#ATD2015 Sessions: Hardwiring Accountability into the Workplace

No Drama PleaseAccording to Cy Wakeman, the average person spends 2 hours per day in drama. This drama is cutting into workplace productivity especially for the managers. In a very humorous presentation, she pointed out that we do not have to deal with drama at work, and she provided some options.

Wakeman opened by noting that in our jobs we find facts and create a system to deal with them. However, we do not have systems for dealing with drama.

People inherently want better results and more happiness. To get it, they believe they need to change something. Wakeman noted that happiness is not tied to situation…  it is tied to accountability.

Reality is what it is, the decision to suffer is optional. Reality and suffering are not the same. Most suffering is self-imposed. But they do not normally accept their reality. Employees need to be accountable to the truth. Engagement without accountability is entitlement.

It is important that managers and leaders do not enable drama. Wakeman quickly realized that open door policies enable drama. Don’t enable false reality. Most people vent about things that have not happened.

Employees need to be ready for what is next. Change is hard for the unready. We should be continuously asking “How can I help? What did you do to help?”

Wakeman has developed a performance equation that more closely measures the value of an employee compared to normal performance reviews. It takes into account the emotional expense of the employee. Most employees come out negative.

Employee value equation = Current performance + future potential – 3X Emotional expense.

Personal accountability

Focusing on reducing the emotional expense and improving personal accountability will in turn improve the employee. Here are elements to focus on:

  • Commitment – Willingness to do whatever it takes
  • Resilience – Ability to stay the course
  • Ownership – Acceptance of the consequences
  • Continuous Learning – Perspective to see success and failure as learning experiences.

The overall lesson from this session was that individuals can improve their lot in life by attending to reality rather than what they believe is the reality. Drama can be reduced by asking how you can help them with their situation.

Wakeman was kind enough to leave us with some freebies focus on this topic.

This was a really interesting topic, but difficult to outline. I recommend that you read her books:

Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results

The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier