The word accountability elicits a threat response from most employees, who interpret the word ‘accountability’ to be synonymous with punishment. Let’s face it, any time there’s a disaster, mistake, or misfortune on the news, the first thing out of the mouth of the officials is, “Who is to be held accountable?” The tone is always one of shame and blame and fingers always start to point before facts are given. Employees at any level of the hierarchy will avoid the pain of blame and punishment if the culture is one which people fear accountability instead of seek accountability to get the intended results.
You can’t blame them, really, for having this kind of visceral recoil from the word, if that’s all it means to them.
But, I believe that that it’s possible to take the fear out of accountability so that your people actually crave accountability rather than cringe when they hear the word.
Here are three ways to go about doing that:
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About the Author
Marlene Chism is a consultant, international speaker, and the author of two books: No-Drama Leadership: How Enlightened Leaders Transform Culture in the Workplace (Bibliomotion 2015) and Stop Workplace Drama (Wiley 2011). Marlene’s passion is developing wise leaders and helping people discover, develop, and deliver their gifts to the world.
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