Generate Collaboration and Accountability
Core Strengths is the Essential Ingredient to Effectively Working Together.
When we ask leaders what they really want when it comes to collaboration and accountability in their organizations, we get a variety of responses but they almost always land on two ideals: a Culture of Collaboration and Ownership for Results. To paraphrase the collective responses from more than 40 years of asking that question: “I want people to effectively work together and take ownership of their responsibilities to get results.”
In too many organizations that’s just not happening. Even the most highly skilled and well-intentioned workers can fall short when it comes to productively working together and owning their responsibilities.
Leaders typically try to solve this by relying on processes and systems to generate collabration and accountability; they do things like schedule meetings, assign and measure key metrics, and implement collaboration software. These kinds of systems and processes are useful for creating and communicating expectations — but they don’t help their people productively deal with team dynamics, conflict or evoke a sense of personal responsibility.
What’s missing is a connection to a common collaborative language where each person understands their colleague at their core and productively manages their responsibilities.
Your motives at your core are what drive you. They determine how you make commitments and what outcomes you’re willing to own. When you find yourself in a high-stakes situation, you naturally tap into those motives and draw on the strengths, or behaviors, that are most comfortable and familiar.
The thing is, we tend to choose the strengths that feel best to us without realizing they may not be best for the situation we’re in. By developing a better understanding of our motivations and what’s motivating the people around us, we can make better decisions about how to respond. And because we then own the choices we make, we naturally become more accountable for the results.
Traditional approaches to collaboration and accountability focus on a one-size-fits-all set of techniques that don’t consider individual differences. At the root of most of these techniques is the assumption that one person can “hold” another person accountable: “If I do or say the right things, in the right way, I’ll get other people to do what they are ‘supposed’ to do.” But telling people what to do, or even asking them nicely, only generates compliance – not a true sense of ownership and real accountability.
True accountability can’t be demanded or imposed. It happens only when people are empowered to take ownership and initiative — to commit to an outcome and deliver on that commitment — especially when the stakes are high. When people feel coerced, they may comply — but they do so only as long as they are experiencing external pressure and their compliance isn’t sustainable.
The Core Strengths approach teaches people how to choose strengths in light of motivations, which allows them to produce better results for themselves, their team, and their organization. Having a choice of which strengths to use fosters real accountability, because people feel personally responsible for what they freely choose, and they take ownership of their choices, actions, and most important – their results.
Results through Relationships connects your language to your motives to use the right strength at the right time to create effective collaboration and personal responsibility. That’s the heartbeat of Core Strengths.