The Right Way to Hold People Accountable
How can we hold a person accountable for their actions without making oneself appear to be rude or a know-it-all? Expert on accountability, Jonathan Osler has this to say.
First and foremost, we need to have clear expectations about our own expectations. This begins by making it crystal clear the outcome you are looking for, what metrics will be used to measure success, and what steps are going to need to be taken in order to complete the objective. This isn’t going to be a “one man (or woman) show” either. You need to be aware that others have valid ideas to offer and to simply assume that they do not have anything of value to offer is a common mistake. Creating a genuine rapport when attempting to develop an air of accountability between two parties can help achieve the desired results. You want to clearly define your goals from the beginning and make a complete summary of what you hope to achieve and how the person you are dealing with can help facilitate that goal via mutual cooperation and understanding. If these goals are not clearly defined, it makes it exceptionally difficult to find that common-ground that is needed when one is seeking to rectify a situation where accountability is important.
Another tip from Jonathan Osler is making a skills assessment of the individual or group that one is seeking accountability from in order to better facilitate the achievement of your desired goal. You need to ask yourself if you are dealing with a party that has the skills needed to meet your expectations, what sort of resources or requirements they are going to need in order to meet your desired outcome, and if they are found to be lacking in any certain respect — what will they need in order to meet your expectations? You will find that by placing yourself in the shoes of the party you are dealing with you will achieve a far greater level of success with your actions. Nothing is more frustrating than failure and without proper preparation, one can assume they are going to fall short of the desired goal they wish to achieve. Often, people are afraid to take accountability for their actions because they fear reprisal or retribution. It can be of great service to understand the role fear plays in social interaction and do what you can to help alleviate and cessate those fears in order to develop a true and honest level of interactive communication between parties. It can be a big help to sit down and brainstorm a few ways to approach the conversation without causing it to become a sort of “stand-off” where the party you wish to take accountability for their actions (or inactions) enters into a “fight or flight” mindset that will have them being overly difficult to deal with. It is far easier to achieve your goals when you are speaking to a person or group that believes they are not being put on the “hot seat” and are going to be valued and respected throughout the discourse and not treated as if they have no valid points of their own or that their actions were without merit from their own perspective.
It can be difficult, but it is well-worth it in the end.