Wednesday, 26 June 2013 09:06

Account-Ability is a Team Sport

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Why don’t people listen to you? Why don’t they do what you ask them do?

Answer: You’re not holding them to be account-able.

So what is a manager to do?

First, yo have got to actually describe the behaviours that a person is doing. 

“Frank, I noticed that you did not get that report done today?”

This description is a must so that Frank knows exactly how he is falling short.

Second, leave time for Frank to respond. Zip the lip. Listen to what he has to say. He may have a good reason, He may make a not-so-good excuse. He may try to make it your problem.

Your next action should be based on Franks response.

Point out the goal to him. 

 “Frank, your goal is to have that report done on time.” 

Which then leads to to your next challenge...  Get Frank to come up with his own workable solution to the problem.

“Frank, what are you going to do differently to get your report in on time?”

Wait for his response because he who speaks first has the monkey on his back. And that monkey is heavy, smells bad and will wear you out.

Note: The number one mistake that most managers make is not waiting until the person they are confronting, speaks.

When Frank comes up with a solution you must get him to write it down, date it and give a copy to you.

Note: Mistake number two is the manager does not have the employee write down and sign their thought up solution.

Result - When the direct report fails to perform as expected this usually ensues an argument about who agreed to what. Very frustrating.

Ok so let's say Frank does not come up with a solution or the solution is not acceptable to the manager.

The manager lets Frank know that it is not workable, and then outlines a solution that the manager wants. Sometimes people simply don’t know what to do when confronted about a problem.

Then the manager asks the Frank to repeat back what he understood. When the manager is assured that the direct report “got it”, the manager asks the employee to write it down, date it and give a copy to the manager.

I can hear it now, managers are whining about “this will take too much time”, “this is going into too much detail!”

Think about it. 

How much time do you waste by not doing these steps then having stupid arguments over who said what or did not do what?

Are people listening to you and following through on required actions?

Account-ability is a managers job one - should you, of course, choose to take the assignment.

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