Defining and Establishing Accountability

Practicing accountability is something that will affect someone’s personal and professional spheres. Friends, family, and loved ones can learn to trust and rely on someone. At the same time, professional mentors may see these aspects as proof of someone’s abilities. They will be a consideration for those looking to further their positions within a company. However, accountability is also complex, and there are several other skills at play when it comes to being held accountable for something. Regardless of the negative connotation that the word often carries, there are both positive and negative effects of accountability. Establishing accountability in a healthy environment can help keep objectives clear and foster a motivating personal or professional setting. 

Accountability is Necessary

Before beginning to set practical and healthy parameters around accountability, it is essential to remember that accountability isn’t something that can be ignored. Actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and accountability is a significant part of that. Not holding others accountable for their actions can have several adverse effects. Some people may not learn from mistakes, while others may not feel appreciated when a job is done well. Someone may feel less inclined to help others or deepen friendships if they do not feel appreciated. Professional advancement may become compromised if someone is left ill-equipped to do the jobs they are being assigned. Therefore, since accountability is a part of daily life, it is vital to harness it in a healthy, progressive way. 

Establishing Accountability

Establishing accountability in a healthy, positive way means that there needs to be effective communication. Set clear goals, so each person knows what is expected of them. These responsibilities need to be clear and reasonable to the degree that someone can realistically accomplish them independently or with the resources given. Punishing or addressing a failure when someone wasn’t initially set up for success can easily lead to disagreement between parties. On a personal front, this can mean that someone knows they are expected to do certain chores around the house or need to do an errand today. The tasks are clearly stated, or even written down, so they know the exact things they need to do. For example, they may be taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom, but may not be expected to do the dishes today. 

In the workplace, this can mean someone has to successfully deal with customers. They may be expected to know of recent sales that the store is having, or developments on safety procedures when working in a warehouse. However, it is unreasonable to assume that each employee will have checked a website before work without being asked. Having these sales or safety developments presented to them at the workplace before they are to be enforced can provide each person the basis for their success. In turn, it becomes reasonable to then hold them accountable for the information. 


Accountability comes tied with implications, including positive and negative consequences. However, holding someone accountable means more than just punishing someone or addressing failures. Someone can also be held responsible for their successes, either around the house or in the workplace. People who have accomplished their assigned tasks deserve to be acknowledged for upholding their responsibilities, either through verbal praise or other rewards that may make a difference. Not only does this help each person feel like part of a team, but it also reinforces the fact that each person is important and trustworthy. 

Establishing accountability means being clear about the expectations and responsibilities and the consequences for someone if they either accomplish or fail to achieve a goal. However, there is no better way to establish accountability than to model it for someone else. Holding oneself accountable for their own actions, admitting faults, and noting when something was done well sets the stage for others. Not only does this allow each person to humanize themselves for others, but it also showcases one’s commitment to everyone else by holding themselves to the same standards. Modeling accountability means expressing vulnerability and allowing oneself to be rewarded for their own successes in their own way. Accountability is a tool that intends to instill trust and confidence in others by helping them realize their successes while building on their failures. It is not meant to be a tool that is only intended for negatively punishing someone for their actions. It’s time to incorporate accountability into your life – it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you might think!

Accountability is just one aspect that is important when practicing interpersonal relationships. From being able to fairly judge others to fairly judge yourself, there are many aspects at play. At LifeTutors, not only do you get to begin to establish your own accountability, but you also are given the opportunity to develop many other essential life skills that you can practice in daily life. With experience helping those suffering from mental health disorders, recovering from addiction, or simply those who are learning the ropes themselves, LifeTutors can help you learn the skills you need to follow your own goals while highlighting your strengths. With personal and family plans available to help with personal development to interpersonal friction, LifeTutors has a way for you to recognize your own goals. For more information on the various ways that the professionals at LifeTutors can help you or to speak to a trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (828) 417-7122.


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