Accountability. Yeuch! That dirty word.
This feeling about accountability is shared by many. I myself once thought this way for many reasons which I won’t explain here for the sake of succinctness.
As an introvert, I often shied away from holding people accountable. This attitude was further reinforced by my largely agreeable nature, which is an ingrained part of my personality. I’m more inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, sometimes to a fault. This makes holding people to account a little more effortful for me. It was something that had to be learned through practice, and I’m still learning.
The funny thing is, typically speaking, I’ve had very little trouble holding my pupils to account- even as a fledgling NQT.
I’d regularly issue detentions and other sanctions for poor behaviour, failure to submit work or some other adolescent transgression.
Yes, I know. Accountability isn’t just about dishing out consequences for non-compliance. That’s just one facet of a range of measures.
If you’re anything like me, you might find it useful to have a range of techniques for holding people accountable:
- Set clear expectations. This simple but effective technique is helpful as it allows people to know exactly what you require from them. This is where goals and objectives can play a crucial role in keeping teams focused.
- Incorporate check-ins. This gives people an opportunity to share where they might be having difficulties with a particular task. You can then support or coach them through it, so that they can become successful. It also avoids any nasty surprises just before a deadline or significant event.
- Be transparent. This relates back to my first point. If we are open and clear about what we require, people are more likely to meet expectations. Don’t shy away from honest and truthful communication. Granted, this isn’t license to say what you like with complete disregard for others’ emotions. Don’t be an insensitive moron.
- Consider the consequences of not holding people to account: missed deadlines; lost opportunities for growth; cowardice! Being aware of what the stakes are can make accountability a far more attractive option!
If you’ve got any other techniques for keeping people accountable, hit reply and share with me.