Driving Results Through Accountability Partners

Today we want to talk to you about Driving Results through Accountability Partners.

We all know the concept of an accountability partner, it’s somebody who we share our commitments with and we hope that they hold us accountable and responsible for executing what we said we would do.

I want to talk to you about some of the pitfalls of choosing the wrong accountability partners and give you couple of best practices for knowing who you should pick.

First of all, you should not pick your boss, and you should not pick your employees. If you have people who work for you or if you are working for someone, they may have your best intention at heart (or they may not), but you do not want them to be your accountability partner. You want your accountability partner to be someone at the peer level or someone outside of the organization.

Why? When people are writing your performance review, or you are writing someone else’s review, much as you would like to think you are able to, you are very unlikely to be able to completely ignore all the things they are trying to accomplish that they have told you about, that they are not succeeding at.

As an example, you might be writing a performance review for someone who is doing a pretty good job at work; they have also told you they are trying to lose weight and quit smoking, and because they failed at that, your perception of them is just a little lower than it might have been. And you are, if you are like most human beings, going to on some level, let that impact their review. That’s not really fair because at work they are being rated on their business performance, not on how they are doing at home.

We also don’t want you to pick a person who you are in competition with. So let’s talk about peers. If I have a peer that I competing with, either for resources, or I competing with for a promotion that is available in the company, that’s not a good accountability partner.

My accountability partner has to be someone who has my best interests at heart, number one, and also who has the courage to tell me when they think I am messing up or to challenge me when they think I am falling behind on something.

That puts the burden on me. I need to make it emotionally safe for people to challenge me when I am not keeping the commitments that I told them are important to me, (that’s what a coach does). So whether your accountability partner is a coach who you hire externally, or it’s someone who you work with as a peer, or it’s someone outside of the organization:

  1. We recommend that you get one.
  1. We recommend that you proactively publish your commitments and goals to that person.
  1. And that you make them feel emotionally safe when they hold you accountable to what you said is important to you.

These are just a few of the ways you can drive accountability and results through accountability partners. We look forward to sharing ideas with you in the months to come.

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its eighth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


Winning With AccountabilityWant to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here. http://www.dynamicresults.com/book/

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Reversing the Polarity of Communications

We believe that you drive results through accountability by investing in the right people, at the right times.

Who are the 5 to 7 most important people in your life?

Who are the people who have the most impact on you?

Who are the 5 to 7 people that you rely on most?

We have been presenting research to our clients globally that proves we are busier now than we ever have been in history. You are probably feeling that now. When we feel this way, we are often looking for ways to be more efficient and do things faster in an effort to “get it all done”.

At Dynamic Results, we think you cannot get it all done and that you have to learn to prioritize differently, choosing those things that are truly most important.

We think you have to focus on relationships. We find that they can be the first things to get put on the back-burner when we are very busy. And, it is something we cannot afford to do, particularly with the people who are most important to us.

Everyone wants more accountability in their workplace, and not everyone invests in the right relationships in order to make accountability real.

Here is what we mean.

With our relationships, we try to communicate primarily through email. We know it is a very fast way to communicate, but, is it the BEST way to communicate? We think it might not be.

When we get busy, we chose email or text as the fastest way to communicate, and if we have to we pick up the phone. If we REALLY have to we might video conference to speak with someone so we can get some sense of inflection and body language, and as a last resort we will actually carve out time to see them in person.

We think you should reverse the polarity of these communications.

Go and see the people who are most important to you first.

Then communicate with them by video conference so you can still see each other face to face.

If you can’t do that, pick up the phone and speak to them.

And, as a last resort, contact them via email or text.

We think you cannot easily build relationships with email and text, but you can easily damage them. We think that when you communicate via email and text that your message is received by the person receiving it through the filter of how they are feeling when they receive it and NOT by how you were feeling when you sent it. So, you take a big risk by doing that.

In our book, “Winning With Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”, we offer frameworks for building accountability in the workplace.

Take a few moments and write down the names of the 5 to 7 people who are most important to you and begin to reverse the polarity of your communications with those people.

