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By Darryl Stewart

Positive peer pressure leads to accountability

In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni suggests that peer pressure is the most effective and efficient way of maintaining high performance standards. The kind of peer pressure Lencioni is talking about is not the negative kind that saw many of us do silly things in our youth. It is the positive kind that comes when we wish to truly fit into a group doing great work at a high level. We see impressive things being accomplished and we want to contribute.

Positive peer pressure takes hold when all the members of a team feel accountable to each other, and free to challenge each other when great work does not happen.

A leader can build this type of accountability on a team by:

  • Sharing with everyone the goals of the team and the objectives and tasks of each individual.
  • Holding regular team meetings where everyone reports back about how they are performing against their objectives.
  • Shifting any rewards away from individual performance and towards team accomplishment.
  • Allowing the team to serve as the first and primary accountability mechanism.

Further, the leader must be ready to be the ultimate arbiter when the team fails. It must be clear to all that accountability has not been deemed the exclusive domain of consensus and that the leader will not hesitate to step in when necessary.

When a team can get to a high accountability level working against high standards, the pressure to do good work just like your teammates is the best kind of peer pressure possible – because we all want to fit in.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.