Inman Article on Fostering Team Accountability
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Creating a culture of accountability is the single most important key to increasing the per-person productivity on your team.
Transparent reporting, timely feedback and one-on-one coaching all have their place. But there is one technique I have found in my 25-plus years that has surpassed anything else in efficiency and effectiveness. It’s group accountability in the form of a collaborative mastermind meeting environment.
The secret sauce with these team meetings is the round table nature of them. Everyone’s voice gets to be heard, and everyone’s voice matters. This is also a place where people can open up and share in a safe and confidential arena. The team leader is the facilitator, who also leads by example in accountability.
Depending on the size of the team, weekly or bi-weekly meetings work best. Roughly one hour is sufficient for teams under 10 members. Block an hour and a half for up to 20.
More than that, and you will want to start splitting the team up into smaller groups. It’s perfectly acceptable to mix your agents and staff into one group.
Here’s the format we have found to be unbelievably effective
Have a sign-in sheet, white board or other visual for everyone to check in on. We have them write their name, then rate from one to five (five being the highest) how they are feeling at that moment about these four areas of their lives.
- Their business
- Their finances
- Their health
- The relationships with those who are closest to them
Next to those rankings we have each person bring an issue they are dealing with that is standing in the way of a goal they have.
Spend 7-10 minutes on an inclusion exercise
At the beginning of the meeting, everyone in the group has one minute to share a positive personal or professional event since the last meeting.
Not only does this build camaraderie, but also it sets a positive tone for the meeting. The key here is the leader shares first and the depth of what is shared will be followed by the example of what the leader does.
Spend 10-15 minutes on best practices
Go around the group, and ask who has business success stories to share. Celebrate the wins, and ask how did they do it. This is a great way for the team to learn from each other.
It’s a critical step in the accountability process. Accountability often gets a bad rap as a negative. The celebration and recognition of achievement is the positive side of accountability.
Spend 10-15 minutes reviewing action promises
At the end of each meeting, each person is going to commit to one thing they are going to do before the next meeting.
This is where we take out the promises from last meeting, check off action promises completed and applaud those who kept their commitment to the group.
For those who missed the mark, ask them if they’d like to push the undone commitment to the next meeting or whether they would like to commit to a different goal.
The beauty of doing this in the group is that the group will call each other out on excuses. The goal here is not public shaming, but rather to demonstrate a culture of accountability.
Spend 20-30 minutes processing someone’s problem
The leader reviews the sign-in sheet and chooses one or two of the most urgent topics or those with commonality.
The person who wrote down the issue gets to be in the spotlight. Step 1 is to define the issue. Have them try to define it to a single sentence.
Before any suggestions are offered, Step 2 is to clarify the issue. Here the group can ask questions, not to solve, but to understand the root of the problem.
Step 3 is having the person restate the problem in a single sentence. Step 4 is where the group will offer suggestions. Step 5 comes when the suggestions are evaluated, and the person can commit to implementing one of the ideas before the next meeting.
Spend 7-10 minutes on new commitments by the next meeting
The team leader writes each person’s action promise, including their own, on a sheet. This will be brought back to the next meeting to be reviewed in front of the group.
This one system has surpassed anything else in efficiency and effectiveness in my 25 years of experience. The mastermind meeting environment fosters individual and group accountability in a collaborative and positive environment.
Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger, LLC is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting, and team building.
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