  • See them in person
  • Video Conference
  • Phone
  • Email/Text

If you want to learn more about our methods, read our book “Winning with Accountability“, and always visit our website and Facebook page for additional videosand ideas. You can use our videos as easy reminders of our best practices or to kick off a meeting with your team.

In celebration of our tenth year and with the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its sixth printing) we are offering you some of our best insights and practices to create an Accountability Culture in your workplace.


As always, we appreciate your attention and look forward to our next interaction with you.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

You’re No Steve Jobs, Be the Director of Emotional Safety

Be the Director of Emotional Safety.

Hi, I’m Henry Evans, Managing Partner of Dynamic Results and as you know, I’m author of the
bestselling book, “Winning with Accountability the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”.

When we’re out working in our client organizations, sometimes we say something, when I do it, it’s
usually by accident, and we get clients to say, “Wow, you should say that to all of your clients”.

So this month I am going to talk to you about one of those moments. We were explaining to a group
of engineers in a very technical organization that we think that whatever their current business title is, the title of their position, they should start to re-frame it and think about it differently. And we said that everyone’s got the same title once they are in a leadership role. It’s Director of Emotional Safety.

And, here’s what we mean: We mean that the higher you go on the organizational chart, the more
responsibility and authority you have, but, perhaps the less accountability you have. There are fewer
and fewer people who are willing to tell you when you are screwing up or when you haven’t kept your
promises. And so, you might be operating at this point of really high leverage where you are making big
decisions but you are not making them with real time information because people are afraid to come
talk to you; maybe because you’ve chopped the head off the messenger a couple of times.

We think people need to feel safe when they are bringing you bad news or you are going to be making
big decisions, again, with little or no real time information. We suggest that you encourage people to
point out problems in the organization if they exist even if they are with you. My team does it all the
time; they point out my imperfections in most of our Monday morning huddles. So, your job is to make
it safe for them to keep doing that. You want to encourage them and thank them. And we this tough
love.

Organizations who want to thrive are comfortable having these uncomfortable discussions when they
are necessary. Now you might be thinking along the lines of this client organization I was working
with during a Strategic Planning Session a few weeks ago. One of their people who might be a genius said, “What about Steve Jobs? Steve Jobs used to berate and belittle people if he didn’t like their ideas.” And I said, “You’re right, Steve Jobs was an exception to the rule I’m offering and he achieved amazing, earth shattering, industry changing results while treating people very harshly.” Then I said, “you know, I might not be an expert like all of you are, but, I don’t think any of us in this room are Steve Jobs. I think he’s very much the exception.” So, while he could achieve those results being the way that he was in meetings, we don’t think most leaders are exceptional enough that they are going to turn the world over with their ideas and have people follow them even if they are beating them up in meetings.

In short, we think it is your job as a leader to create emotional safety for others so that you remain
aware of what is really happening. This allows you to make informed decisions with real time
information.

For more on how to make Emotional Intelligence tangible in the workplace contact us.

Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

And of course, as always, we look forward to seeing you again next month.

Handling Colleague Related Stress -Part I

Back by popular demand, part one of a two part series by Michael McElhenie, PhD: Handling Colleague Related Stress.

Handling Colleague Related Stress -Part I

by Michael McElhenie PhD, Senior Associate Dynamic Results

Handling Colleague Related StressIn every workplace and culture, we see that difficult social situations are major causes of workplace stress. Though it may seem that this stress comes from certain difficult people, we observe that everyone involved can have certain relationship patterns that contribute to this stress. Every one of us has some potential for very effective as well as some extremely counter-productive behavior patterns.

Based on the work of Stephen Karpman, the left triangle in the following diagram illustrates three types of “difficult people” and the kind of drama they exhibit in relating to their life challenges. 

We believe that to successfully deal with such behaviors, the solution must start with someone taking personal responsibility for finding a way to restore focus, and we’re suggesting that this person is you.

In learning to recognize these dramas, you are on your way to becoming part of the solution. We firmly believe that the only behavior anyone can change is their own. So, as opposed to trying to change the other person’s attitude, why not shift your pattern and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome? In changing your role, you open up to more effective ways of relating to others.

Putting your relationships on a new footing may require some changes in your own behavior. Should this be the case and you need a starting point, here are two suggestions:

Always observe impartially what’s happening, both internally and externally. This creates distance. Distance increases awareness, and increased awareness gives you leverage. Manifest this leverage by participating in a simple, direct and non-confrontational way.

