I used to work in HR and I’m working towards becoming a prospective therapist. In the workplace, accountability pertains to responsibility. We cannot abstain from responsibility when we are tasked with doing something. Otherwise, we come across as unreliable.
No one wants to be seen as unreliable, especially during those critical working moments. If we say that we will do something, then we have to follow through on our plans. If that means taking the bigger picture and then repurposing that bigger picture into smaller and most digestible pieces, then that’s what we have to do.
When you’re on a team, you have to realize that there’s a proverbial conveyor belt or pulley in place. If you don’t do your part, then the others who rely on your work aren’t going to be able to complete their duties either. Thus, a chain reaction is formed where all the blame will get placed on you.
To avoid such situations, we just have to be proactive in our efforts to get the job done. Yes, our work is hard, and yes, it’s daunting to think about things ahead of time, but accountability means that you have to respect everyone’s time and effort. If we cannot respect the time needed to help others in need, then how are we expected to allow others to treat us in the same manner?
When you are accountable, you have to take ownership of the fact that you have something to work on. When you have no accountability:
- It lowers team morale
- Boundaries get loosened
- People get confused
- Mistrust is fostered
- Turnover is high
Thus, to encourage accountability, you have to lead by example. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, and yes, it’s easy to forget certain things, but you have start somewhere. If you’re confident, the others will follow you easily and emulate what you do.
Plus, there’s feedback to take into account. We learn best when there’s some sense of direction. Some feedback can hit a little close to home, but other kinds of feedback might be the very thing we need to increase our self-perception.
Finally, we can also keep track of the promises we made and the tasks we will perform. Maybe this requires tracking everything down through succinct entry logs or setting up reminders on your phone. Either way, you’re providing yourself actionable items to actually digest and chew on.
If we make accountability a habit, then it’s a lot easier to keep ourselves in check. It will boost both our personal morale and the team’s morale and will provide you with the sense of autonomy needed to survive.
As Rob Liano once wrote,
“Each day you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not or whether it’s positive or negative, you are influencing those around you.”
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