Workplace Communication Tip — Week 17: “Hold Me Accountable, Please!”

“Having the presence of mind to request help and make an agreement around an unconscious behavior can help you become aware of that behavior.” – Ike Lasater, Words That Work In Business

“Hold Me Accountable, Please!”

A second type of practice agreement that works well is called an Accountability Agreement.

These agreements are based on our knowledge that while we are attempting to incorporate a new set of values and skills into our lives, the reality is that we will likely be triggered in heated moments to react out of our habitual patterns. We make accountability agreements with people to empower them to call us on it when they see us acting in a way that’s out of alignment with how we’ve stated we want to act.


If this type of agreement will work best for your learning needs, put one in writing with your practice partner.

Be specific about the response you’d like to hear from your practice partner as these moments come up. Think about a question they could ask or response they could give that is least likely to trigger you even more (such as something like “that’s a judgment!”). Put it in writing. And be willing to modify the agreement as you gain more experience with it. Remember, you have the agreement to aid your learning and not as a test of whether you will keep it as originally conceived.


Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, consider what type of agreements you’d like to make with your practice partner. Think about how you might phrase your agreements and put them on paper.