Stay objective and keep your focus on the issues; stay far away from the charted behaviors and always model the behavior you want to see in others.

In our next issue, we will outline more of the functional aspects of working through these dramas.

Michael McElhenie PhD
Senior Associate

Michael is a Senior Associate with Dynamic Results and is also the co-creator with Henry Evans, Managing Partner with Dynamic Results of the Retention Edge our 21st century executive assessment tool that uses behavioral interviews and our statistically validated assessments of work-related personality traits and key leadership competencies to help you recruit and retain top talent.

________________________________________________________

Remove the drama triangle from your organization. Learn how by reading our book.

Winning with AccountabilityWant to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

What Is Coaching?

By Henry Evans

Published in CEO-IQ, Volume 4

Coaching is the art of helping people identify and achieve their goals. Generally a coaching relationship exists between two people, the coach and the client. Working under the guidance of the coach they team up as thinking partners to identify the client’s personal and professional goals. Most coaching models will then focus on identifying behaviors to help the client achieve these goals while eliminating those behaviors that create obstacles or barriers to success.

Though a client’s subordinates and peers may be well–intentioned, many of them have agendas of their own when addressing the client’s issues, challenges, and concerns (e.g. staying in the boss’s good graces). A professional coach provides the client with objective feedback, drawing from education, and personal experience along with the experience gained from coaching other clients.

Coaching is not consulting. A good coach always asks pointed questions, and only rarely gives advice. This method creates true learning and growth for the client as new solutions and options come from insights that are uniquely their own. There are other distinct and equally important differences in coaching versus consulting.

  • Consultants are often paid to deliver one thing, advice. A good coach is with you, as a thinking partner over the long haul.
  • Consultants are usually told what the problem is and hired to fix it. A coach is often told there is a problem and hired to help the executive identify the problem then serve as a guide to successful execution the steps to eliminate the problem.
  • Consultants are generally not invested in your outcome. A coach’s outcome is synonymous with yours.
  • Consultants are prescriptive. In contrast, coaches are discovering solutions alongside you.
  • Consultants generally give you advice that works for others. Coaches generally help you discover solutions appropriate for you.
  • Consultants are paid to shape the company. Coaches are paid to improve personal performance, making company success a natural by-product.

When properly coached, a client sees clear objectives, and is held accountable by the coach to initiate and sustain the actions necessary to succeed. Look for my follow–up article entitled “Are You Coachable?”

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

The Language of Accountability: How Accountable Organizations Use Our Method for Increased Business Results (Part One of Three)

Nine-tenths of life’s serious controversies come from misunderstanding.
-Louis Brandeis

wwa-book-badgeTraditionally, language is perceived to be the structure of how messages are sent and received. However, language actually achieves more by stimulating opinions and creating emotional responses.

For example, there’s a new restaurant in town … and the people you work with are raving about the food. Even before you set foot in that restaurant or have lifted that first forkful of food, you now have an opinion. You have positive emotions about that restaurant, simply because you’ve heard language like “great food,” “ambiance” and “the best I’ve ever had.”

We use language all of the time, either as a transmitter of our thoughts and information or as a receiver of others’ thoughts and information. Since you use language anyway, why not use it in an intentional way to get or achieve what you want?

In creating a high-accountability culture, the appropriate language will elevate performance and improve your communication efficiency. Your dialogue will be fast, powerful and complete.

The Four Stages of Language Development

Accountability language is real. It is visible and palpable, and there is a process to learning and using it to help you achieve positive results.

Learning the Language of Accountability is similar to how human beings learn their native language. Toddlers, for example, hear their parents using language. At some point in their development, toddlers may even mimic the sounds their parents are using, even though they don’t know the words or understand the meaning.

Eventually, these little ones begin to connect meanings to words, learn to string them together into sentences and then begin using language to convey their needs or get what they want. That’s one way we learned our native language.

Now, suppose your native language is English and you’re sitting in an airport. The couple next to you is speaking Portuguese, a language you’ve never heard before.

