The Accountability Dial®: The Boundary

The Boundary

The Boundary is the stage of the Accountability Dial® where it’s time to talk about the consequences of a behavior that hasn’t changed. It’s a critical moment to apply positive pressure on your team member to lean into their professional growth.

Though more formal than the previous three steps, your approach in the Boundary should be friendly but firm. You’re going to let them know that if they can't make the turn there will be significant consequences.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be fired—it could mean a demotion or some reorganization of responsibilities, or removal from a project. But their job, in its current form, is on the line.

Boundaries should be specific and measurable, follow a realistic timeframe, and include honest, detailed descriptions of consequences. It serves no one to be less than clear about your expectations.

Practice the Boundary

So much of accountability comes down to the details.

For the Boundary, your job is to work with the team member to compose an agreement about what needs to change, and when.

As with all other steps of the Accountability Dial®, it’s crucial to get these details right by practicing—which is exactly what you'll do.

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