When a colleague or direct report fails to follow through on a task or promise, it’s rarely intentional. More often, it’s the result of an underlying issue, such as unclear responsibilities or unrealistic goals.
To identify what’s really going on — and fix it — check to make sure you’re not part of the problem.
Change your MINDSET
Instead of wondering, “Why aren’t they doing their part?” ask “Is there anything I can do differently to help?”.
Before even approaching the other person, consider:
- Have I been clear about my expectations?
- Have I asked what I can do to help?
- Have I taken time to brainstorm and review processes?
- Have I built a plan of action with my team member?
Self-awareness is a leadership super power, and reflecting in this way may help you recognize any unhelpful patterns that you can fall into.
Then, approach the individual for their perspective.
For example, if the person is constantly missing deadlines, you could say, “I’ve noticed that you seem to need a little more time to get the work done lately.” Provide specific examples, then ask, “What can we do to help you get back on track?”
If your team member feels emotionally safe, they are more likely to work with you to solve the problem.
Finally, work together to set realistic expectations and a plan for moving forward. And, of course, agree on a way to measure progress, so the problem doesn’t happen again.
Some tips & tricks (read more about them in the article):
- Create a safe environment for the other person.
- Ensure that there is clarity and a mutual agreement on how to move forward.
- Commit to setting those you work with up for success.
- Regularly track and measure progress.
This tip is adapted from “Does Your Team Have an Accountability Problem?,” by Melissa Raffoni