Accountability- Intention

Examining ones true intention is a critical skill for leaders. Rarely do leaders slow down enough to consider what the underlining intention is of a conversation, action or meeting.  We go into a meeting with expectations, agenda and desired outcomes based on our own perspective of a situation or problem.  This is not usually a problem when dealing with technical issues, and clearly defined tasks that need to be accomplished.

When it comes to interpersonal relationships, and conflict this is where we fall short.

Taking time to reflect on our true  intention when dealing with people issues is so important. If I simply want this problem to go away or I want the parties to simply get along I am denying the parties a true opportunity to understand differences, appreciate diversity and real opportunity for high performance.  If we have a set expectation or required outcome we are less likely to learn from the other parties, we will miss key information. We won’t ask the great questions.

If we go into these difficult meetings with an open mind and an open heart we are much more likely to seek to understand than to seek to be understood. We are more likely to learn, grow and find creative and helpful solutions to complex interpersonal issues.


This weeks video is all about understanding “intention”.  We can either be “in- tension” or we can be “intentional”.   Intention is a key tool within our Accountability Model and as we learn and practice this importance tool we become intentional leaders who plan those important conversations with grace, humility and ease.

Accountability Model – Acceptance

Our ability to accept situations and people just as they are is sometimes a difficult concept for corporate leaders. Leaders are often encouraged to challenge everything and to continuously improve and to push the envelope. This includes their people’s performance.  When it comes to leading people there is an appropriate time to simply accept a person for exactly where they are at. To meet them in their situation and energy.  When we create acceptance within ourselves we will begin to let go of the idea that we need to change other people. We let go of the concept that we actually can change the behaviour of another person.

If we want to create a culture of accountability we have to create an environment where others can and do take responsibility for their own actions and results.  The leader cannot hold onto this responsibility and then expect the other person to take accountability. It seems counter intuitive but when you think about it, it does make sense.  We have to actually allow others to lead themselves to high performance instead of trying to force it.

Acceptance does not mean agreement but what it does allow for is a neutral place for discussion, support and exploration.


Accountability Model- Non-Judgment

In this third video on Accountability we discuss the concept of Judgment and why leaders benefit when they begin to question their judgments. They consider how judging another person affects them. They reflect on the question, do I have all of the information or data regarding this situation or person. We believe, as leaders, we can never have all of the information about a situation or person. Our ability to evaluate our judgments and to consider, what would happen if I let go of the story in my head.  Great reflections for all of us.  Could I enter a meeting more open and willing to learn? Would it create a safer space for the other person?

Becoming the Observer (The Accountability Model)

In the second video in our Accountability Model series, we discuss the first tool and technique; Becoming the Observer.  As leaders our ability to observe our thoughts…feelings, emotions and behaviours is a critical component of building self awareness and understanding  our impact on those around us. Is what I am putting my attention on serving me, making me feel good, and getting the results I want.  If the answer is “no” then  slowing down and reflecting is important. We can then use mental contrasting to assist us in better understanding our emotions and behaviours. Mental contrasting is an activity where we use great questions of ourselves in order to consider a different perspective.

For example, we might ask:

  • Do I have all of the information
  • Why did I get triggered
  • Do I know for sure it is true
  • Could I apply positive regard
  • What judgments do I have
  • Are my judgements impacting me negatively

These are only some of the questions we use as we observe ourselves, thoughts, feelings and actions.


Everything begins with YOU.  So start looking inward.  If you want to change something in our outer world you need to change something on your inner world first.

New Video Series- The Accountability Model

We are very excited to share with our community our Accountability Model and how it is used to enhance Leadership capabilities.  Even more importantly, when the tools are consistently used we see corporate cultures transform into intentional, meaningful communities driven by values and purpose underpinned by a culture of coaching for choice.

