Do you know there are five behaviours that predict how effective and productive your team could be?
What if you could tap into these five behaviours for your team?
The five key behaviours that make teams highly effective and productive are Trust, Engaging in Productive Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and focussing on Collective Results.
Here we’re looking at Accountability, and how to make it part of your team culture.
The single most untapped competitive advantage is teamwork!
– Patrick Lencioni
This is the hardest area for teams to make work!
For a team to get the best results, team members must be willing to hold each other accountable – to call one another on behaviour or performance that doesn’t meet the standards the team has agreed on, or that hurts the team.
Accountability is the GLUE that turns Commitment into Results.
In most teams, people rely on the leader to make them accountable – but in the most cohesive teams, everyone is accountable to each other! Peer pressure within a team is the most effective source of accountability and the greatest form of strength.
Being able to go to people directly to hold them accountable is the quickest and best way of getting things done. But it’s scary!
Accountability is different from Conflict – in conflict you are disagreeing about ideas, it’s objective. With Accountability, you are challenging people about their behaviour, and it can feel very personal. It raises a lot of FEAR in people!
The fear of hurting others, offending someone, damaging a close relationship with a co-worker or friend or becoming “not liked” by one’s peers are real, and then there’s always the possibility you might be wrong. There’s also the fear that challenging others may create a ‘war environment’, to see who will be blamed for not achieving goals.
The scariest thing is when you may have to challenge the leader about ideas that have been poorly planned and/or holding them accountable for what they were responsible for.
So how do you make accountability part of your team culture?
Maintaining Trust is so important – trusting each other that you are all there for the right reasons, committed to the team, and working for the same results.
Leadership is Key
A leader can make or break accountability.
The leader needs to be willing to hold the team members accountable, modeling this for the rest of the team. The more willing they are to do it, the less likely they are to have to! The leader also needs to support their team members when they make each other accountable.
Think of feedback as a gift
One way to think about it is feedback done in the right way is like a gift – we do people a favour by letting them know where they can improve, and what’s going on for others through not meeting the standards the group has set.
It’s about honesty and caring for each other – respectfully giving people a gift of feedback. What have they done well? What could they do better? And asking for that feedback from your team members for yourself too.
Think of a time where someone was honest with you – telling you something that you’d done well, then suggesting areas of improvements. How did it feel? If it’s done well, it’s so empowering and motivating.