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H2 (how to) Hold Someone Accountable

Most of us are pretty comfortable holding people accountable for deliverables. For example, “Sally, you said you would get me that presentation on Friday. It is now Tuesday, where is it?”

However, most of us don’t hold our peers or even our direct reports accountable on behaviors, because we are personally uncomfortable going there. “Who am I to say something about their behavior?” Well, you are their boss or their teammate. If you don’t tell them, who will? HR, you say? But if you are a leader in an organization, it is your job.

So how do you do it? Start with:

  • 1. Context : Where and when it happened.“Joe, in our staff meeting this morning…

  • 2. Data: What you saw or heard them do.“I saw you checking your email on your Blackberry during Sally’s presentation. In addition, you jumped up and took a call when the team was trying to come to a resolution about Steve’s department.”

  • 3. Impact: What your story and or feelings are about the behavior.“I thought your email checking interrupted the flow of Sally’s presentation. As far as the call, when you left the room the team stalled in making the decision, because we needed your input. Now we have to come back to that discussion next week. ”“I am frustrated because I think it slows our team down and wastes a lot of time.”

  • 4. Curiosity: Check out what is going on for them.I am curious, are you aware of your impact? Do you agree or disagree?

Joe may get defensive, or he may be surprised because he never realized the impact his actions were having on the team and on you. If you just want to make Joe wrong, it probably won’t go too well. But if you are sincerely speaking up to address a behavior you think is not serving Joe and the team, you are right on track.

CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.

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