Learn how to coach your people through the messy part of accountability and use missteps and failures as opportunities for growth.
- Coaching conversations in the workplace are all about self-awareness, growth and taking action toward personal and organizational goals. And coaching would not be coaching without accountability. Accountability involves three elements; what action is your employee agreeing to, when will they do it, and how will you know they accomplished it? In between making an agreement, taking action by a defined timeline and communicating the results of those actions, lay all kinds of learning opportunities. Now this is where your employee takes the what and turns it into the how. Obviously some actions and agreements are simple or transactional, like scheduling a meeting and reporting back about the results. Others may involve more complex details like organizing a workshop or a training. With long tall agreements like that you'll want to guide your people to establish accountability milestones and encourage them to define how and when they'll communicate their progress. A point to remember here, failure is a part of the process. Missed deadlines, botched actions, procrastination, forgetfulness, they're all part of the territory. It's another opportunity for growth. So for you this means support your employee, don't belittle their missteps. So let's take a look at action and accountability with Cassidy, a team lead, and her manager Ovie. Cassidy's been trying to get her team to implement her work flow systems and she's really having challenges. - I think we almost say, Cassidy, I think it's a great system. It's just a matter of time, as we said, hang in there and just go with it, you know. - I mean, bottom line, everyone feels my new work flow system is going to breakdown like everything else we tried. - Wow, that's frustrating. Looking at things from their perspective and what you need if you were in their shoes? - Well what I really want to say is hey, what's your solution? If my solution won't work, what will? - I know you're frustrated, but that actually sounds like a great idea to me. - Okay. But we're going to be adding five team members at the end of the quarter. And I need to develop a scalable system immediately. - What if the team comes up with a better plan than your original proposal? - You kidding? I'm all for it. - Sounds good. So it sounds like you are going to delegate this to your team, right? Therefor what kind of accountability can we set up to calm this down? - Well we're meeting next week, so I should expect a plan by the end of the month. - Great, so I'll expect an update by the 30th, yes? - Sounds good. - Sounds good to me, too. - Okay, notice that Cassidy started out by complaining about her team. A familiar refrain for her. But Ovie was smart, he didn't add fuel to the fire. And when Cassidy expressed her self-doubt, Ovie kept things moving forward by focusing on her leadership and delegation goal. And once Cassidy discovered what actions she would take next, Ovie was able to guide her toward accountability by asking for a deadline and deliverables. So inspiring action and getting to accountability means holding people to their big picture goals and outcomes and helping them find their way back when things get a little bit messy.
- Recall methods for probing deeper in conversations with employees.
- Determine which aspect of a challenge to avoid when determining the challenge an employee can undertake.
- Recognize questions that generate the greatest number of ideas during a brainstorming session.
- Explain the advantage of using focused feedback with an employee.
- Identify the potential benefits of listening and using open-ended questions with an employee who is unhappy with her or her job.