Accountability is often seen as a “blame game”, rather than what it really should be: an active form of leverage, which enhances learning and performance. You must have come across this question often when things go wrong, “Who was responsible?”. We often use the two words “accountable” and “responsible” like they mean the same thing, yet that is not correct at all. In fact, being accountable is more about the presence of trust and absence of fear. It’s about accepting results, whether positive or negative, and learning.
When things go wrong, acknowledge that mistakes were made and pledge to improve the outcome. This is very powerful: it means that you have taken ownership of the process, and you will engage your co-workers in playing their part, in making positive change. Remind them of the common vision that you all share and inspire them to take part. Then make sure that you actively seek feedback and involvement in solving problems.
Take responsibility for the good results. In this case, you need to be able to learn how this came about, and share this with your team, so that you can get positive reinforcement. Crediting other members of staff that ideas and actions came from should not make you feel threatened. In fact, it is the trait of a true leader.
Simple Steps To Becoming An Accountable Leader:
- Assess yourself and your ability to be accountable in simple ways:
- Are you keeping your own basic rules: arriving to work on time, submitting reports as required, for example? Draw up with a list; ask your co-workers what they think.
- Do you insist that those working under you and your co-management are held accountable to their promises that they made to you and, by extension, the organization? This may be a simple action like updating field research records to the database, or attending meetings on time with prepared reports.
- Set up a plan for make sure that all promises are kept, for example, you can put up a board in a shared space, that provides staff and other stakeholders with an opportunity to see the goals and tasks, how much has been achieved, and who has made this possible. Set realistic timelines for your team.
- Change you dialogue: instead of just asking, “why did you not….” How about saying, “How could you improve on…”. This encourages the individual to realize that no one else will take on his/her work.
If you wish to learn more about becoming a stronger leader, or exchange views, please write a comment below