Ep. 58 Accountability Series- How To Handle Non-Accountability in a Team Member Ep. 58
Accountability has been set, expectations clear...and someone on your team isn't performing like you you would like.
If you’re a leader, CEO, entrepreneur business owner, corporate manager runs the gamut. If you ever found yourself saying, you know, there's just somebody on my team that just doesn't quite get it, you know? And no matter what I do, whatever I try, they just aren't coming around. I do good cop. I do bad cop. I support,
I do tough love and still nothing. Well, I'm here to tell you that there's probably something that you've missed and that is what we're going to talk about next.<inaudible> Hi, I'm Darryl black. And if we haven't met before, I have many, many years over 30 years, in fact of experience, responding to emergencies and disasters, and I help CEOs and entrepreneurs and business owners and corporate managers amplify their leadership.
Connect with the team that they support. And I've learned over all of those years, a lot of really specific details and strategies and techniques and it's those that I bring to the market. And I bring to you. So let's talk about this issue. I've heard this time and time again, and this goes back to our previous episode. So if you haven't gone and reviewed that,
go ahead and pop back because we're talking about accountability. And so many times we struggle with it. And then as leaders holding people accountable, including ourselves is something that is really, really important. It's one of the main jobs of our, of leadership. One of the main tasks, one of the main things that we need to do to review first thing we need to do,
even before we can hold people accountable, you know, in terms of performance management and coaching and all those things, we have to make sure that we have set the stage that we have set those expectations. And if we recall from the previous episode, there were two general ways, one level one, I call it and that is the, the intent based or end state.
And that's where I give them the destination. I give the person the destination, I give them the, the what right. Looks like, and that individual or that team goes about and, and meets that end state the, the roadmap, the how that's not up to me and that's up to them. So if they're really experienced and or you want to develop them now,
that's what you would do is you would use the end state or intent level one. But what about the, the, the folks that are less experienced, or maybe they need a little bit more coaching or guidance if you will? Well, that's when you go to a level two, and that's where you get into more specifics around the details with regard to set expectations.
And I went through the, the expectations framework on a previous episode, but basically it comes down to a two-way dialogue where me as a leader gives the task. So task a to you or the team, you ask questions about it, seek clarity, and then I offer up whatever support I need and, and we just go back and forth. And then at the end of the conversation around the framework,
we've decided, and we both agree that this is what is being asked, and these are all the variables that go into it. And then, and only then at that point, do we have a situation when we can now move forward and go to the next step? So what is that next step? Well, once we've gone through that initial expectation setting,
we need to make sure that as leaders, we don't just forget what's going on. Now. We don't now turn our attention completely to something else. Yes. If we set good ex expectations, we can focus on other things, but we always have to be going back to our folks back to the team that we support to make sure that they're getting what they need.
And we also need to get regular and consistent updates. Now those updates Should be in the form of regular meetings. So what goes into those meetings? Well, obviously a quick review of what the expectations are, and then this is now where we get into a lot more leadership elements, for example. So we call this the follow-up and it requires a few different skills that we're going to talk about at a high level here in this episode,
one of which is A category That, or a set of skills that we call active listening. And what active listening is, is basically that it's, it's actively listening. I know it's not rocket science folks, but unfortunately as human beings, we, we're not really good listeners, frankly. So there are a couple of techniques that we're going to talk about that pertain directly to this followup,
and then consequence, consequently, that the step after the follow-up. So the one first one is inquiry. And what inquiry is, is essentially using open-ended questions or an open-ended question, an example would be, what are your thoughts on blank? What are your feelings about Blank? So in the Connect Texts or the project or the task or the initiative, it would be,
so what are your thoughts on how things are going? What are your feelings on how things are progressing? And the difference between an open-ended question and a closed ended question is simply a closed ended question is one that can have a yes or no answer, like just a one word answer. Best example I spoke about my son, best example would be talking to your kids or kid.
Hey, how was school? Good. Awesome. Okay, good talk. Good talk. How about we just drive in silence now for the rest of the rest of the drive until they get home. That's that's good. Good connection time. So that'd be an example of a closed ended question. So requiring just a yes or no, or a one word answer now that certainly does not drive a rich conversation,
a very good conversation, particularly when you're trying to support your team. So two of the ways to do that are two words that I use often with open-ended questions. What are your thoughts on what are your feelings on? Okay, so that would be part of the, the followup that, that meeting after you've met with, you've had those expectations setting or goal setting,
whatever that might be see right now, this is so, but, but you're, you're actually paying attention to the answer. That's kind of the key because you need to actively listen because that individual cannot judge say yes or no good or bad or fine, they actually you're forcing them to expand on truly how things are going. And you'll get a lot more information now.
