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Episode 222 | The 5 A’s of Accountability: Assign

tgpe podcast with maureen werrbach

WITH Maureen Werrbach

  • Episode 222 | The 5 A’s of Accountability: Assign 00:00


Have you ever felt like you needed to micromanage your team in order to see progress in your practice? If this sounds like you, it may be time to take a look at how you’re assigning and tracking tasks. 

For the fourth episode of the six-week Accountability Equation™ podcast series, I dive deeper into the third A of the five A’s of Accountability: “Assign”. I explain the concept of an accountability tracker, which helps track progress and ensure everyone is on the same page. I emphasize the key elements of effective coaching, including consistent feedback, support, collaboration, and accountability. Some of the things I cover in this episode are:

  • Practical strategies and techniques to ensure that tasks are assigned effectively, minimizing confusion and maximizing productivity.
  • Explaining how accountability and coaching go hand in hand, as effective coaching plays a crucial role in helping individuals meet their goals and fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Introducing the accountability tracker tool, enabling you to keep a close eye on individual and team performance, ensuring that everyone stays on track and meets their objectives.
  • Exploring how to build an effective accountability tracker by setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.
  • Discussing how to adjust coaching strategies and approaches to meet the unique needs and circumstances of each individual, maximizing their potential for growth and success.

Remember, it’s not just about delegating tasks; it’s about fostering a proactive, results-oriented mindset.

Thanks for listening! Like what you heard? Give us 5 stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners on our website Talk to you next time!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Accountability Equation™ Quiz

The Accountability Equation™ Program & In-Person 2-Day Accelerator 

Connect with Maureen Werrbach & The Group Practice Exchange:





This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months of bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Maureen Werrbach (00:00:01) – You’re listening to the group Practice Exchange podcast, where the business development resource for group practice owners, where we talk candidly about business ownership and leadership from practice building tips to live coaching to real talk episodes with other group practice owners where the resource you’ve been looking for to help you grow your group practice. I’m your host, group practice owner and entrepreneur Maureen Werrbach. 


This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes, TherapyNotes is an online practice management and billing software designed for mental health professionals. Therapy Notes says everything you need to manage patient records, schedule appointments, create rich documentation and bill insurance right at your fingertips. They offer free and unlimited live support seven days a week. Their streamlined software is accessible wherever and whenever you need it. To get two free months, go to 


Need a new accountant or bookkeeper? Meet Greenoak Accounting, an accounting firm that works specifically with private practices. They do all of your accounting needs from budgeting to accounting to bookkeeping and payroll to building your dashboard. On top of that, they can help you set up your profit. First systems go to and mention The Group Practice Exchange for $100 off your first month. 


Welcome back to another episode of the Group Practice Exchange podcast. It’s Maureen. We’re back and we are on week four of our six weeks talking about the accountability equation. If you haven’t listened to the past three, I urge you to go back and start from the first episode, which is three episodes ago, and I talk about what the accountability equation is. It’s something that I’ve built to help group practice owners ensure that there is accountability on their leadership teams. The framework for the accountability equation follows what I call the five A’s, which is assemble, assess, assign, audit and action plan. And this week on the podcast, we’re going to be talking about a sign. So for a reminder, Assemble is creating those roles and functions for your business. Assess was last week’s episode where we talk about how we can assess the right people for the right roles.


Maureen Werrbach (00:02:29) – And today we’re going to be talking about assign, which is assigning clear accountability and coaching for success. So that’s the purpose of this week. The meat and potatoes of the accountability equation comes when we step into the assign section. In this section of the framework, we begin to assign accountabilities to all the people within our roles and functions. Matrix Assigning accountability means not just handing off tasks which to many of us do, is that our employees have long task lists with no accountability or ownership of the outcomes. Being accountable involves a proactive and results oriented mindset where leaders are actively driving and monitoring the progress, taking ownership of challenges and setbacks, and making necessary adjustments to achieve whatever the desired goals are for the business. So want you to think. Have you ever felt like you needed to micromanage your team or hound them down for information on things that they’re working on in order to see their progress? Or do you feel like you have no idea how certain areas of your business are functioning because those accountable just don’t have a clear system for tracking their progress in the accountability equation? What we call the Accountability Tracker is the antidote to that.


Maureen Werrbach (00:03:49) – Not only does it make it crystal clear who’s accountable for various parts of the business’s success, but it also provides the objectives and due dates to make that happen. So no more confusion, no more finger pointing, no more lack of movement in the business. Everyone knows their expectations and you no longer have to explain why someone is not meeting expectations because the accountability tracker is going to tell that story. So what’s an accountability tracker? It’s a tool that I built that is used to track the progress of leadership goals in your business. It’s a way to ensure that everyone’s on the same page and working towards the same goals. The tracker is divided into different roles and functions that you built in your matrix, and each person is responsible for meeting their own goals. The tracker also includes measurable goals which are specific and quantifiable targets that can be used to measure the progress along with due dates. Because, as we all know, measurable goals that aren’t time bound aren’t actually measurable. When the accountability tracker is built in alignment with your business’s overall goals, you’re going to see a few benefits.


Maureen Werrbach (00:05:00) – One is increased transparency and accountability. The tracker makes it clear who’s responsible for each goal, and it provides a way to track that progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. So this can help improve communication and collaboration within your leadership team, and it can help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. Another benefit is improved decision making. The tracker is going to help leaders make better decisions by providing them with the data and insights about the business’s performance. And this can help them to identify trends and patterns. It can help them to make more informed decisions about the future of the company as it relates to their role. Another benefit is increased motivation and engagement. The tracker can help motivate and engage your leaders by providing them with a sense of ownership over the company’s goals. And this can help them to stay focused and motivated and also help them to feel more connected to the company’s mission and vision. And then lastly, the last benefit is improved performance, which is of course what we’re all looking for.