Understanding what it is to be human allows us to question all of our old beliefs about performance and performance management. The title Performance Management implies the managing of other peoples performance. In this series we will challenge our basic understanding of why so many traditional approaches to management and leadership simply don’t work.  Some of those areas might be:

  • Be clear about expectations
  • Hold people accountable
  • Manage performance
  • Give feedback continuously (every day)
  • Never let them see you sweat.  (my personal favourite)

This series will unpack the Accountability Model and its impact on how to create cultures where individual contributors thrive.  How we use the model and its tools and techniques to create environments where individual choice, intention and attention matter.  Assisting employees make clear and defined choice for themselves is critical in increasing performance. Our definition of   Accountability = “The Ability to Account for Oneself”


Neuroplasticity- Creating a New Pathway

In this weeks video Michael talks about the importance of consciously creating new neural connections in the brain. He explores the difficulties in intentionally make choices that allow for a new pathway to be formed. Some of his analogies take difficult concepts and make them easy to follow and understand.   Why does any of this matter when it comes to corporate leadership.  We often say, “We train people how to treat us”. . What are we training our teams to do?  How is this impacting the new near-connections they are making in their brains and what is the overall impact to individual and team performance.


As leaders we need to continuously evaluate the environment we are creating and the things we are training people to do, say and act.

The Pathway to Well-Being

In the first 4 videos in this series we have touched on Perceptions, Attention Regulation, and Judgements  and the possible impacts to our physiology. In this next video we will share with you our Pathway to Well-Being.  This model greatly assists leaders in understanding, where they put their attention will persist. Our attention will affect our emotions and emotional management is key to well-being, brain function and ultimately performance and outcomes.


Michael shares with us some further information on the importance of this. He uses an analogy of someone in the workplace that has bullying behaviour. What do you think happens to those around them?

We hope you will check out the video posted tomorrow and share your thoughts, comments and questions.

EGO- How it might show up!

In our next video Michael discusses some of the ways in which we have experienced leaders in the workplace and how the EGO plays a role.  It might not be what you think!  As Michael continues his exploration of becoming the “Observer” of yourself  we reflect on how the EGO might display itself.

Do you have an Inner Bully or maybe you have an Inner Champion.  I suspect you might have both. As Michael discusses these topics remember that we often use extremes in order to draw our attention to an important matter. This does not mean that extremes are the usual, in fact extremes are most often the exception.  These exceptions assist us in becoming a better observer of ourselves and allows for further reflection.


One of the key challenges we all face, whether we are living with our Inner Bully or our Inner Champion is the neurochemistry that these strong positions can illicit.

Join us tomorrow for another video in this series.

Attention Regulation and Leadership Development

Where we put our attention is very important when it comes to managing our emotions effectively.  When something happens outside our control, that we do not like, we often will make up a story about that situation or person. Where we put our attention will impact the emotions that are created. Those emotions can then affect our physiology.

Our ego can easily take the drivers sit, steering us right into uncomfortable feelings and emotions. We suggest that leaders begin to become the observer of their thoughts and where they put their attention and the resulting emotions. Once they do this they can ask themselves some important questions to assist in determining if where they are putting their attention is appropriate or helpful.

Some of those questions are:

  • Do I know for sure it is true?
  • Is what I am putting my attention on make me feel good?
  • Is what I am putting my attention on moving me in the direction I want to go?

If the answer is no, no and no then we can choose to redirect our attention. In some cases we can apply positive regard and in others we can simply work towards neutral.



In this second blog and video Michael shares the importance of recognizing the bi-directional highway  between our heart and our brain. He discusses the important role that our heart plays in sending signals to the brain regarding our safety.  When we sense danger we send a message from the heart to the brain that we are under threat.  The autonomic nervous system is affected and our body begins to produce adrenaline and cortisol without our conscious awareness.

These two hormones allow the body to react appropriately in the face of real danger. However, what happens when we simply think anxious or fearful thoughts. What if we  relive in our minds a dangerous situation we experienced in the past.  This can affect our heart rate (our coherence) and create the environment for adrenaline and cortisol to be produced.

Heart, Brain and Emotions

Our understanding of this bi-directional highway is so important in understanding human behaviour and emotions in the workplace. Leaders who are informed and take time to understand our unique physiology and the Heart / Brain connection are better prepared in understanding human behaviour in the workplace.

We hope you will take a few minutes to explore this new video in our series.  Please feel free to comment as we want to hear from you