How to improve team accountability

Often leaders find personal accountability comes naturally. Being reliable, achieving predictable results, communicating expectations and results effectively, accepting responsibility for their actions, etc. are all things that got them where they are. However, once you become a leader, personal accountability won’t cut it anymore. Now, you also have to cultivate accountability in your team with accountability coaching.

If you can follow the tips below consistently, you will help your team members take ownership of their own results and build team accountability. You’ll be growing their skills as potential future leaders, too, and modeling good coaching skills for them to use in the future. Creating a culture of accountability where all of the team members accept responsibility for their actions is the first step in creating a high growth team and reaching your goals.

Put the foundations in place

The best thing you can do is lay the groundwork for coaching by establishing common purpose, clarifying expectations and setting goals together, and communicating effectively with the person so that you ensure they’ve understood their role, their goals and the purpose behind those. This gives you something to refer back to in coaching conversations.

“Micro-knowledge” vs. Micro-manage

As a leader, you need to be kept in the loop about what’s going on with all of the projects and people in your team. You don’t need to do all the work or have all the answers, but you do need to have a way to keep a pulse on what’s happening. Collaboration and communication is key. Having a dashboard to measure progress on goals for each team member is a great way for leaders to keep up with what’s happening without taking over. If you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t effectively coach because you can’t be specific in your feedback, but if you are too in the ‘weeds’, you aren’t empowering your team to be accountable themselves.

Listen and be curious

When you engage in coaching a team member, your goal isn’t to solve the problem yourself. Rather, ask open-ended questions. When there’s a problem, give the person an opportunity to work out what the potential solutions. If the person comes to you with an issue, seek to understand first before jumping in to “fix it.” Challenge yourself to approach the conversation from a mindset of curiosity and try to stay open to the conversation going in a different direction than you thought.



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