It’s so ironic that teams and organisations work to design a culture, invest lots of time and money to agree on values and behaviours. Then avoid holding each other to account on the culture they aspire to be. It’s not new and it’s not unique. Holding others to account is a core part of any implementation.
Conversations in this space can include anything from skills to behaviours. Skills we want to address might be skills such as meeting deadlines, attention to detail, sub-par project management or lax management of their direct reports. Or it could be leaning into the soft skills such as poor communication, lack of collaboration, lack lustre presentation skills or simple being disorganised.
I love Miller and Bedford’s take in Culture Without Accountability; ‘Every time a person or leader makes a decision – it signals to the rest of the business what’s important. The same can be said for what they don’t do’.
I find there are no shortage of opportunities to talk these things through yet there is a lack of them actually occurring. In the words of Professor Sum De Miller (showing my age there); ‘Why is this so?’. After 10 years of researching and teaching the main reasons are;
- We don’t want to damage the relationship. What if I have the conversation and we no longer get along or the relationship gets worse?
- We never set expectations in the first place so don’t feel we have the ‘right’ to talk about it
- We might not be great at the thing we are asking them to address
- We don’t want the conflict or emotional reactions that could come as a result
- We could be wrong
- We simply don’t know how to talk it through
These are all common fears and they need to be addressed before you ever teach people how to have the conversations. When we do this they become conversations not accusations. Really.
PS: Want to talk about our ‘Working as One’ program? How to create high performance teams and workplaces (and give your team the tools I talked about in this blog). Just hit reply and say “lets chat” and we’ll reach out and set up a time to talk.