Not only is it just in the words that they're using, but pay particular attention, if at all possible their body language, the tone of their voice, the pace of their voice slows sorts of things. That's where video, you know, I get it, I get it. We're not having the same face to face conversations that we used to, at least not anytime soon.
And so if possible, have a conversation over video and you have a failing that just, you know, a phone call phone. Well, and I totally recognize that nobody uses the phone like this anymore. Totally get it. But you want to be paying attention to those things that you can only get via telephone or video or face to face all of that nonverbal,
for example. So that will, that will give you all the information yeah. That you need. And we'll give you more information than, than what you need in a lot of cases. So be open, be actively listening, and then you'll be able to really gauge how things are going. So let's say now that you've picked up on some challenges,
right? So maybe, maybe things seem to be going along well for, as per that individual, but you can start to see some things going off the rails a little bit. And that's part of your job as a leader is to stay back, be detached at that 10,000 foot level, and be able to really focus in on certain problems. So you haven't,
you're having conversation and maybe you're detecting some sort of frustration or some sort of a challenge that, that person's having, or they're not meeting the expectations, even if they think they are, this is where your leadership Cape has to come in. So you've used active listening already. Open-ended questioning inquiry, opening, you know, one of your thoughts on what are your feelings on,
but now there's other, there's an issue coming up. So now what do you do? As I said, you put your on, this is now where you're going to be earning the big bucks because you're going to leverage another active listening tool. And that's what we call restatement. So what you would do is you would restate and say, okay, Hey,
you know what I'm hearing you say, is this, is that correct? Boom, absolutely. So that's now your opportunity to validate, or at least check in to make sure that you're on the right path that you're listening or that you're hearing the right things, right. That you're picking up the right, right, right. Messages, whether they're verbal or not.
Right. So you've done the open-ended question. You now restate to make sure you're understanding correctly. And let's say now that you have a concern about it, right. Maybe it's a concern about this individual's performance just for argument's sake. Okay. This is now where we insert what's called an iMessage. And I, iMessage is part of a B method as I call it.
And the B method is the behavior. What is the emotion and what is the effect? Okay. So the B method, I talk about this all in my difficult conversations guide, the that's free to download. So the behavior, what is the behavior that you're, you're going to be addressing? What is the emotion that you feel, not that they feel that you feel and what is the effect of that?
So it starts with design message. So an example would be, Hey, you know what? I'm a Lionel, I'm concerned about your perceived lack of diligence around updating the action log. The effect is when I go in and check just for a quick update, it's not up to date. So I'm not sure exactly where you're at and I can't support you properly.
So the using the B method, that behavior, the emotion and the effect you are, first of all, you're taking ownership for it. You're not saying that you, you, you like you suck. You're terrible. You need to be updating the action log. For example, you're saying that, Hey, this is, this is my feeling. I'm concerned about this.
And here's the effect, right? So the behavior not updating the action log, the emotion I'm concerned, the effect is I can't support you. I can't get a good status update. All right. So now we start to hone in a bit more and address, start to address that particular problem or not challenge. See how this is working so far.
They are going to now answer obviously. And so we have to determine one of two things and it comes down to these two things and only two words, but so profound in deciding how to hold somebody accountable. Right? So we figured out that there's a, there there's an issue. What do we do about it? Well, we have to determine one of two things.
Is it a skill issue Or is it a will issue, skill versus, well, those two things. So An example for, for it to be a skill issue, it would be something like the individual is willing to do, Do the job, but they're unable to, okay. So they're willing, but they're unable. So, So an example,
or so that would be something like they're unable to, so they don't have access to certain systems, for example, or if they don't have the training to update or to do a proper gap charter or financial analysis, or they don't have the time. Maybe they have so many different priorities on their plate and they don't have an opportunity, but they want to,
they want to do a good job. So they have the skill like that. They're, they're willing and able, But they're just not able to meet it. Right. So that's one area. So if it's a skill that will require a different train of thought and different pathway, now the other one is a will issue. And this one is a little bit more challenging,
admittedly. So this is a situation where they probably have The skill. And so they Have access to systems. They have the training, they have the experience, they have the autonomy, they have the proper workload, they have the resource, all of those other things, but they're not doing the job. Okay. They're not doing the job previously in the skill.
