Accountability is one of the most frequently used words used in business today. It is often teamed with the verb “to hold.”
When managers “hold people accountable” at work, it often causes a hit to trust as demonstrated in this example.
I was called in to do some consulting work on trust by the principal of a large high school. The school had combined with another high school and was having some challenges integrating the cultures.
As I interviewed the principal he kept using the phrase “hold our people accountable.”
I noticed that he fell into the same trap that I find most executives in the corporate world do. Leaders typically refer to holding people accountable as catching people doing things wrong and then pointing it out in a punitive way.
The ironic thing here is that most people on most days are doing good work and should be praised…
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