accountability is about teaching people to fish; offering them tools they can use for the rest of their lives, in and beyond the workplace.

While a template of questions and tasks can help you navigate an accountability meeting, the real magic happens beneath the surface. Accountability is really about:

  • Creating a supportive environment in which people are challenged and encouraged to reach their full potential.
  • Using observation and effective listening skills to help people clearly understand their current situation.
  • Helping people tap into their own creativity and resourcefulness to uncover strategies that will help them achieve their goals.
  • Providing focus, clarity and awareness of possibilities that will lead to effective choices.
  • Empowering people to achieve tangible, sustainable results in productivity, relationships, satisfaction with life and work and the achievement of personal and professional goals.
  • Getting a holistic, well-rounded, 360-degree view of each person; on the job and off the job.

The accountability process inevitably includes supporting, listening, helping, clarifying, empowering and seeing your people. But essentially, an accountable leader is a guide. Exactly how much progress is made as a result of the accountability process is largely up to the person receiving the guidance.

How much time do you spend developing your people? Are you catching them in the hallway or sitting down with them on a regular basis? How much could they be accomplishing if they had more support? How would having a team full of effective, empowered, productive, creative and fulfilled people improve your bottom line?

And the most important question: How will you approach your next meeting differently?

If you want to supercharge your next meeting, Alan M. Dobzinski is available for executive meeting facilitation. He’ll get right to the bottom of whatever is stopping or blocking your productivity. Guaranteed. Contact him today to get started.