January 26, 2021

138: Managing Four Types of Accountability

For far too long accountability was measured by time in the office or goals met. As we’ve shifted to virtual work, “face-time” in the office has all but disappeared as a proxy for accountability. Focusing on goals is critical, but only part of the picture. As managers, we must consider the fuller scope of a person’s performance. Holding people accountable and supporting them to be successful is an essential responsibility for any manager.

In this episode, I talk through the four types of accountability and how to best enter those accountability conversations.

The full episode guide includes an overview of the four types of accountability and a suggested process for having accountability conversations. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at www.themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: Managing More Than Performance: The Four Types of Accountability

Key Takeaways:

  • There are 4 types of accountability: Results, Responsibilities, Behavior, Growth
  • Results: Did you accomplish the goal (output or impact) you intended to?
  • Responsibilities: Are you managing the tasks or activities within your job?
  • Behavior: Are you acting professionally and in alignment with our team/company values?
  • Growth: Are you developing in ways that will allow you to be successful in this job and advance your career?
  • Accountability is not about punishment or blame. It’s about ownership and doing even better in the future.
  • Start by clarifying expectations. Collaboratively establish what the person is being held accountable for/to.
  • Have both real-time check-ins and regularly scheduled check-ins or one-on-ones to reflect on accountability.
  • Celebrate and offer praise when accountabilities are met. Investigate when the person falls short.
  • Entering the accountability conversation from a place of curiosity takes off the pressure, lowers defenses, and enables you to work together to discover the root cause and find a solution.

Additional Resources:


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