Accountability Doesn’t Happen by Accident

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What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “holding your team accountable”.

Probably that phrase causes a number of different thoughts to flood through your mind.

For the next two weeks, we have another one of our great Coaches, Kristin Robertson, sharing about accountability.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.52.01 PMTake it away, Kristin!

As a manager, you want your team to perform at peak levels of productivity, excellence, and creativity. And you naturally assume that each member of your team is equally excited about and responsible toward the team’s goals. So you assign people different tasks to do, expecting the best possible outcome.

Then a deadline arrives, and the assigned team member doesn’t produce what you expected – or worse, doesn’t produce anything at all, missing the deadline completely. You naturally blame the team member for being lazy, incompetent, or worse.

Stop. Often, it’s not the employee’s fault for missing the deadline. It could be yours.

Typically, the problem lies in how you assigned the project or task. Did you describe the desired outcome? Did you lay out the steps needed to get there? Did you assign a deadline?

Help is here in the form of a delegation checklist. Let’s start with a few tips now, and then check in on a few more next week!

This is something you can use to assign tasks to your team members and hold them accountable to quality standards and deadlines:

  • Communicate the purpose of the project/task

Describe to your team member the overall purpose or objective of the project. For example, if you’d like Susie to purchase a new copier for the office, you’d say, “Susie, the purpose of this project is to replace the old copier and ensure that the team can make clean, readable, and inexpensive copies on a reliable machine.”

  • State the mission and core values the task supports

Explain how this task supports your goals & objectives and upholds the core values of the organization. It might sound like this, “This will 1) help save time and money, supporting our core value of company growth, and 2) reduce stress on our workers, supporting our core value of taking care of our employees.”

  • Explain the results you expect

Clearly describe the results you expect. What are your criteria for successful completion of this project? How will you measure the results and what metrics do you expect to achieve? In our copier purchase example, you might say, “Susie, I need better-looking copies, a reliable and easy-to-use machine, and the cost over 5 years should be less than what we pay now.”

In this step, be sure to use follow-up questions to ensure understanding. You might ask, “Susie, how would you state the problem we’re trying to solve and the success criteria for this project?”

So, try these out and let us know what works for you!

Planning for More Change

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So, how is your planning for change going?

Last week we got a couple of tips from Coach Melissa Creede. This week she is back with some additional things to plan for!

Take it away, Melissa.

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Let’s look again at what Sarah and other could have done differently to ensure a successful change endeavour.

3. Make it tangible and relevant to each person’s reality

Resistance often comes from employees feeling as though a change is being thrust upon them with no clear idea of the purpose of the initiative. They also might feel stress or anxiety around ‘what does it mean for me?’ ‘How will this affect my day-to-day work?’. Sarah is a great visionary, but she doesn’t always stop and think about the impact to the individual employees. Since she had no vested interest in their current reality, she underestimated theirs.

Ideas to try:

  • Talk to your team (both together and individually).
  • Think about those questions they may have of, “What does this mean for me?”
  • Talk through those questions together, and get their buy-in so that they can see how this will benefit them.
  1. Start, iterate, and adjust

Sarah had a bit of a perfectionist streak. She wanted her ideas to be perfectly formed and her plans, documents, and presentations to impress and influence. She would often send things to her colleagues at the last minute because she was busy perfecting them. They felt frustrated because they didn’t have proper time to review or contribute to the documents, and disrespected and dismissed because ideas came so fully formed, and so late in the process, that it seemed as though she didn’t really want to consider their contributions anyway.

Ideas to try:

  • Bring others along with you and be ok with it being messy.
  • Too often, people leading change go off and work hard on coming up with strategic visions, communication plans, and all the other pieces of the puzzle.
    • Ask yourself, who can I include in each part of the plan (the vision, the communication, etc.)?
  1. Stick with it

Sarah was impatient to see the bold changes she envisioned enacted quickly. She was frustrated that things were taking so long. She often tried to ‘speed things up,’ which usually resulted in the initiative screeching to a halt.

Ideas to try:

  • Appreciate that people adapt to and embrace change at different paces.
    • This can be something as small as a new milestone document and as large as company culture change.
  • Allow for the needed time.
    • Sometimes change can happen quickly, and sometimes people need to all get on the same page first.

