Being Accountable

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Mentors are a catalyst for change.

Structured programs (like this one) strive to create great matches - not only in skills sets but also personality.  

I have been in formal programs where the skills and the personality match just doesn't click. I didn’t have the skills or the confidence to discuss this with my mentor, so it became just another task for me to complete. 

You are a manager with the skills to excel in your workplace. This program is about you, your goals, and communicating with your mentor about the challenges you are having with those around you.

What does being accountable mean?

  • Following through on what you say you will do
  • Being punctual and prepared for meetings
  • Communicating when things aren't going as planned
  • Talking and reviewing your goals. Sometimes what we set out to do isn't a good fit anymore. It's ok to review and change your goals!

When we set goals, it can be incredibly easy to forget about them, continuing as normal until our next meeting rolls around, then BAM! "What have I done since our last meeting? I haven't worked on my tasks at all!" 

With my own mentors, I have promised to complete tasks but never finished them. Work got too busy. The goal scared me, and I was too overwhelmed to let my mentor know. What did I do? I stopped reaching out and hoped this feeling of discomfort would go away.

Sometimes our goals scare us. We avoid it. We don't have time. We know it’s important, we just haven't been able to do it.

Accountability is showing your mentor that you are listening and willing to grow. 

Being a mentee is about creating opportunities for you to be better at your job. Accountability can feel unnatural in a mentoring relationship. But it works. My mentors have been a source of strength and support. Yes, even a shoulder to cry on. I've now realised that when I cannot complete something, I send them an email and re-schedule our conversation for the next week. They know where I am in my life and how busy life can be. They've been there too. They understand.

If you find a task or action that you know you aren't going to complete or you're not sure about how it will help you improve then reviewing our Task Accountability Framework below will help set you on the right path ...

Task accountability

  • Examine the to goal (or task)
  • Break it into smaller, achievable steps
  • Set realistic time frames (S.M.A.R.T.E.R) and keep your mentor updated on your progress.
  • If you're avoiding completing the task take a chance to dig a bit deeper ...
    • Maybe it’s time to reflect on why you/your mentor chose this goal in the first place.
    • Stressed and unsure about what you need to do? Talk about it with your mentor or someone in your organisation.
    • Do you require more information? Look at TED.org, HBR.org, and other websites to identify resources that can help get you on the right track.

Mentoring requires time and effort from both mentor and mentee. Creating environments where understanding, inspiration, and support are provided. Are you ready to embrace it?