As a business leader, you’ve probably said it on more than one occasion: “We need to hold people accountable.”
And it’s true, of course. It’s essential to your business success that every employee steps up to their job duties and responsibilities. But, it’s all for naught unless you hold yourself accountable first. Accountability is at the intersection of your own power and responsibility – and creating a culture of accountability starts with you.
Be an active listener.
Listening is one of the most powerful skills a leader can master. It can be hard, especially in today’s age of constant stimuli and interruptions. But the good news is: with diligence and practiced, it can be learned.
- The key to effective listening is knowing when it’s your turn to speak. Avoid jumping into a conversation until the other person sends a signal that they need your input. Tune into their mood and energy level. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn simply by keeping quiet and allowing someone else to talk. Be so alert to their words that when they are finished, you can summarize what they said in a few short sentences. Just to be sure, ask them “Did I get that right?” They’ll feel valued that you actively listened to them, and you’ll make better, more collaborative decisions as a result. You’ll be holding each other mutually accountable.
Continually seek feedback.
Feedback lets people – including you – know how they’re doing. Constantly seek input from your team members, including asking them to evaluate your performance.
- There’s always room for improvement. And who better to point out your areas for growth opportunity than your employees? After all, they have daily first-hand experience of your strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, when you ask for their opinion, you’re showing that you trust them And when you give trust, you’re much more likely to get it in return.
Never compromise your integrity.
While accountability is being answerable for your actions, integrity means making a commitment to honesty and doing the right thing, regardless of the circumstances.
- To hold yourself accountable as a leader, establish a set of sound ethics policies, integrate them into all business processes, and communicate them regularly to each and every employee. Then, live by them.
Lead by example.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”
Take these words from Albert Einstein to heart. People do what they see – and your team will respond to what you demonstrate and take cues from your behavior.
- If you’re coaching your staff through an issue but you yourself aren’t working on your own feedback and accountability, it can be very difficult for people to take you seriously. Show them that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you all
Leadership development comes in many shapes and forms. To hone the strategy that works best for the long-term success of your organization and its senior team, consider partnering with TRC Professional Solutions. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.