Several weeks later, you’re watching a Portuguese movie with English subtitles and you immediately recognize this as the language the couple had been speaking at the airport. Because you’re a lifelong learner and you are interested in foreign languages, you decide to sign up for a Portuguese course at the local college. By the end of the semester, you have a basic understanding of close to 100 vocabulary words. As you continue to read, study and listen to Portuguese, before long, not only can you understand spoken Portuguese, but you are also beginning to speak it yourself.

The learning process of developing organizational accountability language is very similar to learning a new language. The same four phases of language learning – hearing, recognizing, understanding and speaking – apply.

To learn more, read the full book.

The Four Steps of Learning a New Language

1. Hearing
2. Recognizing
3. Understanding
4. Speaking – this is when organizational change begins

In this chapter, you will discover that as you apply the Language of Accountability, you will model it for your team and others you work with. Eventually, it will be a natural process. Your accountability culture begins … not with the organization changing as a whole but, instead, with the language that you as an individual choose to use. It is through individual change that organizational change occurs and the change begins with you!

Accountability Gaps and How They Grow

You will also discover that high-accountability cultures are something you can see.

To illustrate this, let’s take a professional basketball player, a star of the NBA who, at one time in his career, declared, “I’m not a role model. Parents should be role models.”

We’re not using his name here because that was a goofy thing for any star athlete to say. Because, despite what he thought, there were thousands of children admiring that NBA star, wearing his jersey number, and shooting baskets until dark to become just like him. In the context of accountability, even though he was a top scorer and exciting to watch on the court, you could see that athlete wasn’t a star in the Culture of Accountability.

Now, let’s turn the dial to 1993 and the confrontation at the Mt. Carmel Complex of the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh in Waco, Texas.

On April 19, 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno gave the FBI permission to flush the Davidians out of their residence, using tanks to smash holes in the walls of the building and then spraying tear gas into the residence. Agents then fired more than 350 “ferret” grenades into the building, but none of the Davidians obeyed the FBI’s command to exit the residence. A fire then broke out and 76 Davidians, including 27 children, perished.

As word of the confrontation and resulting deaths made the evening news, Janet Reno stepped up to the microphone at a White House press conference. “I made the decision,” she said. “I’m accountable. The buck stops with me.” Her words were notable – and noticeable – because you rarely hear politicians speak this way. At that time, she was the first female U.S. attorney general and fairly new to her job. Yet, in the face of a tragic and controversial situation, she stepped forward and was accountable. You could see that Janet Reno was exhibiting an accountability culture that was the model for her entire organization.

So, what does a high-accountability culture look like? Accountability cultures do not happen overnight. The culture evolves from one person or event to the next.

One common denominator is that in accountability cultures, everyone holds each other accountable for their commitments in a positive and productive manner.

Earlier, we asked if you had ever had a relationship or a project fail. If you answered, “Yes,” chances are high that failure occurred because specificity was missing at the front end and expectations weren’t clear. That relationship or that project failed because there were “accountability gaps.”

Accountability gaps are like potholes in a road. The gaps are holes that need to be filled quickly with specificity before greater damage is done. Just like potholes in the road need to be filled quickly with paving materials before the holes become so large that they damage the cars on the road, an “accountability gap” exists when specificity is missing.

Let’s take poor Max, who was hired by a large company. His boss told him, “Max, we’re glad to have you on the team, and as long as you do a good job, your employment with us is solid.” Unfortunately, his boss didn’t tell Max, specifically, what a good job looked like (count this as one pothole). When Max headed the team for a major project, the boss said, “Get that final report to me as soon as you can.” Once again, did that mean tomorrow or next week? Max did his best but the report was several days tardy in his boss’s eyes (another pothole).

By the time Max was fired, his tenure was rutted with potholes, lacking specificity and becoming deeper and causing more damage as the weeks and months went by.

Max failed because there was specificity missing in every expectation and assignment. Nothing was clearly stated at the front end … and when there’s no specificity on the front end, Max was set up to fail.