I’m happy to say that Sarah and the team are back on track, working well together, and getting pretty excited about what’s possible in their future. Are they exactly where Sarah wanted them to be a year ago? No. But they are much, much further ahead than they were 3 months ago. They’re working well together, staying curious, and definitely moving in the right direction together.

Planning for Change

Planning for Change

Change. It’s – well – part of life!

So, what do you do when you had an expectation that things would go one way, and in reality, they have taken a gnarly turn?

We’ve got Coach Melissa Creede, an amazing business Coach who has been with Coaching Right Now for 2 years, here to share some of her knowledge with us!

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“Picture this – a company hired a dynamic, new leader who had a bold vision for the organization. We’ll call her Sarah. She joined the organization full of possibility and enthusiasm to take them from the effective organization that they already were, to one that she saw as having truly exceptional and influential potential in its industry.

The leadership couldn’t wait to see results.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it all played out. In fact, the first six months were nothing short of a disaster.

9 months into the process, Sarah and her most senior counterpart were both on the verge of leaving the company, and the best staff were frustrated and actively looking for other jobs. They were further behind than when they started.

And sadly, this is an all-too-common experience.

What went wrong?

What could the they have done differently to ensure a successful change endeavour?

  1. Create a vivid, exciting, and aspirational vision of what’s possible in the future TOGETHER

Sarah’s approach was to identify the problems the Senior Leadership wanted to ‘fix’ and then try to ‘sell’ their plan to the employees. When it didn’t work, they blamed the employees for being resistant to change and for ‘sabotaging’ the process.

Ideas to try:

  • Start asking curious questions without judgment or attachment.
    • If we were at our best, what would we want to be known for?
    • What impact would we be having?
  • Let the bold vision emerge rather than being dictated solely by your personal vision.
  1. Build from strengths

A mistake Sarah made when she first arrived in the organization was to plow head first ‘selling’ the vision she had for the organization. She was quick to point out what they weren’t doing and came across as condescending and critical.

Ideas to try:

  • Change your mindset – there are always strengths in an existing system or workplace.
  • Name those strengths! Appreciate them and how they have created the space and place you are in now.
  • Build from them – take them and bring them to the next level.

Try out these tips this week and come back next week for three other ideas on what they could have done differently and some practical ideas to try!

Setting Business Objectives

Setting Business Objectives

Last week we looked at how we hit the end of a quarter!

As you’ve jumped into this next quarter you know you’ve got to set some specific business objectives.

You feel you’ve been crystal clear about what your Team’s goals are and how to reach them. What just became VEEEERY evident in your last Team meeting was that, well, they weren’t.

Now what? We have Coach Michael Lim, a seasoned business Coach who has been on the Coaching Right Now Team for over 3 years, to help us out.

Take it away, Michael!

Mike

 

In setting Business Objectives, we are building a picture of a ‘Target’ for the Team to take aim at. The target provides FOCUS and ATTENTION for the Team to successfully achieve their goal(s). The Target may be easy to see for some. However, how do we ensure that the whole Team knows what success is when the Target is hit?

As I was pondering on the question, I remembered an acronym about S.U.C.C.E.S.S. that I once had on my desk.

S: See your goal

U: Understand the obstacles

C: Create a positive mental picture

C: Clear your mind of self-doubt

E: Embrace the challenge

S: Stay on track

S: Show the world you can do it!

For managers, we can use the same idea to help Team members understand what success looks like.  Here are my thoughts:

S:     Spell out the deliverables clearly using S.M.A.R.T. objectives that can be measured and defined so that they see what a successful goal looks like.

U:    Utilize each individual’s capabilities and understand their limitations so that you can mitigate any obstacles that the team member may present.

C:     Construct a roadmap of milestones and communicate periodic successes so that the team can navigate clearly each step of the way.

C:    Continue to coach, encourage, and motivate team members when self- doubts arise as they face difficulties.

E:     Entrust the tasks to your team members to build ownership and accountability so that they can embrace the challenge.

S:    Schedule milestones and celebrate ‘milestone successes’ to keep the    momentum on track.

S:    Stretch your team’s potential by training, coaching, and building their    confidence so that they can do it too!

 Using this simple SUCCESS model, I believe that you are able to lead your Team to see what success looks like in achieving your business goal(s). At the same time, you are helping your Team members experience success for themselves.

 “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” 

Henry Ford