Let’s talk about accountability. Ever notice how accountability so often doesn’t really work well. Today we’re going to talk about how to make it work. Not just for your clients, but for your team, for yourself, and maybe even everyone in your life. Stay tuned.
Welcome to the Client Whisperer™ Show. I’m your host Tony Banta, and I am the Client Whisper. I’ve spent over a decade running multiple six and seven figure client businesses and I’ve learned that the secret to success in a client business comes down to one thing, leadership. Bad client behavior is the enemy, and with the right curriculum, infrastructure and mindset, you can lead your clients to great success and scale your business the easy way.
So why doesn’t accountability work? Have you ever tried to hold people accountable? Have you ever tried to have the tough conversations to follow up, chase people down for what they said they were going to do? Maybe you, get on calls and you’re a little bit defensive and you’re like, “why didn’t you get this done?” Is that accountability? Maybe you even just are passive aggressive about yourself, right? You take your time with it and you’re like, well, it’s really important. It’s really important that you get it done and it really needs to be done because it’s really important for a mixture of reasons. Maybe you’re even passive aggressive about it until it doesn’t happen time and time again and then you’re really frustrated. Then you’re angry about it and you get mad. You lash out.
Any of that sound familiar? Have you been in a job, a job where that’s happened or have you done maybe a mixture of all of the above? I’ve been there. I’m not here to judge, but I am here to hold myself and you accountable because there’s actually a new way that you can make that happen that you can make accountability work without it needing to be awkward. We call that systematic accountability and I’m going to break down what that looks like for you in this short teaching episode today.
We’re keeping it short and punchy cause we don’t have time. We’re all busy. You’re busy, we’re busy. Here’s what systemic systematic accountability is besides a tongue twister. It’s really hard to have to manage clients and team members and processes when you’re relying on your brain to do all of the management. So instead we want to offload that from our brains. We want to offload that so that we can be a leader. We can be that scaling CEO, that impressive leader, which means having the tough leadership conversations. But it also means being okay with offloading some of the work of finding out what has happened.
And that’s what systematic accountability is all about. It’s about not waiting until your asking the question of, Hey did you do blank? It’s about letting a system take care of that for you. And in this case, I actually mean a technology system. So I’m actually gonna share some of what we teach to our private clients around client accountability. And that is forms. Send out a form before your call that actually checks in with the client and says, Hey, have you done what you said you were going to do? Now here’s the purpose of systematic accountability. And here’s the difference because when we ask each other this question, usually it feels judgemental to the person on the receiving end of that question. Even if you don’t mean it that way it can feel judgmental and so that can cause a little bit of recoiling, right? That can cause a little bit of defensiveness mixed in there where someone’s like, well, I, I couldn’t do it because it’s your fault.
Have you ever heard that before? I couldn’t do it. Fill in the excuse here. Right. We’ve talked about excuses on the show before, but it accountability is not about that. Accountability is about our shared responsibility to the goal and outcome and reconciling. Is that happening or not? We can screw up on tasks all the time. We can try, we can fail. We can not get them done. All of those things can happen on individual tasks all day long and that’s okay. That’s, that’s part of the process when we’re working on unknown things on things that have never been done before. When we’re asking clients to do things they’ve never done before, they’re gonna run into problems and if the extent of the conversations did you do it or did you not do it? We’re missing a whole segment of data around what really happened, what’s really happening underneath here?
What are we struggling with? What do you not have that we as a service provider, as a leader expected you to have? What do you need that would make this easier for you? Those are really difficult conversations to have when we’re in this expectation, judgment, defensiveness, triangle. So instead the expectation is work hard, work hard on the things you say you’re going to do and bring back the information on what worked or what didn’t work. And that’s the benefit of a form that if you have a form that goes out and says to your clients, “how did it go?” Bonus points if you have your so dialed in and this is the level that we help clients achieve is that you have your curriculum and your client journey so dialed in that you can actually, that you have different forms at different stages depending on where they are so that they’re actually asking the specific question of how did this thing go that I know you’re working on right now and we can make it specific, but if you just want to make a general, how did the last week go?
What were you able to accomplish? What weren’t you able to accomplish? Customize that for your program and then get the client to fill that out before they’re on the call with you. What that does is something really powerful. It lets you start the call with information about what’s really going on for your client, what’s really going on with them, and then the next step is you need to resist the urge to try to solve all of their problems at once. You need to really be a coach. You need to really be a leader. You need to ask them more questions and help them come to the conclusion of what they need to remove from their mix, what they need to make room for, for the right solutions to start to take hold. So next step, we’re going to talk about the team. How do you apply systematic accountability to your team?
And here’s how. Every meeting that you have with your team, it could be a stand up meeting, it could be a team meeting, it could be, you could call it all kinds of different things, but every meeting with your team, someone has to facilitate and every one of the attendees needs to be responsible to bring something to that meeting. Data, feedback, their progress from the last week. You want to bullet point all of those things out. This is the same principle of systematic accountability. You want those to be bullet pointed out and every team member comes to the meeting with those things prepared and every meeting, every time the team is working together, there is a facilitator who’s going to ask those questions. It’s not acceptable to come to the meeting without those things prepared. That then has to be a hard and fast rule. As soon as you’ve actually put this in place, that needs to be the real boundary.
When that isn’t happening, then you need to take that conversation offline and have a one on one with that team member to say, why isn’t this happening? What’s going on? What’s standing in the way of this for you? You know this is important. You know this is, this is the one requirement to show up to this meeting what’s going on, but very soon what you’re going to know is just by the very nature of you asking the question. This goes for clients when you have the form as well. Just by the very nature of the fact that you’re asking the question, you actually unlock an incredible ability for people to know, Hey, this is important. This is being focused on, this is being worked on. I’m going to be asked about this later and that is the basis that allows you to actually have the conversation to have the tough conversation when it doesn’t work, when something standing in the way, you also get an even more powerful dynamic that can come out of this and that is people will actually start to self identify that they have a problem and ask for help.
That’s the powerful outcome from systematic accountability is that people self realize that they’re not doing okay and then they show up and say, Hey, I need help. This is not working. Team members will do that before the meeting even starts. There’ll be like, I’m, I’m overwhelmed. Something isn’t working for me and here’s the point. Here’s the value level truth that we want you to understand from systematic accountability. The point is not that everybody does everything always. The point is that you find out the systematic reasons why it’s hard and then you help them remove them. Could be that the problem is your expectations are too high. It could be the problem that you only have them working 10 hours a week and they really need to be working 15 that they really don’t have enough time to get it all done. It could be that they’re doing it in that they’re doing the work. Those pieces in inefficient ways, they can actually make that more efficient if they only knew more of what you knew. They just need your help. That’s what systematic accountability is all about. It’s about our responsibility to the ultimate goal, the ultimate result that we’re all working towards together. You get that right? You unlock incredible things in your client program and in your team.
You can apply this to your family, cleaning person yourself, even if you’re a team of one. Hope this helps. Use it. Good luck. We’ll talk soon.