Accountability: To Fear or Not To Fear?

Communicating well with others may be your New Year Resolution. Holding yourself accountable to promises you’ve made in work or life is part of great communication.

Accountability can be a scary word. When you are held accountable you may immediately think you are being called on the carpet vs., being called in for collaboration. All of us have the power to turn accountability into a positive experience, one that brings productivity to the table. Below are three ways to help you and others instill accountability through positive, clear direction.

1) Ensure everyone has the correct time table for a project. Missed deadlines can easily become a fast track for frustration which leads to blame. Keep timelines in visible places for team members to see. Use project management or cloud computing for more effective time management.

2) Keep the tasks and who is responsible for each task very clear. Written delegation of who is completing tasks is critical in any project or work. No one can be accountable if they are unsure they had a responsibility in the project in the first place. Create a simple chart that helps answer the questions: What is the project, Who is responsible, When is the Deadline, How you can receive assistance if needed.

3) Help colleagues with friendly reminders when a project task is due. Note the word friendly in the last sentence.
Review the two sentences:

“Your task is due tomorrow – don’t be late again”
“We have a lot of tasks due, is there anything you need to ensure (X task)
comes in on or before the due date?”

Which communication will receive a more positive response and most likely a more positive work flow?

Feeling accountable brings pride and ownership. Being made accountable brings fear and rejection. Which type of accountability would you like to instill?

Lynne Jarman-Johnson
Chief Marketing Officer
Consumers Credit Union

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0 Responses to Accountability: To Fear or Not To Fear?

  1. So true! Good challenges!

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