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Mastering the Right Way to Hold People Accountable

It is a tricky topic. To hold people accountable, I need to be in the right mental spot. It is simple but not easy, and it consists of several steps and a few questions that I need to answer. I need to start in advance with me. It is, in fact, all about me, not others.

Plan for today:

The right way to hold people accountable 🎯

Let’s assume we are in the right mental spot. We take full ownership, and we still want to address someone’s else shortcomings. What is the right way to hold people accountable?

Do I know what I want? 🤔

First and foremost, I need to know what I want. Imagine the situation when you ask your colleague for a report. You say “Can I have this report tomorrow”? I
t seems fine. However, if you are in Europe and the other person is in the USA, “tomorrow” is vague and you need to be precise. How about “Can you send me the report that we have been working on together, by the end of your day today, so that I can have it tomorrow my time? It’s important as I will be presenting and I need to prepare”.

Did I ask them? 🤷🏻‍♂️

It is classic for so many scenarios. Ask yourself – how many times we say “We should have this report”. “You should work more productive”.
And many many other vague half statements, half wishes. 
To be able to hold people accountable the right way, we need to be specific with our asks.
Possible template for requesting:

“Can you by because <why it’s important for me>”.


Did they agree? 🤝

It doesn’t end here. So far, it’s one-way communication. Even if I am particular, and I express why this thing is essential, I still need to hear from the order side.
I cannot assume the job will be done, because I was particular with my asking. I should wait and confirm if it’s clear and could be done within the requested timeframe. They need to agree.


Hold them accountable, however… 🎁

In the majority of the situations if you follow these three simple steps and check these questions – the job gets done. There are, however, circumstances that something will not be completed, burgers will not be handed over.
In these occasions, I still need to take full ownership of the situation.

  • Maybe my instructions were not that good and clear.
  • Perhaps the other person has some different challenges, and I ignore to see them.
    It is an art of providing constructive criticism.
    I will stress it; the right way to hold people accountable is:

Hold people accountable, but behave the same way as you wish people hold you accountable.

New podcast episode 🎙️

🎙️ In the latest podcast episode, we talk about how to speed up the process of team forming, storming and norming.
I suggest starting with team agreements, which will help boost productivity and create and maintain team identity. We cover four key areas that should be included in these agreements:

  • clarity,
  • accountability,
  • openness, and
  • trust and psychological safety.

I also provide practical tips for creating effective team agreements, such as revisiting them whenever a new person joins the team and leaving them vague to focus on “how” we do things instead of concrete tools we use.
Tune in to check why high-performance teams need team agreements.

🤓 Tips & Tricks: Immediately lock your Mac 🔒

If you’re stepping away from your desk at home or the office and you don’t want someone snooping around on your Mac, press this shortcut and your Mac will immediately switch to the lock screen.


It’s a heck of a lot faster than doing it through the menu bar.

🌐 Recommended read

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    Learning how to read faster has a vast amount of benefits. Discover how you can cultivate this skill and retain more from everything you read.  
  • How to Answer “Tell Me About a Time You Failed” in a Job Interview
    “Tell me about a time you failed” is one of the interview questions job seekers most dread, up there with “Tell me about yourself” and “Why do you want to work here?” But you can’t blame interviewers for asking it.
  • Zotero | Your personal research assistant
    Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, annotate, cite, and share research. Download Available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS 👇

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