The Art of Accountability

May 9 - Account4ability

When people are asked to define what accountability means to them, many conger up thoughts of uncomfortable conversations, defensiveness, and conflict. For some, it’s all about confronting “them” about how they are underperforming and what they “must” do to improve. When thought of in this way, accountability becomes something to avoid and put off. After all, you might have thoughts that the person that he or she will never really change their behaviour. There is an inherent discomfort in this entire way of thinking and viewing the world of accountability.

So we need a new mindset to achieve a different result. That’s why I coined the phrase and concept “Account-4-Ability©”.

At its core, Account-4-Ability© is about seeing another person’s potential and having a deep honest desire to assist them in their success. By holding the highest vision of the other person and appreciating that they are doing their best according to their awareness at the moment. This process is all about genuinely caring about the outcomes for the individual as well as the organization or project.

Here are four key concepts of Account-4-Ability©

  1. Every interaction is about Respect for all persons concerned. That means that we don’t judge or criticize the other person. We simply recognize that they can do even better than their current performance. And we choose to share information about specific challenges by describing behaviour and outcomes, never criticizing the individual’s personality or personhood.
  2. Account-4-Ability© is about Honouring the other person fully. I choose to honour you and our process together so much that as we build our relationship, we are truthful and honest with one another. Every time I think about you, I choose to see the highest vision of you – that place where you have potential to be most successful.
  3. Caring is a key component. In order for this to work, it’s paramount to focus on what you like and appreciate about the other person so that you offer feedback in an authentic way. As humans, we have mirror neurons that allow our brain to “read” how you are feeling towards us, so this cannot be faked. If necessary, find a small part of the person that you like and appreciate about them. Then focus on that throughout the conversation – otherwise you run the risk of alienating the other person – after all, we all want to be cared about.
  4. It is helping that person to realize their true ability through honest, constructive and respect filled conversations. Learning more about what makes the person most successful, offering help to remove barriers and help that person discover how they can grow into their potential. It is having conversations that go deeper than the behaviour of concern and into exploring the best working relationship for both of you.

Account-4-Ability© provides a process to champion each member of the team, while ensuring that everyone benefits from honest, respectful and caring interactions with both the project’s best interests and each team members highest potential as well. It’s a roadmap to organizational success!

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