I think that one of the most important things we can do to help each other stay on track during the difficult times we are all experiencing is to hold each other “Accountable.”

Why you ask?  Many of us are suffering from the long-term effects brought about by Covid-19 and by recent civil unrest and natural disasters.  At best, we are a bit-off-our-game.  This type of stress can lead to forgetfulness, procrastination, and in general the inability to function at our normal capacity.  These stressors can influence our productivity, our ability to keep priorities in order and cloud our thinking.

Most of us are not aware of changes in our own behavior, our thoughts, our feelings and need help recognizing when are not acting from our strengths. It’s not always easy to do but people will appreciate the help to push past these bad behaviors and get our jobs done.  A huge benefit to accountability is reducing the guilt we experience when we know we are not living up to our potential.  Here’s a brief rundown of the possible effects of long-term stress on your employee’s right now:


  • Increase/decrease in activity level
  • Substance abuse
  • Decreased ability to relax
  • Decreased job performance


  • Aches/Pains
  • Headaches
  • Weight change
  • Digestive
  • Sleep changes


  • Highs/lows
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Apathy
  • Grief


  • Memory
  • Confusion
  • Slow to think
  • Hard to set priorities
  • Hard to make decisions
  • Loss of objectivity


  • Isolation
  • Blaming
  • Hard to ask for help
  • Blah’s

The solution to overcoming these stressors is accountability coaching. Meet regularly with your employees, ask them how many of these symptoms they are feeling and how it’s affecting their staff performance. Seek to understand their experience before you interject and remind them of accountability and expectations on performance. Helping someone you work with to refocus, by gifting them with a friendly reminder of an important deadline or task or an upcoming meeting is more valuable today than ever before.   This act of kindness can have a wide range of results that surpass helping just the individual; it can build trust, help to maintain the trajectory of a team project, and will have a positive effect on the customer experience.  This can drive a forward momentum for the company, in spite of the unprecedented 2020 state of affairs.

Please don’t forget that a little grace can go a long way.  Include empathy in your reminder, because most likely you are experiencing the impact of these unfamiliar times too.

Cindy Klinger – Coach