Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Do you Hold People Accountable for Keeping Commitments or Communicating Directly and Honestly?

“When I hold you accountable with direct, even seemingly brutal honesty, I’m being a true friend, a great boss or a committed parent.” Robert White

A challenge for many people is either holding people – family, colleagues, vendors – accountable for their commitments OR communicating directly and honestly...OR BOTH!

This is a key consciousness and skill set that everyone in a leadership role absolutely must gain a level of mastery and then consistently and powerfully “do it.” No denial. No excuses. No delay.

My experience with myself and with my executive coaching clients conclusively proves that the source of this reluctance to holding people accountable and telling the truth is rooted in dysfunctional belief systems and projections. It is “old stuff” that may have been useful or at least understandable in our history but no longer serves us.

Clearing the past is a challenging, necessary and ultimately freeing exercise in living an extraordinary life and creating extraordinary results.

Please share your perspective on accountability and truth telling by posting a comment.

With love and respect,

P. S. Robert’s book “Living an Extraordinary Life” is now available for only $9.99 on Kindle and for almost every digital reader (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, etc.) including your computer at Inscribed and signed hard copies are always available at


Lion Goodman said...

What beliefs have you seen that are at the root of reluctance to hold people accountable?

Here are a few I've seen:

"If I tell the truth, I'll get in trouble."
"If I make him keep his promise, s/he won't like me anymore, reject me, or go away and abandon me."
"If he has to keep his promises, than I will have to keep mine, too."
"I don't want anyone to find out where I've been out of integrity (haven't told the truth / not kept my promises / been at detriment)."

What beliefs have you seen operating?

Robert White said...

thanks Lion ... brilliant as always! I love your work on surfacing hidden belief systems and dealing with them for greater personal and professional effectiveness.

Patrick Edwards said...

Also, one of the skills we need to develop is being able to share those observations without having it come across as an attack. Probably best not to share it when you have a big "emotional charge" on it. Much research does show that taking some time to let the strong emotions abate does improve the chances that you can really be heard. Then ask: "Can I share an (or some) observation with you?" Then, using "I" or "my" statements, vs. "you" statements share your observation(s). It seems that the "you" statements usually make it seem like an attack from the receiver's perspective.

However, if you find that you're just continuing to postpone sharing your observations, then you'd better go ahead and share them, however inelegant.

Robert White said...

Gosh .... I really do have super smart readers! Thanks Patrick--wise words of counsel indeed.