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Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

How Good Intentions Become Bad Decisions

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The reasons listed below are excuses we all use for not speaking out when we have concerns about a decision— concerns that can range from slight uncertainty to strong objection. Failing to speak out, however, prevents the group from hearing our true beliefs. Bad decisions are often made because of the “inaccurate data” groups receive from individuals who withhold their honest feedback. (more…)

Activity: Take Initiative to Solve Problems

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Problem Solving Training
Workplace problems won’t solve themselves, and we can’t rely on others to solve them for us. In a competitive, global economy, we don’t have time to wait. Each of us needs to take the initiative when we see a problem, and be the person working the hardest to find a solution. The activity below will help employees think about which behaviors demonstrate positive, appropriate initiative, and which might be seen as too aggressive or too passive. (more…)

Worksheet: 6 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Task

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

This exercise from CRM Learning gives participants a chance to use a series of questions to explore and understand the scope and requirements for a project. This worksheet can be a great guideline for ‘making sure they understand’ any future tasks they take on.

Instructions: Think about a project you’ve recently been assigned, or a task you’ll be taking on soon. Use the questions below to make sure you understand the task before you begin. (more…)

10 Things You’ll Never Hear From a Truly Accountable Person

Friday, May 10th, 2013

1. I did my part; I can’t help it if other people didn’t do theirs.

2. Nobody gave me a deadline, so I just figured I had all the time in the world to do it.

3. I never really did agree with the decision, but I wasn’t about to say that to my boss.

4. What a mess—someday someone should really clean this up.

5. They never tell us anything! (more…)

Stop Playing the Blame Game!

Monday, August 20th, 2012

“Responsible people do not blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice.” – Stephen Covey

You know, there are lessons all around us if we just open our eyes, and we are never too young or too old to learn. I witnessed a lesson in the making on blame and responsibility as I listened to a conversation between my three year old grandson, Trey, and his father, Deuce. It was almost time for Trey’s 3rd birthday party to start and he was biding his time with his sister, Emme, until his friends arrived. He was playing along nicely until pandemonium broke out and Trey came crying to his father about something his sister did to him. There he was, whining to his Dad about what Emme had done to him, and his Dad responded with, ‘And what did you do to her?’ Trey immediately quit crying, turned around walked off without saying a word. I almost fell off my chair. Out of the mouths of babes. Even in his three-year-old mind he knew that blaming his sister was not going to cut it. My grandson knew without a doubt that he was just as responsible as his sister for the fight. (more…)

Life, in 5 Short Chapters

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

by Portia Nelson

Chapter 1

I walk down the street.
There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk.
And I fall in.
I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out. (more…)

5 Ways to Take on More Responsibility at Work

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

So you’re doing a good job at work, people seem happy, and you want to take on more. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to take on more responsibility is a great way to grow personally and professionally.  It can be uncomfortable and hard at times, but it allows for real progress within an organization. Try these five ways to get more involved and have your colleagues see you shine! (more…)

Goals: 7 Top Steps on Goal Setting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The following guidelines will help you to set effective goals:

#1 Declare each goal as a decisive statement: Express your goals positively – ‘Implement this procedure well’ is a much better goal than ‘Don’t make this stupid misstep.’

#2 Be clear-cut: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can gauge achievement. If you do this, you will know spot on when you have achieved the goal, and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.

#3 Set priorities: When you have a number of goals, give each one a priority. This helps you to prevent feeling overwhelmed by too many goals, and helps to direct your attention to the most significant ones.

#4 Write goals down: This magnifies them and gives them more force.

#5 Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals you are working towards small and realistic. If a goal is too heavy, then it can seem that you are not making development towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Develop today’s goals from larger ones.

#6 Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much power as possible. There is nothing more disappointing than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your rule. In business, these could be bad business environments or unexpected effects of government policy. In sport, for illustration, these reasons could include feeble judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal accomplishment, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and pull satisfaction from them.

#7 Set realistic goals: It is crucial to set goals that you can reach. All sorts of people, employers, parents, media, society can set unrealistic goals for you. They will often do this in ignorance of your own requirements and ambitions. Then again, you may set goals that are too high, because you may not realize either the obstacles in the way or recognize quite how much aptitudeyou need to develop to achieve a precise level of performance.