But, let’s not throw Max’s boss under the bus just yet. Max made a big mistake, as well. He “assumed” he knew what the boss meant when he was told to “do a good job” and to get the report completed “as soon as you can.” Assumptions dig deep potholes and are great contributors to accountability gaps leading to a failed project or relationship … and these lead to bad feelings, which become a vicious cycle of dysfunction. Accountability is a two-way street. If you complete a task that was not specific and someone is disappointed in your work, you are the one who is considered unreliable. You’re past the point of no return. It’s too late for expectations. It’s a “gotcha” of the worst kind in every sense.

It is the role of both the sender and the receiver of the information to make sure all the potholes are filled before the task begins.

Henry Evans, Managing Partner of Dynamic Results and author of the best-selling book, “Winning with Accountability: the Secret of Language of High Performing Organizations” currently printing its fifth edition and being distributed internationally. We’ve seen a big response over the years to our method and the delivery of it


Thank you for reading the first (of three) installments of chapter three. Next month, we’ll continue with more free content from our best selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations“. In that article, we will expose the “glossary of failure”™, or put simply: the language which leads to relationship and project failure.

Want to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment or buy the book here.

For more information about Winning With Accountability, the book that introduces the simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way, click here.

With the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its fifth edition) we are giving you the third chapter in three installments. In this, the first installment, we are sharing the “Language of Accountability”.

The preceding text is copyrighted material from the best selling book; Winning with Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

The Language of Accountability: “Glossary of Failure” ™ or put simply, The language which leads to relationship and project failure. (Part Two of Three)

The Glossary of Failure

wwa-book-badgeLanguage used to forecast relationship or project failure is called the “Glossary of Failure.” It’s ambiguous, lack’s specificity and will assuredly lead to disappointment, failure and bad feelings. Ambiguity and generalizations lead to disappointment.

Here’s a good example. If you ask three people what “ASAP” means to them, you’ll probably get three different answers as to the specific timeframe in which “ASAP” is carried out.

Now, let’s say I’m promising an external customer a new copier and I’m relying on you to complete the service contract. You tell me you’ll get it to the customer ASAP – an ambiguous answer. How can I make a real delivery commitment to that customer?

Or, what about the ambiguous “I’ll get right on it”? Do you mean you’ll do the task immediately … or as soon as you finish reading your e-mails … or after you’ve had lunch? When is “right on it”?

Don’t confuse the Glossary of Failure with lack of intention. Sometimes, “I’ll get right on it,” means that they have great intention and, in fact, really intend to complete the project. You don’t want to dampen their enthusiasm but you do wish to clarify the commitment.

Intentions can’t be measured. The employee who promised to “get right on it” may have had no intention of getting to your project this afternoon, the next day or even this week. That’s not lack of accountability. That’s grounds for termination due to lack of interest.

Suppose someone says they are going to have a report “by the end of the day.” So, what’s “the end of the day” for you? Is it 5 p.m.? Is it your bedtime? Or, does the end of the day come when the clock strikes midnight? Who knows and how can the person be held accountable for an ambiguous answer?

If you’re working with branch offices around the country or around the globe, the “end of the day” occurs at many different times. Let’s say you’re working on the East Coast and someone on the West Coast promises a completed task by the end of the day. Is that Eastern Standard Time or Pacific Time? Is it at 5 p.m. on your coast or 5 p.m. on their coast?

Even things that seem obvious can be a part of the Glossary of Failure. What about a promise to complete a project by the end of the year? If your corporation works on a fiscal year, that could be August or September or October. If it works on a calendar year, it’s December – but is it the first of December or the last day of December?

As you are probably observing, these types of ambiguities are all part of the Glossary of Failure … and every one of these vague phrases increases the chances of relationship or project failure.

Here are some of the biggest offenders from the Glossary of Failure:

  • Soon
  • ASAP
  • Right away
  • I’ll get right on it
  • The end of the day/week/month/year
  • Later
  • Try
  • Should
  • Best
  • Might
  • By the “next time” we meet
  • We

So what can you do to neutralize this ambiguity? Begin using the language of specificity.

High-Accountability Language

The opposite of the Glossary of Failure is the Language of Specificity.

Instead of saying, “I’ll have this report on your desk ASAP,” you say, “I’ll have that report on your desk by 1 p.m. this afternoon.”

Rather than saying, “We’ll have the project completed by the end of the day,” tell your counterpart, “I’ll have it wrapped up by Tuesday, June 13th at 10 a.m., your time.”

