I have to thank my parents, Don and Mary Jane, for so many things. But one of the most important lessons they taught me was personal accountability. You know – taking responsibility for your actions. It was one of those things that was not much fun to learn but I’m glad I did. Today, I’m working on teaching my own kids this important life lesson.
It’s also an important factor on the job. Personal accountability is not only an important skill to have, but it is also in high demand. In a study by Target Training International (TTI), they found that in over 95-percent of the jobs they studied, personal accountability was one of the top seven personal skills required for superior performance on the job. It is one of the soft skills that make a great employee, a great leader and a great person.
TTI defines personal accountability as “The capacity to take responsibility for one’s own actions, conduct, obligations and decisions without excuses.”
It seems that nowadays we often see people in our society who want to pass the buck or blame someone else or some outside factor for their own mistake or failure. It is easier to define personal accountability than it is to live it.
How can you increase your level of personal accountability at work?
•In every meeting, use an action plan register to document all tasks with an owner and completion date. At the start of the next meeting review the action plan register first to create a culture of accountability.
•Ask one of your colleagues to hold you accountable for your commitments.
•Evaluate your performance at the end of each week or project. Are you completing your tasks on time? How can you improve?
I often get asked by clients how can we hire for personal accountability? When developing an interview strategy, consider using the following questions in your selection process.
•What person from history do you most admire for taking the blame for a failure? What did taking the blame do for that person?
•What is the worst business decision you ever made? What made it the worst? What would have helped you to avoid making that decision?
When executing a candidate specific interview strategy for a client, SM Advisors will ask questions like these combined with behavioral assessments that can accurately measure their level of personal accountability and other soft skills.
Someone who has a strong sense of personal accountability will perform well, even when expectations aren’t clear, resources are hard to find, and competition is tough. Their accomplishment of goals goes beyond the job. Reaching for personal and professional goals is a fundamental part of who they are. No wonder why the skill of personal accountability is in high demand.
One of the best ways to get personal accountability from others is to show it yourself. Can you hold yourself accountable for that? Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT!
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