They weren't doing the job, but man, they were, they were, they were wanting to, right. They're able to, in this example, they're able to, but they're not willing to, okay. Those are the two, two paths. Now, the reason it's so important is obviously there, they should require different approaches. But what I think often happens us as leaders is we tend to leap towards the performance management,
right? We become the heavy, we've come the bad cop In this because let's face it. We have all of these examples of, of what ha what's going on Going on here. Like, like they're just not getting it. They don't understand all of those other things. Right? So we often just get triggered by that because that's maybe not how we work.
Right. And we don't, we work without direction. We work without being, having our hands held or whatever. So we can tend to get quite angry Also with That anger or that frustration or that stress comes our ability or our desire to micromanage. Okay. So if it's a skill issue, then let's talk about that. What do we do next?
Well, we can do a few different things. Obviously once we've had this dialogue, then We are wanting to figure out what, what they need, what they need. So this is, Again, we're active. Listening comes in, you ask the open-ended question and then through a two-way dialogue, you can start to figure out the problem and then offer the support up that that individual needs.
Right. But remember they have the skill, right? So, so, so they're, they're, they're wanting to do it. They're able to do it. Now, you coach them, you don't performance manage them, you coach them. So That's really, really important. Now that isn't to say that that's going to be easy. So part of that coaching is identifying some of their challenges and really addressing them kind of step-by-step,
it's really difficult to just kind of, and, and tackle everything at once. This is going to be a process for you. And maybe it requires a longer-term solution, things like training or whatever the case might be, but that's your job as a leader. Okay. So you're going to be supportive. You're going to be positive. You're going to coach them.
You're going to mentor them. Maybe you're going to put them together with somebody else. Maybe you're going to reduce their workload a little bit more for the time being so they can focus on other things, right. Or focus on developing. That's your job. As the leader, support Them. Now the flip Side are those individuals that, You know, They just don't want to do the job,
right. They just don't want to do the job. Yes. That gets more challenging. Yes. We would love for people to get up in the morning and be like super keen on doing great work. I will tell you that the vast majority of people, if in the right situation, the right circumstances want to do a good job. Very few people wake up in the morning and deliberately like,
Oh, today I am going to F things up. That is my job. I'm going to go into work. I'm going to be cranky. I'm going to be lazy. I'm going to be up to speed. I'm going to be absent. All of those things. Very few people deliberately, consciously think that way. And if they're there, chances are somewhere along the line.
Management leaders have not had the conversations that we've already had or that we're having here on in this particular episode. So you have to remember something is driving their behaviors. Something is driving their behavior. You need to figure out what that is. Is it going to be easy? No, not at all. So this is where you have to again, enter into a dialogue and it's not you imposing your will on them yet,
Yet. Okay. So yeah. You need to establish what, what do they want? What do they need, Ken? And then can you meet that? So it's a little bit different than they're willing to, in this case, they're, they're not willing to, so you have to dig a little bit deeper. Maybe it's a situation where they're ticked off that they're not receiving the right accolades,
right. Then the right rewards, maybe it's they just have a defeatist attitude, right? Like, Oh man, this is just the worst. And BA we've this before It's Useless. Nobody ever listens to me or anything like that. So you have to try your best to accommodate those attitudes. And one of the analogies I often use, And frankly,
we use This little bit on my dad. So just a bit of background here. So my parents, aging parents, my mom has dementia. My dad early Alzheimer's now, as it turns out, which is no surprise, but now it's official. And so he was very reluctant to leave, Leave the family home, You know, where my mom and dad had lived for 40 some years and rightfully so.
But my mom was in a situation where she absolutely needed help. She was not able to take care of herself. And my dad is as wonderful of a man as he is. He's just not wired to Be a caregiver. So We spent a lot of time on trying to convince my dad that my mom and him needed To go to a better facility.
So My brother and I sat down and we, we didn't literally sit down, but you know what I mean? We Thought about it said, okay, this Is what we need to do because my dad was, was offering up negativity at every turn. Right. And, and you know, it was a cat and mouse game. So we finally had to figure out,
okay, Long-term, long-term, We've got to look at this longer term than just the next Congress.<inaudible> we need to figure out what our Are, those challenges, what are those issues that he is grappling with or clinging to whether it's legit or not. It was not up to us to determine that the fact of the matter was he is clinging to it.
