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From Good to Great: Using the Crucial Accountability Model to Help Create Great Performance

My colleague Emily and I have taken on an exciting project recently that has pushed me to look at accountability in a new way. If you’re not familiar, our Crucial Accountability content teaches skills for addressing gaps between expectations and actual performance.

The accountability model for managing performance is a great tool for stepping up to and addressing those kinds of gaps—and I’ve taught it that way for 10-plus years. But with our project of late I’ve discovered the power this same model has to close other gaps—those between good and great, or between actual performance and aspired performance.

Whether you’re working with struggling performers or high performers, you’ll need to influence behavior. If you want to close a gap, you need to change behavior—and if you want to change behavior, you need to understand what is causing the behavior. The Crucial Accountability model is based on more than 50 years of social science research, giving us explanations for why people do what they do and how they change.

So, if you’re coaching individuals to greatness, consider the following questions as you determine how to influence their behavior:

  • What is contributing to the gap between where this person is and where they want to be? If you don’t know, how can you involve them in defining that gap? How will you ask them where they want to go?
  • What are your good intentions for this person? How will you share them?
  • What skills do they need in order to close the gap?
  • Who are formal and informal mentors who could coach them and enable their growth?
  • What tools and resources would make their growth (almost) painless?
  • What motivates them, and how can you connect future growth to those motivations?
  • What will be the next action you’ll use to challenge them toward closing the gap? When will they take that action? When will you follow up with them?

If you use this model to help people move from good to great, let us know about your experience via our trainer communities on Facebook or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear what results you’re seeing in closing these performance gaps.

Justin Hale

"You change your life one action at a time. My next tip is your next action.” Justin Hale is a speaker, trainer, and training designer. He plays a key role on VitalSmarts’ product development team and is often the face of VitalSmarts’ award-winning classroom, virtual, and on-demand courses.

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