Like the three most important rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” the three most important rules in creating an accountability culture are “specificity, specificity, specificity.”

Practice making commitments, using the Language of Accountability by saying, “I will do it on ‘X’ date at ‘X’ time.”

The Language of Specificity includes:

  • What date and time should I follow up with you to make sure the loop is closed?
  • Who owns it?
  • I own it!
  • Will (e.g., “I will’ in lieu of “try,” “should,” or “might.”)
  • Here’s what it will look like when it is completed.
  • Using the Language of Specificity will increase accountability and strengthen the accountability culture within your organization.

As you practice avoiding the Glossary of Failure and increase your mastery of the Language of Specificity, you’ll see your performance increase. High-performing leaders are skilled at listening for ambiguity in language and replacing it with specificity.

Remember the four steps of acquiring new language – hearing, recognizing, understanding and speaking? You will experience this same sequence as you become highly skilled at listening for specificity.

You’ll also move through these same four phases as you begin using the Language of Specificity when asking for – and making – commitments and building a Culture of Accountability within your organization.

Thank you for reading the first two (of three) installments of chapter three. Next release, we’ll continue with more free content from our best selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”. In that article, we will expose the “glossary of failure”™, or put simply: the language which leads to relationship and project failure.

Want to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment or buy the book here.

For more information about Winning With Accountability, the book that introduces the simple method to help any individual build Accountability in to their culture in an emotionally intelligent way, click here.

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected]

Henry Evans, Managing Partner of Dynamic Results and author of the best selling book, “Winning with Accountability: the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations.” If you tuned into us last month, we gave you the first part of Chapter three of this book, we introduced the idea of accountability gaps. In the second part of Chapter three, which we’re giving you this month, we’re going to talk to the specific kind of language that is a good predictor of future relationship and project failure, as well as what the language of specificity sounds like. Finally next month, we’re going to give you some of the best practices that our highest performing clients deploy in order to stay ahead of their competition. Hope you enjoyed this month’s article and look forward to seeing you again next month.

With the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its fifth edition) we are giving you the third chapter in three installments. In this, the second installment, we are sharing the “Glossary of Failure”.

Please enjoy chapter three with our compliments.

The following text is copyrighted material from the best selling book;
“Winning with Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”

Your Role in Creating an Accountable Culture for Your Organization: How You Can Apply Our Accountability Method for Increased Business Results (Part Three of Three)

wwa-book-badgeState It Once

A Culture of Accountability also helps eliminate redundancy. Focusing solely on a problem and not on the solution wastes resources on redundancy. Everyone knows what the problem is … your energy and resources need to be focused on solving the problem. It may be productive to voice the problem once, but then it is time to move the momentum toward a solution to improve our position. Redundancy is not in many job descriptions.

A good example of the momentum of leadership would be a conversation like this:

Manager: “I’ve noticed Phil isn’t coming through with his assignments on time … and it’s getting to be a real problem for me.”

You: “I’ve also noticed that, too. What’s causing it? Where have we failed to set specific timelines and expectations?” In pointing out that the failure may be on leadership’s shoulders, you’re looking into the mirror to find solutions.

State the problem once, eliminate redundancy, and move toward the solution.

Reversing Momentum

Language momentum can be reversed … from any person in the organization.

Here’s an example:

In 1975, a movie about a mammoth killer shark was filmed. The title – Jaws. After this shark has eaten a few tourists, a town meeting is called where the mayor, the chief of police, the city council and some influential business owners are all in attendance.

Many see no other option but to close the local beaches to fend off any more attacks and more bad publicity. However, businesses in the community want to leave them open. This is the “high” season for tourists and closing the beaches now will bankrupt most of the community.

The argument goes back and forth between the two factions for several minutes. No ground is gained and neither of the two sides is willing to give an inch or find a compromise. The meeting is at a stalemate. The upper echelon of the town’s organizational chart is stuck in the problem. The arguing is getting louder and louder.

Then, the gut-wrenching sound of nails being dragged down the blackboard interrupts the argument. Suddenly the room is silent and necks are craned to see a simple fisherman sitting at the back of the room near the blackboard. When he has the room’s attention, he quietly offers, “I can kill that fish for $6,000.”