So one was finances, for Example, okay, that's An issue. Another one is lack of control or at least the perception of lack of control. My dad wanted control, right? There were a couple other ones too, and, and pride, you know, and that he's not able to take care of my mom and a few others, for example.
So my brother and I just made a concerted effort to just, if you can visualize like a table, table has four legs typically, right? So what you need to do is you need to view this a little bit longer term and not just in the moment. And so you have to start to now hone in on one of those legs of the table or multiple,
but essentially visualize this legs of the table. And now it's your job to just to just start Working, chop, chop, chop, chop, chop on that leg of that table. So If it's a situation about, you know, my, my dad's pride, not, you know, not being able to take care of my mom, for example.
Well, we work on that, work on that, for sure. First of all, Hey, this isn't, you know, no harm, no foul on your side. In fact, when you move to the facility, you are going to be able to be with her even more and you'll be able to help her more because those basic needs that she has,
you don't have to worry about those other people will have that as, as part of their job. So you can, you're still looking after her. You're still going to be an advocate for her, all of these things. And you could just see. Hmm. Yeah. Okay. But it's a consistent chop, chop, chop, chop, chop.
Another one is, you know, he's got friends in the neighborhood lived there for 40 years. He's like, well, I'm sure going to miss my friends well, to which my brother and I were like, dude, you would see your friends once a week at golf during the summer, during the winter, you rarely see anybody. Well, that's true.
But every time he brought it up, we just would just chop, chop, chop that that leg of the table finances was another one and so on and so forth. So we took a, a much more specific and concerted and deliberate approach with, with my dad. And so he's late seventies, early. Alzheimer's cranky. Well, not, not cranky.
That that's unfair. That is really unfair. He's actually, he's been handling things really, really well. All things considered lots of changes, but you know, somebody that, that that's old school in terms of, you know, pride and, and not really being a good caregiver. And it took a long time, but my brother and I, through concerted effort and long discussions,
we just made sure that he and I were on the same page and we just start to remove those legs of that table. So maybe that will sometimes help. So you have somebody that's consistently negative, right? Well, okay. What is the issue? Well, wall wall, wall, wall. Okay, fine then. And don't go over the top.
Just be subtle about it. Just be subtle. Just start to remove that, that, that leg of that particular table and then go onto the next one. Then you go onto the next one. Is it easy? No, not at all. Not at all. But remember if you're setting expectations and if you're leading other, if you're leading people effectively,
you're going to have a little bit more time to handle these types of situations rather than just being so busy that you're just skipping across the surface. Right. So think about that in terms of the analogy. And then let's say that, you know, you're, you're, you're trying to work with them. You're trying to remove those, those legs of that table,
those beliefs, which are BS, you know, on all the stories that are associated. So let's say that you finally, you know, you're not getting anywhere well, unfortunately sooner, rather than later, you will have to go to the performance management realm. So what that means now, as you revert back to the expectations framework where you unfortunately have to performance management,
that's a lot of toilet. So you go from, you know, working with them, removing some of those barriers, changing their beliefs, like removing the obstacles, at least their perceived obstacles, obstacles. And then, you know, if they're still not getting it, you, you have an obligation, moral, legal, fiduciary, whatever, to now handle it in a little bit more harsher,
for lack of a better word fashion. That means performance management. So you'd go back to what are the expectations. And unfortunately you do have to micromanage the individuals. Now, if you're working in a labor relations, you know, situation, I completely understand those challenges. I get it. I get it from a management perspective. Sometimes that's really challenging,
but also in my experience, a lot of times you can head issues off at the pass if you're engaging them early and you're having good conversations and good dialogue with them. And then you've also built up some respect influence, which is a another topic. And I've done numerous episodes on respect influence, but you can often stop the problem from getting too big if you're addressing it.
But the here again is the issue. You, as a leader, you have to monitor, right? You have to assess, and then you adjust as you need to. You're not just ignoring your folks. You're figuring out the problems before they get big. And then once you start to identify those problems, is it somebody that's willing, but they're unable to,
or is it somebody that's able to, but they're unwilling because if they're willing, but unable, that's a coaching issue. That's a resource issue. That's a mentorship issue. That's a whatever it is. But if they're able to, but unwilling, ah, darn it. Start to chop those, those legs off, figure out what those beliefs are and what those obstacles are in their heads.
