By Renie Cavallari

I recently witnessed a conversation that was unraveling. It was interesting to watch how the person who was holding another person accountable became the bad guy. No one won.

It is true that how we say and do things is more impactful than what we actually accomplish in most people’s eyes. Aggressive leadership, though in the short term may feel powerful, is actually destructive. It shuts down the desire to participate in a solution and get to the goal at hand. It is frustrating to everyone involved.

So, how do you get the productivity you need when nothing seems to light the fire?

  1. All of us make excuses when we drop the ball, and humiliation won’t get a person to own their crap. Instead, start with open-ended questions to engage in a discussion. This does not mean that you are fluffy or weak. It means that a conversation is always more effective than a lecture. I always say, “conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue!”
  2. Leave your frustration at the door. State your disappointment and move on to a solution. Avoid the “why story.” You will just get frustrated, and it takes the person’s focus off the real solution.
  3. How you say it is actually what you say. Words generally have little value when it comes to dealing with a conflict. Tone and body language are your message.
  4. Timing is everything. When it comes to holding people accountable, it is best-done one-on-one.
  5. End all conversations with agreements. Otherwise, get ready for another conversation.


The Lesson: If you want to improve productivity, try encouragement.

Live All in, Renie

P.S. Need some inspiration and tools on how you can lead the way forward for your team? Sign up for the free Leading the Way Forward Podcast below. Each week you will receive one free lesson 5-minutes in length that gives you proven practical ways to take your leadership effectiveness to its next level.