I'm trying to instill more accountability and discipline in myself, my team, etc. Since words are important, I am trying to start by insisting on what I refer to as "The Language of Accountability." This is about being deliberate about commitments, specific about what you're committing to, and trying to root out "squishiness" and weasel words in your commitments.
For example, use words like:
- "I own this."
- "I will complete this by <date>."
- "Here is what I will do..." or "Here is what I will deliver..." or something similar.
Simple changes like this can make a big difference. The test is pretty simple - you can ask three questions to find out if you're using The Language:
- Do I know what I'm committing to / what is the expected outcome?
- Am I clear on who owns this item?
- Do I know when to expect it to be completed?
If the answer is no to any of these, you aren't done committing.