Accountability Begins With Respect

The following article was submitted by franchisEssentials Guest Author, Diane Helbig. As a certified, professional coach and president of Seize This Day Coaching, Diane works with people starting their own business, salespeople who need and want to improve their skills, and business owners who want to master challenges and realize greater success. She is also co-founder of Seize True Success, a coaching practice dedicated to helping franchisees grow and prosper.

Accountablilty Begins With Respect
By: Diane Helbig

Many small business owners struggle with making their staff accountable. They know what they expect their people to do. And, as long as everyone’s performing effectively, all is well. The trouble occurs when someone falls short of the owner’s expectations.

respectThe struggle is rooted in fear – fear of confrontation, consequence, repercussions. The solution is rooted in respect. When you respect yourself, your staff, and your customers, you’ll find accountability easier to achieve.

1. Respect yourself – This sounds simple, and it is. You should have a healthy respect for yourself. You took a chance and launched a business, putting your ego, income, and reputation on the line. At the same time, you’re not superman (or woman). When you respect yourself, you appreciate your accomplishments and own your limitations. When you respect yourself, you understand that you have a right to expect reasonable levels of performance and attitude from others.

2. Respect your staff – They are working with you to help you realize your vision. They bring valuable skills and sensibilities to your organization. You respect them when you have clear, written expectations and consequences – not only for their job function, but for their behavior and attitude. Have enough respect for them to let them know what you want. At the same time, have enough respect for them to remove obstacles, especially when those obstacles are co-workers who aren’t up to par. Put yourself in their shoes. How do you think it feels to consistently do a good job while Susie over there skates? In addition, respect them enough to believe in them. After all, they believe in you.

3. Respect your customers – They are the reason you and your staff are able to do what you do. When you respect your customer, you are aware of anything that can have an impact on them. And, rest assured, they’ll know if you are or are not making your staff accountable. It’ll show in their work, their attitude, and most of all – in yours.

A healthy respect goes a long way. If you’ve made your expectations and the consequences clear, and someone isn’t up to snuff, when you keep them anyway, you are doing a disservice to you, them, their co-workers and your clients. Making people accountable is the respectful thing to do!

About the Guest Author: Diane is a COSE Mindspring editor and writer for She is also a member of the Top Sales Experts panel at Diane is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms. Diane earned a BS in Social Science from Michigan State University and received her coaching certification from The Coach Training Alliance. To learn more about her coaching practices please visit or

One thought on “Accountability Begins With Respect

  1. Very powerful point, Diane.

    I once heard a saying that rings true for me here:

    “Discipline is easy when you are truly a disciple of your own highest priorities.”

    Staying accountable to each of our stakeholders (including ourselves) is a form of discipline, and it reveals what we truly want for ourselves– what we believe we can have. And it is demonstrated in the smallest of moments, every day.

    Often, those moments are not the times we chose to act, but the times we chose not to and avoided a situation or procrastinated… and we let our priorities slowly diminish in value.

    Listen to your gut in those moments, pause, and respectfully speak your mind or take a simple step toward fixing the issue. It gets easier the more you do it, and in fact, the people you want around you will appreciate you for it.

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