Behavioral Accountability: More than Metrics

A few years ago in a post titled “Strong Team Members Hold Each Other Accountable,” I wrote that once people get in the habit of holding each other accountable without making it personal, teams hum with productivity and gossip is diminished. Does it hold up?

Accountability will always hold up. But in the original piece, although I pointed out the destructive impact of workplace gossip (which often happens around lack of accountability), I could have gone further with that.

The original post contains a video of Patrick Lencioni talking about accountability, and in that 10-minute excerpt, he reminds me of something significant about what does and doesn’t get talked about openly. Many are open about numbers and metrics; that kind of accountability usually happens just fine. But behavioral accountability — getting back to people in a timely way, being kind and respectful, having tough conversations, following through on making or adopting a change — those kinds of things can be harder to talk about, and might get passed over. Those things can result in the gossip I mentioned.

So what to do? Make it okay, and expected, to follow through on those things. 

This one holds up, and I hope these specifics help. Do watch that Lencioni video as well. It’s classic.

~ Alan

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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