And that's stopping them from doing whatever chop, chop, chop, chop, chop, move on to the next one. Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop, eventually though, even if you remove all of those legs and they start replacing, you know, other legs, I'm kind of on the fly, then unfortunately you do reach a point where you have to revert back to now performance management.
And that's where that expectations framework comes in again. So there is no, unfortunately easy answer with regard to naysayers and, and you know, the, the, the, the ERs of the world it's exhausting. I totally get it. But that's the reality. And now part of the trick though, too, is not spending so much time on that individual that you ignore everybody else,
because that's also happened where he ended up spending 90% of your time on 10% of your team. So it's not easy, this whole issue, these, these challenges aren't easy, but I've just laid out kind of a framework or a process by which to, you know, really manage what, you know, manage the folks, manage those performances and things like that.
My advice to you, if that's the case, if, if it's one individual and they have, you know, few different beliefs treat them separately, as much as you possibly can, because you just want to make sure that you're focused in the year having a key message. Now, does that mean you're ignoring the other three legs? No. Can take the odd chop at them,
but it's kind of like focus really, right. And if you're trying to, you're trying to get through somewhere. If you're trying to do something, the best option is always focused concerted efforts, but there again, same, same idea. You just take those, those, those legs and just start to chop them. Here's the, here's a key point though,
with regard to those beliefs and, and removing those barriers and chopping those legs, you have to make darn sure that everybody that is interacting with that individual has the same message. That's important. That's really, really important because the last thing you want is for that individual or those people to coalition build, or, or, or that's really what it's called,
it's called coalition, or try to gain an Alliance. Here's an example. I've worked quite a bit with my good friend Lee and doing at risk youth. So these are the individuals that Aren't, you know, that they're on the they're on the, the, the start of a bad path. They're good kids For the most part, but they're just,
they've met some poor influences. They made some bad choices. So they're what we've considered on the fringe of the system, right? So we will go out And do wilderness activities with them for numerous days and a whole bunch of reasons for that. It treats, it gives them a Tonomy and confidence and, and you know, all of those other things.
Well, one of the rules that we have, we have a few, but one of the ones that we we have and the rules are non-negotiable One of the rules is if you're going To go have a smoke, yes, you're 15 yesteryear 14. That's a bad idea, but we're not going to really, this is not going to be the setting that renting cost somebody to stop smoking.
But one of the rules is If you go off for a smoke, or if you go off to the bathroom or you go off on your own, you're on your own, you do not go with anybody else because we are keenly aware that somebody particularly negative people will look, there'll be looking around and they will want to build a coalition. They will want to find like-minded people.
They will want to find people that maybe they're not even like-minded yet, but they want to start to turn them. So they're going to be looking for, for, for gaps in that protection, right. Gaps in the messaging. So if you're trying to chop a leg off a table, and next thing you know, you've got somebody else, unwittingly,
undermining, then that's going to be a problem. And all you're doing is you're just allowing that, that, that table to stay stronger. So you have to be very, very aware of that. And that's hard to do, but making sure that you're talking to your peers, your, your bosses and everyone else that you possibly can, as long as it's confidential and done respectfully,
to make sure that, you know, Hey, we're all on the same page. There's a challenge around this, but let's make sure that this is the message we're and it's a it's and my brother and I we're calling it key messages. All right. What's our key message. This, this, this understanding that, for example, with my dad,
cognitively, he's not able to process a ton. Right. And, and, and that's okay. That's okay. So we adjust our approach. And so we just have to keep pounding away on the key message and leadership is, is 100% tactical, and we've done ourselves, such a disservice with all these books, you know, just w we, we don't talk enough in my estimation.
This is why I'm really focused on the content that I'm focused on is we don't, we don't pay attention to the details. We don't pay attention to leadership being in the moment. And I have huge respect for a whole bunch of thought leaders, but at the end of the day, leadership is in the moment it's navigating the potholes, the, the changes in the road,
the difficulties, the tough conversations, the, the performance management, all those things. It's not about inspiration. It's not about all of this stuff. It is, but, but really at the end of the day, it's, can you talk to folks, can you support them? Can you empower them? Can you make good decisions? Can you follow known processes in the moment?
And that's exactly what I focus on. So without further ado, I appreciate your time. And I appreciate your attention with this. And our next episode, we'll be talking about accountability, not for other people, but for you. And that's a tough one. This is going to be an interesting and tough, tough, tough episode for some of us.
So we'll see you then. Thanks everyone.<inaudible>.