We’ve all had to work with people that don’t pull their weight. It can be extremely frustrating when your job is affected by the ineptitude of others, right? After all, if <insert random name here> were held accountable, you wouldn’t have any problems!
Does this sound familiar to you? If so, stop and think about it. Now, I’m not going to say other people don’t impact your performance. But I will say, accountability is not about blaming other people.
Reading from the dictionary is not always exciting, but, in this case, Webster hits the nail on the head. “Accountability is the quality or state of being accountable; especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.” Accountability is not about the task, project, or result. It’s about the individuals’ willingness to accept the role they play or played. Basically, it's the opposite of blame.
Where to start
You may note nothing in that definition talks about other people. The focus is on your actions. As cheesy as it may sound, accountability always starts with you. This is especially true if you are a manager or any form of leader at work.
Perhaps you think your team is not accountable enough, but, really, aren’t you accountable for your team? No one is going to want to be held accountable to someone they don’t feel holds themselves accountable. This is a time to lead by example.
Lead by example
So what do you do to make yourself more accountable? First, you find someone to help you and hold you accountable. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) found that you have a 65% higher chance of completing your objectives if you committed to someone else.
Find a colleague to help you with your accountability endeavor. Find someone that you can trust that wants to help you grow. You should probably offer to do the same for them.
- Making commitments
- Writing the commitments down
- Creating mini-goals
- Celebrating your success
- Reviewing your performance
- Seeking feedback
Practice makes perfect
Spend some time, at least a few months, focusing on doing this yourself, and then see if you still want to blame other people. Your opinion may change. You’ll want to help people become accountable, not force accountability on them..
If you’re ready to get your whole company involved with accountability training, contact Aspirant, of one of the top Pittsburgh Talent management consulting companies or download our latest ebook.