If you are a people manager or someone who works with others, remember these 3 directives. Remember it in this order exactly. When driving performance, accountability doesn’t exist if clarity and alignment were not established.
- Clarify. If someone is giving you an instruction, clarify their ask. Repeat the request as many times it takes for the other party to validate you two are on the same page.
- Align. Once you are clear on the task given to you, share perspectives on each person’s approach. Alignment doesn’t mean automatically agreeing. Alignment means mutually committing to what will happen next.
- Accountability. Take a step back. If someone asked you to “wake me up before you leave” but you heard “I’m going to workout in the street”, how can you be held accountable if you two didn’t clarify the request and align that you both understood the expectations. What happened? The snoozing pal, never got woken up and the pal rushing through their morning routine bolted out the door thinking they needed to leave the door unlocked. In the rushing pal’s mind they knocked out the request successfully. Lose, lose situation. Now you have a sleeping person in the house alone with an unlocked door. Let’s hope they live in a safe neighborhood.
Let’s take it into the workplace. As a manager, use this formula to drive performance. When you think people are dropping the ball, entertain the thought they may think they are doing a great job. Before you jump down their throat, go back to clarify their point of view. From there, align on your expectations. Only after those two items have been successfully accomplished can you drive performance and accountability.