How to Address Resistance to Accountability (or to any change)

Last week I heard from a teacher in the Boston area in response to my piece about accountability. She said, “Wow! This is what I do every day as a teacher!”
Many managers and executives tell me that their people aren’t ready for accountability, or have a negative response to the word ‘accountability.’ Is that the case in your organization, and if so, why?
Here’s what works when you encounter any sort of resistance to change:

  1. Do not ignore the resistance – it will only build in strength. They’ll think you did not hear them.
  2. Do not force compliance – the resistance will become covert and continue to grow for the same reason as in #1 above.
  3. Do take the time to listen to people who are resisting. Often just the act of showing that they are being heard will significantly reduce resistance.
  4. Do explain why the change is both needed and in their own best interest.
  5. Move ahead with the change, continuing to be open to feedback, and with the resolve to keep it moving forward.

Copyright 2018 Bob Legge
I am a trusted advisor on strategy implementation and executive effectiveness to leaders of Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. My work helps leaders drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.
If you want to seize new opportunities, dramatically improve your leadership effectiveness, and free-up more time for yourself and your family, give me a call.
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