I hear the same refrain from the clients I serve about the teams they lead or are part of all the time.  “We aren’t holding each other accountable.”  “We aren’t talking about the real issues.”  “We need better communication.”    After 20+ years, little has changed. I lead sessions every week that produce similar statements of frustration.  The challenge is universal.

Time to agree that WE is simply a collection of ME’s.  Each individual has an opportunity to contribute and be accountable.  When a person declines to speak up and hold themselves and others accountable, a precedent is formed, a culture is created.  It is a challenge to change the habit.  It can be done!  

Extend an Invitation

Remember to extend the invitations that give people permission to show up at their best.  Be curious, not critical or cynical.  Be Present. Be Generous.  Ask for what you need.  (For a downloadable copy of the invitations, click here.)

Next, let’s review the ABC’s of Self-Management and see if some of the solutions you seek are held within them.  As you peruse the list, notice which ones resonate with you.

The A’s.  

Awareness.  Are you willing to shine the light on the issues you’re facing? Once you become aware and others do too, it’s difficult to deny.

Assumptions. What assumptions are you making about the challenge or situation, the person? Assumptions can be dangerous when left unchallenged or explored.

Attitude.  What’s your attitude about the challenge or situation?  Could it be that it’s fueling discord and resistance? Is your attitude an accelerant or a coolant?

Action.  Take action! Make a commitment to take action. No more evergreen agenda items that never seem to move forward.  No more turning the other cheek to keep the peace, at the expense of the organization, the team, the relationship.

Accountability.  Hold each other accountable.  Hold yourself accountable. Every single time I do this exercise with a group they recognize that as much as they hate it when people show up unprepared or with a bad attitude, they are guilty of doing the same thing in certain situations.  None of us are immune. Seek accountability.  Embrace it.  Leverage it.  Benefit from it!

The B’s

Beliefs. Like attitudes, beliefs inform and impact how we show up and how we respond/react to particular situations, people.  What are the beliefs you have relative to your issue or team?

Behaviors. What are the specific behaviors you are noticing from yourself and others.  Are there patterns? Are these behaviors working towards the common good, a common goal?  Are these behaviors running counter to the best interests of the group, of the relationship?

Bonds. What are the relationships like? People who know, like and trust each other work together more easily, are more willing to hold each other accountable and can handle a little conflict and tension better than those who don’t. Strengthen the bonds of the team and watch the transformation occur!

Boundaries.  Knowing when and how to say NO is a powerful and practical skill.  Having permissions in the group to address when things are getting out of scope is key.  Create agreements that support healthy boundaries.

Boosters. What are the sources of inspiration, motivation and delight for you and the members of your team? It’s a long and sometimes lonely walk to the other side of changing a culture.  How can you create a culture that includes frequent “boosts” for members to refuel, recharge, recommit?

The C’s

Curiosity.  Get curious.  Get curious about yourself, about others, about the organization, about the culture. Getting curious keeps you open and leads to solutions.  Cultivate curiosity by always asking great questions to keep the ideas and solutions flowing.

Choice.  Make a choice to BE part of the change.  Do the work YOU need to do to serve as a model. DECIDE to take the time, energy and effort you need to be your best.

Consistency.  Be consistent.  Consistent action yields results.  Even the smallest steps, over time, add up to great changes!  Look at what is happening consistently now.  Is it working FOR your team, FOR you or AGAINST you?

Communication.  Particularly in times of change, communication needs to be frequent, relevant, timely and appropriate.  Giving careful attention to how, when, with whom and in what context you communicate can be a game changer. Think beyond the email and the standard meeting.  Get curious.  Get creative and communicate with impact!

Collaboration.  “Many hands make light work.” Work together, collaborate. Each of you isn’t an island.  Leverage each other.  Together you can accomplish what one of you cannot.  Find ways to reach across teams, across the organization, across your network to collaborate.

Which of these really got you thinking?  I challenge you to highlight the ones that resonated with you. Make a commitment to improving in each of these areas.  Share this with your team and see if you can come to agreement on which of these are most important for improving the results and the culture in your organization.

What is possible if you are willing to take an honest look at who you are, how you show up and how you invite others to do the same?  

Download a free worksheet to help integrate this article.  Happy to have a conversation with you about how to integrate this into your life and work.  Click here to schedule a call to see what’s possible.

Whitney Bishop

Whitney Bishop

Whitney Bishop is a Change Agent who creates transformative experiences for people who are ready to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. In her work with teams and private clients, she offers guidance, encouragement, accountability and support. Are you ready to discover the power of possibility and make breakthroughs that will change your life? Visit whitneybishop.com to begin your journey.
Whitney Bishop

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