Too often as a coach and trainer, I hear folks taking about Accountability like it’s a dirty word.

Instead of the positive possibilities, people picture an endless black hole of negativity and the blame game when the word  Accountability is mentioned.

It’s often confused with being held responsible in a punitive sense.

Other times, teams hold the word up as the “Holy Grail” and sling it into mission statements, without ever exploring what Accountability really is, or what it looks like in action.

First, let’s be clear on the meaning of Accountability, before we explore the actions that go along with it.

I recently achieved my certification as a Team Performance Coach, with Team Coaching International. I’ve fallen in love with the methodology and research behind the Team Diagnostic Assessment (TDA).

The TDA measures a team on two dimensions of team success-Positivity & Productivity. Each dimension is comprised of 7 Team Performance Indicators. Accountability is one of the 7 Productivity Indicators. (I’ll be talking about the others soon).

The definition of Accountability shared in the TDA will be our working definition: “There is clarity of roles and responsibilities with high follow-through. When problems arise the team responds. Team members actively hold each other accountable for team results and team agreements.

This definition is helpful in understanding what behaviors are associated with Accountability and what they look like in action.

Accountability Behaviors in Action

Accepting and appreciating ongoing feedback from peers, stakeholders and customers

Communicating openly and not hoarding information

Complementing and Complimenting the work of others to build on successes and appreciate contributors

Owning and sharing the responsibilities of the team’s collective outcome

Understanding each person has a different perspective and recognizing the value of diverse opinions

Negotiating with each other from a win-win desire to collaborate with give and take

Trusting in the team’s ability to successfully achieve its goals

Adapting to change and being willing to try new processes

Believing that that each person is genuine and does not have ulterior motives

Invitation get others to collaborate-recognizing that no one is an island

Leveraging shared resources and individual talents

Individuals putting the team first

Transparency and honesty are shared values

You and/or me becomes we

What do you Think?

What comes to mind when you think about Accountability? Do you see these behaviors in yourself and others on your team? What would your workplace culture be like if this was how you all approach Accountability?

I’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to let me know your thoughts or to learn more about the TDA and how your team may benefit from a different definition of Accountability.

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