Note: This is post 5 of 7 of a series exploring social accountability. If this is your first blog to read in the series, catching up is easy: Start with the Great Expectations: Why the Best Leaders Create Social Accountability entry work your way forward.
The next step in creating social accountability is one of the most important and most often overlooked: You must give your team a sense of control.
Your team members will not take decisive action without a sense of control over the outcome. When people feel their work will determine results, they’re willing to invest so much more in a project. Think about it––if you feel as though nothing you will do with greatly impact a job one way or another, how willing are you to contribute your time, expertise, and sweat equity? Chances are, the answer is not very.
So how do you empower your team with a sense of control?
Help people identify what they need.
Take the time to ask your team questions about what they need in order to deliver on the expectations you’ve set together. Sometimes, that is as simple as asking, “Do you have every thing you need?” Other times, you may need to probe a little more, asking specific questions about time and tools. Be present and available so that individuals know they can come to you with questions or concerns.
Then, ensure people get what they need.
As the leader, you are responsible for making sure your team has what they need. This may include knowledge, capability, information, resources, equipment, or time. Priorities speak loudly: If you aren’t making adjustments and giving your people what they need to deliver the results you’ve all agreed to pursue, your people will not feel a sense of control or even recognize the project as important at all.
Treat people as individuals.
Different people need different tools, so supplying resources isn’t a one-size-fits-all task. Factors that determine unique needs include an individual’s personality, experience, self-image, self-confidence, and other qualities. Don’t dismiss this step: paying attention to a particular person’s attributes can lead to extraordinary achievement, while neglecting them can derail the entire project.
So far, we’ve discussed creating expectations, communicating those expectations and then earning alignment, and conveying a sense of control. Next up, the fourth vital step in building social accountability: Declaring ownership of the outcome.
So stay with us! And as always, as you look at ways to improve your team, ask yourself: Are you All-In?