Meetings and Feedback Improve Accountability

Question: I have a manager, who is very nice, but just does not follow through with the important stuff? I have been reading motivational books, but it has not helped. What should I do?

Answer: There are two things I recommend for this one.

1. Regular meetings with accountability built into the agenda

2. Feedback using the 1-10 scale system

You will hear me say this over and over. I recommend regular staff meetings with a solid agenda. They can be as short as 15 to 30 minutes. Very few companies do this because they have bought in to the idea that meetings waste time. The only reason meetings waste time is because of poor planning and facilitation skills and a lack of vision.

Start your meeting with an agenda so it stays on track. An agenda is simply a list of items you will discuss or address at a meeting. Some items may even have a short report or action item tied to it, other items might be a simple accountability measurement, for example your agenda might consist of these simple list items: monthly sales, incomplete projects, upcoming promotional opportunities and weekly goals. If for example an update of projects is one of the things on your agenda, this creates accountability which must be reported back to the entire group. (Your manager will not like coming up short every time in front of others, therefore she is likely to finish her projects so she can give a glowing report.)

AUTHENTIC CONVERSATION using the scale system
Aside from that you simply must schedule an authentic conversation with her so that she knows how you see her. Start operating with your peeps, with the “scale” method. Before any project, let your people know that besides the formal yearly review (if you do them) you will give continuous feedback that will sound like this, “Jane, on a scale of 1-10, this was an 8. The 2 suggestions or areas for improvement are…”

In other words, your score must always equal 10. If their performance is a 7, you need to give a good example of the three things they can do to bring it up.

Then when they get it to 10, be sure to acknowledge. This helps set people up for success and gives them a good idea of what the expectations are.