Accountability requires confrontation.
Not everyone likes confrontation. We all have different reasons. They depend on the personality of the person you’re dealing with.
Here’s a couple different ways people wrongly deal with conflict.
First, there’s the aggressor. When you bring to him a situation that needs attention, he will use emotion as a weapon against you. Typically, this is anger. He’ll use a loud voice and a frown to try to beat you down. He may say you’re stupid for suggesting anything.
But it’s an act used to manipulate you.
If you don’t believe that, consider this. You can be having a heated argument with your spouse. Suddenly the phone rings. You answer with a meek and pleasant, “Hello?” And this occurred just seconds after you were biting your mate’s head off.
We can choose the emotions we use to get what we want.
The second situation you’ll encounter in a confrontation is the mild mannered milquetoast. She will assume you are right and she is wrong. It won’t matter if that is not the whole truth. She will passively let you have your way. But inside she will focus on the wrong and not improve. In fact, she may even get worse after your suggestion.
That’s an act, too. If you meet the aggressor, you might become the milquetoast!
The answer is to assertively respond to confrontation. If you are the one bringing it on, focus on the behavior you’d like to correct. Give suggestions and hear them. Remind the person that your goal is to improve the team as a whole. That means individuals on the team will have to carry their share of the load. If they need help or extra training, they shouldn’t hesitate to ask for it. Leaders should not hesitate to provide everything necessary to equip and prepare the team for success.
So, you may offend someone when you call them to be accountable. That is a risk you take. But there are things you can do to make sure the blow goes where you want it. Don’t be manipulated by emotional outbursts. Don’t give a pass to passive responses. The marketplace doesn’t care about whether we are scared or unprepared. But we should care enough about each other to make the sacrifices necessary to see that everyone can be successful.