It’s true! Every time we catch ourselves complaining that somebody didn’t live to their commitments, we might automatically hold up the mirror and take a hard look at ourselves. The role of a leader and a coach, is to model strong leadership and support others to do their best work and yet, despite good intentions we often fail to deliver.
A True Story
In a recent coaching conversation, Sam (an alias) was complaining that his team were not holding themselves accountable for their commitments. They missed deadlines, dropped balls, failed to communicate to the rest of the team and on and on…and it was making him crazy. I’m sure you’ve heard that story…or maybe you have even told that story.
As we took a closer look, I invited conversation about his role and how he assigned work and supported his team. It was painful to watch his expression change as he became aware of his ‘accountability’ in this situation. He talked about not always having the time to communicate clearly, failing to set specific timelines, or to do the necessary follow-up. He was not holding himself accountable to ensuring the success of his team, and he’s absolutely not alone. I suspect each and every one of us are challenged in the same way at different times.
The First Step: Setting Grrate Expectations
As a coach and a leader, the first step, setting expectations is critical for a successful working relationship. In his book, Heart of Coaching, Thomas Crane sets out a simple but effective model for setting expectations to support success.
Goals. Are the goals strategic, compelling, specific, measurable, doable but challenging and supported by action steps.
Roles. Who is going to be involved and what will they each do? Are they each clear about their role?
Resources. What resources do they need and what is available for the work at hand?
Accountability. Who owns what? Who reports to who?
Timeframe. What is the timeline and co-ordinated plan with clear outcomes?
Empowerment. Have you created an environment for individuals to step up and be successful?
A simple model for a sometimes complex and emotional discussion around accountability. In my next blog I will discuss the importance of follow-up but the question I want to leave you with today is: Are you holding yourself accountable to setting Grrate Expectations?
Source: Linda Maul