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Coaching Groups & Teams around a Culture of Accountability

Setting goals is easy. It’s literally what coaches do. And clients can easily commit to something on paper on the surface.

If you’re coaching a client on their approach to setting their annual goals and remaining accountable within their existing performance management system or are working with a new coaching client on setting with a less formal system, it’s important that once these goals are set, that the people who set them are accountable to accomplishing the goals within the context of what they can control.

How do you make team or group members accountable to the goals they make? What tools can be used to foster these discussions? What has worked for the team or group in the past? And what hasn’t? And how do you coach to engrain this into their culture of work?

As group and team coaches, we have several tools we can use to foster the conversations around accountability. When planning your next session with your client around remaining accountable to goals, review these items below and choose which ones you’d like to incorporate into your coaching conversation, and liaise with any project sponsors get clarity around what you don’t know in advance:

1. Focus on the end game - What are the goals you are working on? What does success look like?

2. Ask “What if?” - What are the consequences if something is not done? For you? How does it impact the work and results of others? When we don’t provide the big picture of how different tests are connected, it can detract from why follow-through is important.

3. Share the Why? - Helping people understand the What if? along with why? These tasks and results are important, also helps to boost accountability. Help team members understand how their activities connect to each other, and to those you support.

4. Give feedback - We need to provide feedback on what’s working, and what’s not. Without a feedback loop, team members will be unclear as to how things are progressing.

5. Offer space for check in: We know it’s important to check in but we don’t leave time, or create time, to do so. What will it take this week to dedicate time for these activities: providing clarity, making sure the team understands the what if? and why? creating time for feedback?

Source: Reconnecting Workspaces, Jennifer Britton, Page 118

In addition, it’s important to not only for leaders to build in appropriate accountability timelines and check-ins for their team members to update and review their goals, but for you as the coach to build in to check ins with the group or team to see how they’re remaining accountable to the goals they’ve set with you. If they’re not receiving the appropriate modelling in their regular working environment, perhaps you’ll need to model it for them. Don’t hesitate to include a series of follow up bookings as a part of your coaching offerings.

Are your clients or stakeholders struggling with keeping accountable to their goals? Feel free to set a free 15-minute meeting to discuss your needs.


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