That pronouncement, made by the somewhat obscure and low-profile fisherman (who was probably not on anybody’s org chart), changed the entire momentum of the meeting … and also changed the direction and focus of an entire town. The simple fisherman had taken on the leadership role, and from that point forward, the town’s momentum had shifted to assembling the team that would kill that shark!

That’s the way it can work in any situation. It’s the leader’s job to reverse the momentum of negative interactions – and anyone can be the leader regardless of their position on the organizational chart. You can reverse the momentum by applying your skills and energy toward a new, positive outcome. When a conversation is in the past (with celebrations as an exception) you are probably focused on a “problem” or, perhaps, assigning blame. However, by changing the momentum and focusing the dialogue on the future, you are now working on a “plan.”

In short, you have the power to identify Accountability Gaps during interactions and fill them with Specificity. You have the power to identify when an interaction is “going negative” and reverse the momentum so that everyone involved in the interaction benefits!

Wipe out the Glossary of Failure within your team or your organization … use the Language of Specificity!

In the next four chapters, we will examine the four components of an accountability dialogue. This is where you learn to apply the language principles you just read. By including these

Four Pieces of the Accountability Puzzle in our language, we increase individual and organizational performance!

Summary:

    • A Culture of Accountability is a culture where all team members hold each other accountable for their commitments in a positive and productive manner.
    • “Potholes” occur when specificity of language is missing, particularly in making commitments. These potholes can be filled in with specific and accountable information.
    • The Glossary of Failure contains the language we use that forecasts relationship or project failure. It’s ambiguous, lacks specificity and will assuredly lead to disappointment, failure and bad feelings.
    • The opposite of the Glossary of Failure is the Language of Accountability … the Language of Specificity.
    • It is the leader’s job to reverse the momentum of negative interactions and anyone can be the leader.

With the global success of our best-selling book “Winning With Accountability, The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations” (now in its fifth edition) we are giving you the third chapter in three installments. In this, the third installment, we share best practices for building and sustaining accountability in your culture.

Please enjoy chapter three with our compliments.

The preceding text is copyrighted material from the best selling book;
“Winning with Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”
As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

State It Once: One Way to be the Leader in any Interaction

“State It Once” means you should, in a productive and constructive way, name a problem if a problem exists. This might be a problem with somebody’s behavior, it could also be a problem with a process. But, it’s never good to just leave it alone and not mention it. By Stating It Once, you call attention to the problem, you put it on the table where people can look at it and you acknowledge its existence.

If you are now starting to repeat the problem or having a redundant discussion about a person’s shortcoming, you are starting to ruin their reputation, demean them and you are also not helping us solve the problem. We suggest that the best thing to do is that after a problem has been stated once, which again that’s productive and constructive, it’s time to change the momentum of the discussion from the acknowledgement of the problem to a solution.

It might sound like this: if I were late to meetings and that were bothering you and a colleague – one of you might say,

“You know, Henry’s late to meetings and I find it disrespectful.”

And the other person might say, “You know, you’re right.”

And here is where the leadership moment happens. Instead of saying, “Yeah, you’re right, Henry is always late to meetings and that drives me crazy too.” They say:

“You’re right, Henry’s always late, what do you think might be causing that?”

Or, “You’re right, Henry’s late, is there anything going on in his personal life that could be causing that?”

Or, “You’re right, Henry’s late, what do you think the root cause is and what can we do to help him be on time?”

If you hear what’s happening in that moment, this person’s kind of doing a judo throw. They are changing the momentum of the interaction so that it becomes a solution oriented one. And we think that the leaders in an organization are the people who do that habitually.

Whenever they hear that negative momentum, they immediately convert it to a solution oriented dialogue. We are saying that those leaders can come from ANY area of an organizational chart, your title doesn’t matter. Our next book is going to focus on moments like this and these are the moments when you can create leadership wherever you are on the org chart.

Thank you for spending time with us again this month and we look forward to seeing you again next month.

 The preceding text is copyrighted material from the best selling book;
“Winning with Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”


Want to know more about creating accountable cultures? Take our free assessment and buy the book here. http://www.dynamicresults.com/book.php

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].