What Accountability means to me is the ability to sleep soundly, knowing I've done everything I could to honour my commitments. And it all started with honouring the commitments I made to myself.
""When I fail to go after what I want, I am never going to have it. When I fail to ask, the answer is always no. When I fail to step forward, I’m always in the same place."
- Author, Nora Roberts
This is not a trick question. I want you to consider it from an emotional perspective. What feelings rise up inside you when you read the word Accountability? Your response may have a wider impact than you imagine. People who shy away from accountability have the potential to feel some of these emotions too;
Not everyone will feel these emotions, but they are do emerge frequently amongst those who doubt their own capability.
Alternatively, people who have a strong positive emotional response to the word Accountability often feel these emotions:
Obviously, it's not always as clear cut as this, there are plenty of nuances to recognise. But, building a positive relationship with the notion of Accountability clearly has plenty of benefits for our mental health as well as our self esteem.
This week's video was genuinely delivered from a strong sense of personal Accountability. Having had my first Covid jab over the weekend, I was feeling a bit lethargic and the thought of raising my energy to deliver the video on time was a real challenge. However, there were three levers I was able to pull on to get me in front of the camera:
Do you like looking in the mirror? If you do, you're going to like this one.
You see, Accountability is an externally driven thing. We are held to account. We are asked to do something and then held to account for what we deliver.
Responsibility on the other hand is internally driven. Usually, if we are responsible, there's no-one else to turn to if it doesn't happen. As a result, organisations usually pay more for roles that involve more responsibility.
What this means for us is that, if we are to build our Accountability Muscle, we need to find a way of involving someone else to hold us to account. Quite often, when people have resolved to get better at this, they want to start small with micro commitments and build it up from there. So here is where the mirror can come in handy.
Here's a quick 5-Step process to change what accountability means for you if you currently take a backwards step and get sweaty palms whenever work is being distributed.
It sounds simple. It may even sound silly if this is the first time you've ever encountered this process. But it works.
Practice this for a series of micro-commitments and feel your confidence grow. Pretty soon you'll wonder why you're asking your new reflective friend to get involved in the first place.
You'll have a quiet assurance that it's a done deal as soon as you commit to something.
Give it a go and let me know how you get on.
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