One of my clients has a very simple rule, which is to include the account executive on any communication relating to his or her accounts. Team members know that this means to copy them on emails and update them on any verbal discussions.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, many of the client management hiccups that occur in this company relate to breaching this simple guideline. How and why does this happen?
Behaviorally, some people are inclined to follow rules while others make up their own. I read an email exchange pertaining to a recent communication glitch. Jack, the person who is excluding the account executive, knows that the rule exists. He simply doesn’t follow it.
Jack is perceived as having strong job skills, but his belligerence in opting out of one of the company’s most sacrosanct communication rules, is ruining his professional capital.
This isn’t rocket science. People who don’t follow such simple rules aren’t stupid; they just make up their own as they go along.
Don’t get me wrong – independence and creativity are fabulous competencies – but they can be catastrophic when they go against organizational culture and leave account execs fuming.
As a leader in your organization, you may have comparable challenges enforcing communication rules that seem to be no-brainers. If you have staff members who won’t follow the rules, you need to decide if you will reward them by turning the other cheek when they upset the senior brass or if you will insist on them complying with the rules.
Job skills can be taught or cultivated. Teaching accountability is harder. You need to decide what you’re willing to tolerate, even when someone is a rock star.