Chapter 6 describes the idea of accountability and being accountable is critical today more than ever. Accountability can have both a positive and negative effect on workplace relationships. Let’s use this discussion as an opportunity to discuss how we can use techniques to maintain positive accountability. What techniques can you use (or currently use) to hold yourself accountable? What techniques can you use to hold others accountable for their actions? Also, how do these accountability techniques impact workplace relationships?
One of the main principles in our material this week discusses empowerment of other people in respect to accountability.  Often, we find ourselves in situations where we do not readily know what to do as far as a procedure or process is concerned and we must seek help.  One technique I use to keep myself accountable and others is by showing or being shown the tools or methods needed to complete the process. 
An example:  as a chemical coordinator for a research area, my responsibility was to provide guidance in assuring chemicals were properly documented, stored and disposed of.  However, often other researchers relied on me heavily to “do it for them” rather than handling this themselves.  One of our core leadership principles at the company is giving others the tools to do a job themselves rather than jumping in and handling it.  Sometimes, it’s easier to jump in and perform a task quickly; however, it isn’t always feasible and that is why it is necessary to empower others to perform the job as well if it is within their realm of responsibility.  I provided links and resources to each individual when they had questions regarding how to handle a certain situation.  I also provided a yearly training course to reiterate changes in procedures and proper procedures in chemical and waste handling.  
Another example of empowerment.  A team member asked me to run a report for her one week.  She waited until 1 hour prior to when the report was due.  I was happy to generate the report for her as I had access to the system and she allegedly did not I also provided her with the system administrator information to request access.  Fast forward to the following month where this coworker requests (again at the last minute) for me to run the report.  I provided the report to her and sent a request myself to the administrator and copied the coworker on this request.  The third month, and another breathless last-minute phone request for this report, and I could not meet her timeline due to my own work responsibilities.  I verified with the administrator that she was granted access and offered to show her how to run the report herself to prevent her from having to rely on others.  She declined my offer. All email correspondence was retained regarding this example.  She approached my manager about my unwillingness to help and I provided written documentation that not only did she have access, I offered to instruct her on how to perform proper reporting.  I was sure to point out that I was willing to assist, I simply could not meet her last minute deadline on that particular day and that if the report was a requirement of my work responsibility, I simply needed that to be communicated to me.  The issue dropped quite quickly.
I attempted to hold her accountable by a) giving her the tools to perform the job herself, b) assuring she had the proper access to the systems she needed, c) offering to provide firsthand instruction on how I run the report, d) offering to take on the responsibility in a timely manner if her schedule did not allow.  
In the end, I received no further requests for reporting, and I am assuming she found a system to provide it in a timely manner.  

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