"Smile and wave boys, smile and wave."

Many people, and a few penguins, will do anything imaginable to avoid confrontation when faced with blame or shame as a predictable response. So, what's a productive response when we feel let down by someone or feel their actions were inappropriate? We can choose to hold them and ourselves accountable.

Holding people accountable does not translate into the green light for blaming and shaming when your expectations have not been met. Accountability means you have clearly set mutual understandings of what's expected, and you follow through with maintaining those boundaries as you respond to a failure to hold up one's end of the bargain. You find out why someone failed to perform as expected, and then you maintain your original objective for the desired outcome. You  renegotiate or move on to a new plan for getting what you want. You hold each participant accountable by acknowledging the situation, the set back and consciously choosing your next move.