Accountability: Speak the Truth With Kindness

accountability, accountableOne common struggle I see among business owners is the ability to hold others accountable. It's not that we don't want things to be done right, we just don't want to have to confront. It feels uncomfortable and sometimes even risky. However, it is critical that we do this. Most people want to improve. They want to do a good job and please the boss. We must let them know what makes us proud and what is not acceptable. Unfortunately many owners observe things that do not meet their expectations or reflect their values. Instead of addressing it immediately (which is what we should do) we have a tendency to let it go and just hope for the best. Always remember this:  Hope is not a strategy! They longer we wait the more tension we feel. If we allow this tension to increase over time we will likely confront in the most ineffective way. Learn to talk about issues BEFORE they become tensions. By doing this we will be much more likely to speak with gentleness and kindness. But never let your kindness undermine the truth. The goal must be to speak the truth with kindness. Be firm, be direct, be exact. But also be respectful and kind. This takes practice but over time almost everyone can become more comfortable and effective at holding their team members accountable. Providing accountability is absolutely essential to building a strong, profitable business. It's a discipline that must be practiced and mastered. But the key is to administer the accountability early in the process. Don't wait. Don't let tension or frustration build. If you notice that you are becoming frustrated, step back. Breath. Relax. Try to use few words but speak the truth! Great leaders both inspire and hold others accountable. Make sure you are growing as a leader by growing in your ability to effectively hold others accountable! Coach your people through accountability.

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