Blog 196 - Make your team feel safe when you are holding them to account

Make your team feel safe whilst holding them to account

When it comes to discussing the performance of your team and the work they do on a daily basis, how many times do you praise them?

How many times do you congratulate them for the deadlines they hit, for the work they have submitted, for the extra business they have won or for the long hours and dedication they show to your business?

Unfortunately, accountability is usually viewed in a more negative way…

For example:

“Where is that report that I asked for last night? Why is it not on my desk this morning?

We need to talk about your performance”

This conversation is never going to go well, when you focus on the negative, the person you are dealing with will automatically be on the defensive.

Quite rightly, Kerry Patterson and his fellow authors in their book “Crucial Conversations”

suggest that using the right words and making the person feel safe is key to the success of your accountability conversations.

Often people feel threatened or intimidated by an accountability conversation. As a manager, it is your job to make them feel safe, and this starts with you choosing the right words to use.

Try using the ‘contrast principle’ in your accountability conversations you are contrasting what you don’t mean with what you do mean.

For example:

“I don’t want you to think I’m unhappy with how we work together. Overall, I am very satisfied with things. I just want to talk through how we get your reports done on time”

The contrast principle will make the person feel safe, as you are telling them that (indirectly) that their job is not at risk, you are happy with the majority of what they do, and you are focusing on the ONE issue that is causing a problem…

Click here to learn how you can address the performance gap in your business by using the ‘contrast principle’ to make your team feel safe in all your accountability conversations.

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