Maureen Werrbach (00:06:04) – The tracker can help the business to improve its performance by providing a way to track progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. And this can help the leadership team make changes and adjustments as needed, and it can also help them to achieve their goals more quickly and efficiently. So in order to effectively build your accountability tracker, you have to keep a few things in mind. That one. All of the goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. This is going to help ensure that the goals are realistic and achievable for each role and the business’s overall goals. You also need to make sure that the goals are directly tied to that role’s overall goals quarterly goals. So often there are many tasks that each person in a role works on, but you want to make sure that the things on the accountability tracker are actually related to the larger organizational goals. Right? We have a lot of things on our to do list, and those things don’t necessarily have to be on our accountability tracker because they’re not actually a part of your company’s overall goals and accountabilities.


Maureen Werrbach (00:07:12) – You also want to set regular check ins to track the progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. This is going to help ensure that the goals that are on track and any necessary changes that need to be made are going to be seen. We’re going to talk a little bit more about this when we go to two weeks from now into what I call action plan, because that’s where we talk about how to regularly monitor your accountability tracker and how to do that effectively. Another thing is you want to make sure that you’re celebrating success along the way. This is going to help keep your team motivated and engaged. When we focus on celebrating success, it brings teams together and it shifts the focus from only discussing problems to prioritizing successes as well. And I know this from personal experience, and I’m sure you do too, is that it’s really easy to go into meetings and always talk about issues, right? Issues, lists, problem areas, but is also great to talk about the successes that are happening when you have a team that’s being accountable.


Maureen Werrbach (00:08:15) – And then lastly, being flexible and adaptable. Things don’t always go according to plan. And so it’s important to be flexible and adaptable. When you’re using an accountability tracker, you want to think of this as a live document that can be adjusted as needed. So when we talk about accountability, one of the things that often happens is that we feel like we set this accountability system up and then things aren’t being met, right? And so another big part of the accountability equation is our process of teaching coaching. Once they’re set, the biggest concern arises is when accountability isn’t being met. Leaders often fumble through trying to support their teams to success with little to no strategy on how to do it effectively. Some leaders might ignore the problem until they’re resentful and lash out. Others might engage in passive discussions in order to not make that team member upset and others might go right to giving the employee a performance improvement plan. And coaching is the antidote to this, and it’s what I suggest as the first course of action before any sort of performance improvement plans or termination is in order.


Maureen Werrbach (00:09:23) – And so when you join the accountability equation, what we’re going to do is teach you what we call the coaching path. Coaching is a proactive approach, and it’s designed to help employees improve their skills and performance. And it’s focused on providing feedback, guidance and support to the employee so that you can help them achieve their goals. So some of the key elements of an effective employee coaching system are one collaborative goal. Setting the coaching process should begin with setting clear, specific and measurable goals for the employee to work on. Collaborative goals should be aligned with the overall goals and objective of the organization, but also of that employee. And they need to agree on it. A goal that the employee creates is more likely to be one that they are going to reach. If the employee does not agree with the goal, Coaching is going to be ineffective and a Pip then might be a better route. The second part of the coaching path is regular meetings. The coach and the employee should have regular one on one meetings to discuss the progress that they’re making towards the goal, address any issues or concerns that are coming up and to provide feedback and guidance.


Maureen Werrbach (00:10:32) – Third is giving consistent feedback. The coach should be able to provide regular feedback to the employee, both on their strengths and areas of improvement. Feedback should be constructive, specific and actionable and should focus on the behaviors rather than the person’s personal characteristics. Fourth is our support and tools. The coach should be able to provide support to the employee in achieving their goals, including providing resources and trainings as needed. This one’s a biggie. The biggest differentiator between coaching and pipping an employee is the collaboration, the side by side movement towards the goal where the coach is providing all the resources possible to help their employees succeed. Fifth is accountability. The coach should be holding that employee accountable for their progress and performance and should establish consequences if that employee is not meeting those expectations. And. Then lastly is flexibility and adaptability. The coaching process should be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of the employee, and it should allow for adjustments as needed to ensure that the employee is able to actually achieve those goals. So this is just a quick reflection on what we call the coaching path when we are engaging in accountability.


Maureen Werrbach (00:11:48) – And so I just want to circle back at the end of this and to remind you if you haven’t already. We’re now four episodes into our six episode discussion on the accountability equation. You can go to my website, the group Practice Exchange, and take our quiz accountability quiz just to see where you are in terms of needing support when it comes to the accountability equation. But also be sure to register for the Accountability Equation Accelerator. This is an in-person event that I’m doing with a small group of people to help them literally complete the accountability equation for their business within those two days. It is eight hours a day for two days of deep diving into your business through the lens of the accountability equation. So I’d love to see you there and I will see you next week where we talk about the five A’s. We’re going to talk about the fourth A, which is audit. So see you next week. Thanks for listening to the group Practice Exchange podcast. Like what you heard, give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from.


Maureen Werrbach (00:12:55) – Need extra support? Join the exchange a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into. Visit Dot members dot the group practice See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

Specialized Accounting for Private Practice

At GreenOak Accounting, we offer accounting services that cater specifically to solo and group therapy practices. Our services range from bookkeeping to budgeting & forecasting, Profit First support, profitability analysis, payroll, tax preparation, compensation analysis, and much more.

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therapy notes

*Need a good EHR for your group practice? TherapyNotes is it. I’ve been using it for years in my own group practice, and it does really well when it comes to having the features group practice owners need. Try it out for FREE for 2 months by clicking here.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


The show

The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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