It is something everyone wants. I have had business owners ask for it. Yet, they are the same ones who are consistently giving it away. It’s accountability.
It’s true we all want people who make decisions, are responsible and accept the good/bad outcome as a result. Yet at the same time, without realizing it we give away their responsibility, the ability to make decisions which in turns doesn’t hold them to the results.
Now, before you start screaming at the screen and saying it’s not true. Let me ask you a couple questions. Do you do any of the following:
- Tell people exactly how to solve an issue?
- When an error is committed, do you tell them how to fix it?
- When delegating, you provide all the details and they only have to follow your directions?
- You are known as a micro-manager?
Each time you answered “yes” to one of the above, you have taken away their accountability. I know, you are thinking “no, I’m telling how to work”. This is the same as giving a student the answer to the test.
Instead of giving the answers, ask for the answers. Ask your people “what do you think we should do?” or “what are suggestions to fix it?” or “what is the best way to go about it”.
Keep in mind this is not where it ends, this is the beginning of a conversation with more questions along the “why” or “how would that work”, etc. Give your thoughts or input and have them make the decision.
Think about it for a moment. When someone else told you how to do something – if it didn’t work was your reaction “I would have done it differently” or “I knew it wouldn’t work” or “not my solution, not my problem”. When you came up with the solution or course of action that didn’t work, your reaction is more like “what went wrong” or “how do I avoid this the next time” or “let me try this instead”.
See the difference in the mindset of the person. The second person is taking responsibility and therefore is being accountable.
What will you do differently next time? How can you change this with your people?
Need assistance with creating accountability. Let’s talk. E-mail me at email@example.com or call 773.531.8199.
Andrea Herran, principal of Focus HR where she "Uncomplicates the People Side of Business" by providing HR services and leadership development to small businesses. Learn more at http://FocusHR.biz