Achieving Goals

When you have achieved a goal, take the time to benefit from the satisfaction of having done so. Bask in the implications of the goal achievement, and survey the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a considerable one, reward yourself appropriately. All of this helps you create the self-confidence you deserve!

With the skill of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:

If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder.

If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier.

If you learned something that would guide you to change other goals, do so.

If you noticed a discrepancy in your skills in spite of achieving the goal, determine whether to set goals to resolve this.

Failure to meet goals does not matter much, as long as you can be trained from it. Supply lessons learned back into your goal setting program.

Remember, too, that your goals will transform as time goes on. Fiddle with them systematically to reveal growth in your learning and experience, and if goals do not hold any attraction any longer, then let them go.

Reference: Some material used from MindTools.com

Written by John Stone. More on Goal Setting. John is looking for 10 people to mentor that are serious about changing their Financial Future.

Need more help in this area? The Who Says We Can’t Do It video program uses the story of Lance Armstrong’s triumph over cancer and his subsequent Tour de France wins to instill a strong, Can do! attitude in your employees.

Holding Others Accountable Role Play

Monday, April 6th, 2009

In high performance organizations, individuals not only strive to keep the commitments they make, they are also willing to confront co-workers who don’t keep theirs.  However, holding others accountable can be awkward—especially when the “other” is a peer.  This role play enables both team leaders and team members to work through the discomfort of these situations in a non-threatening environment.

 

“A Little More Time” Role Play Scenario

Marketing VP Kimberly is preparing her 45-person consulting firm’s major proposal for a year’s worth of work from a major client.  She knows that demonstrating the staff’s depth of experience will be the key to winning this contract.  That means a strong, focused, well-written resume section in the proposal document.

 

At the weekly managers’ meeting, Kimberly asks Sam to take responsibility for collecting the resumés and background information from seven team leaders who will have key roles on the project.  Sam will need to make sure the resumés are up-to-date, consistent in format and clearly focused on the client’s industry.  Only four of this group are present at the meeting.  Sam is one of the seven.  He willingly accepts ownership for the task and aims to please.

 

It is three weeks until the proposal is due.  Sam and Kimberly meet to discuss how the resumés will be used in the proposal—but they don’t spend time discussing the actual process of collecting and updating them.  Kimberly expresses her appreciation to Sam for taking on the task, and he agrees to have the updated resumés to her in ten days. No problem—it all seems straightforward enough.

 

Ten days later, 3:30am.  Sam is working at home the morning before his deadline.  He is rewriting two of the resumés, and he is missing another two altogether.  Sam was certain he had emailed these managers to request their resumés,—they work in one of the firm’s out-of-state offices and he doesn’t know them well.  His own resumé and the ones he received from two other team leaders are in good shape.  He decides to ask Kimberly for two more days to complete the assignment.

 

Set Up the Role Play

Instruct participants to read the “A Little More Time” scenario (above). Have them role play two ways of concluding the scenario.

1) First, role play Kimberly responding when Sam comes to her to ask for several more days to complete the assignment.  One partner plays Kimberly, the other plays Sam. Allow no more than five minutes for this role play.

2) Second, role play a scene between Sam and one of the team leaders who has not provided their information to Sam.  One partner plays Sam, the other plays the team leader. Allow no more than five minutes for this role play.

 

Debrief the Role Play Activity

 

Ask the participants:

 

1. How comfortable were you in the first role play where Kimberly was responding Sam’s request for more time? 

 

2. Did people find it more difficult to hold a peer accountable in the second role play? If so, what made it more difficult?

 

3. What are some things a person should do when holding another person accountable?

Look for responses such as:

·       First, ask yourself, “How may I have contributed to this poor result—was I clear about what I needed?”

·       Don’t jump to conclusions, hear the other person out.

·       In the discussion, use “I” statements such as “I have trouble keeping my commitments when I don’t receive your information by the deadline.”

·       Work together on a plan to rectify the situation and determine how to keep it from happening again.  

·       Ask “What do you need from me? More notice, more help, better instructions, etc.?”)

 

4. What are the consequences of not confronting those (either subordinates or co-workers) who have not kept a commitment?

This material excerpted from the Leader’s Guide to the video program, Accountability That Works!.


 

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