Sometimes we’re so concerned with how the conversation is going to go, we forget to think about what happens after the conversation! It’s likely we’re hoping some change will come about. We want someone to stop leaving their garbage all over the break room, or for the next big launch to increase profits.

We can have good conversations all day long (in fact, we sincerely hope you do!), however they won’t amount to much if that’s all there is.

The #1 reason good conversations go bad is a lack of results. The garbage is still everywhere and our sales actually decreased. Whatever result we were looking for didn’t happen, and suddenly that good conversation feels like a waste of time.

How do we get the results we want?

Accountability. There’s that blasted word again. We keep using it, and it’s for a good reason. Accountability produces results - it’s what makes our conversations matter. There’s a reason “performance” is in our company name!

How do we hold each other accountable?

At the end of every conversation, it’s important to discuss

  • who will do what, by when,
  • who will follow up, by when and how.

By answering those questions, we know what steps we are taking to move forward, when they’ll be complete, and who will help ensure it all gets done.

What do we do if something unexpected happens?

Life is unpredictable, and any number of things can throw a wrench into our otherwise perfect plan. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing accountability is the responsibility to actively communicate obstacles. The person assigned to the task should communicate as soon as possible they’ve run into an issue. Often times, the person they tell is the person who is responsible to follow-up. In other cases, it’s a team leader etc.

This is where we encourage you to get creative. Add other components to your accountability plan if it suits your team. A lot of times, you’ll know where the unknowns and potential pitfalls are. Build that into your accountability plan by adding to the formula above.

For example:

  • who will do what, by when,
  • who will they contact if X happens, if Y happens, etc.
  • who will follow up, by when and how.

You can also assign someone to create a contact list for the team to reference should they run into issues. “For issues with VPN, contact Diego at (xxx) xxx- xxxx”.

Ready to take your performance to the next level?

Most dysfunctional teams have the same thing in common: poor communication. Our Strengths-based communication course, Conversation Mechanics: How to Talk About It,  provides teams with the tools they need to communicate effectively and produce results, over and over again.

Click here to learn more and register. Don’t let a good conversation go bad!

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