hold sb to task

English translation: hold (sb) responsible

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:hold (sb) to task
English translation:hold (sb) responsible
Entered by: Matheus Chaud

14:34 Jul 3, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Management
English term or phrase: hold sb to task
This is a video course about effective leadership.

I have this particular construction (hold sb to task) on two occasions:

1)
I had a stowaway on my team once.
He used to spend all of his time out of the office visiting our various locations.
I didn't have to invest a lot of time and energy in him, since I never saw him around.
At the end of the year, I noticed he wasn't delivering any results.
What I had to do the next year was invest more leadership capital focusing him and holding him to task to deliver specific results.


2)
I used to be a slacker at one point.
I had the ability to deliver great work. I just wasn't excited about the work I was doing.
My manager intervened.
He spent a lot of time with me letting me know, here are the performance standards.
He held me to task, and eventually we both figured out what would excite me more about the work I was doing.


Does the expression have the same meaning in both occasions? If so, how would you paraphrase it?
Thank you for your attention.
Matheus Chaud
Brazil
Local time: 22:40
Hold him responsible
Explanation:
Make HIM responsible for doing his job. If the person himself is responsible for doing his job, then he also knows that he will be fired if he does not perform. That is different from being the kind of supervisor who constantly looks over the employee's shoulder and micromanages.


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Note added at 20 mins (2018-07-03 14:54:53 GMT)
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As the context explains, holding him responsible involves talking to him and maybe breaking the job down into specific goals to make the work more doable and rewarding.
Selected response from:

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 17:40
Grading comment
Thank you, Tina!! It fits perfectly in the context.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +5Hold him responsible
Tina Vonhof
4 +4held me to account
Jack Doughty
3hold someone accountable
Amel Abdullah


  

Answers


16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
held me to account


Explanation:
considered me responsible, usually implies criticism.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Jack!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  writeaway
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  Rachel Fell
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Adejoke Oluwajobi (Nee Adenigbagbe)
2 days 3 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  NishantM
5 days
  -> Thank you.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
Hold him responsible


Explanation:
Make HIM responsible for doing his job. If the person himself is responsible for doing his job, then he also knows that he will be fired if he does not perform. That is different from being the kind of supervisor who constantly looks over the employee's shoulder and micromanages.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 20 mins (2018-07-03 14:54:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As the context explains, holding him responsible involves talking to him and maybe breaking the job down into specific goals to make the work more doable and rewarding.


Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 17:40
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
Thank you, Tina!! It fits perfectly in the context.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  B D Finch: As in: not letting him off the hook.
12 mins
  -> Exactly. Thank you.

agree  Robert Forstag: You were first.
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Robert.

agree  Edith Kelly
2 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  AllegroTrans
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Yvonne Gallagher
7 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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17 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
hold someone accountable


Explanation:
Speaking from an American English perspective, the phrase we typically use is "take someone to task," which means to criticize someone or hold them accountable for something.

In your context, I think the first one means "hold accountable," while the second means "provided (constructive) criticism."

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Note added at 22 mins (2018-07-03 14:56:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, I got cut off before I could complete my answer. The second one seems to imply that criticism was given, and that the manager made it clear that he would have to take responsibility for meeting the given standards. I think it was "constructive" criticism, however, because they worked together to find a solution.

Amel Abdullah
Jordan
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you, Amel!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  B D Finch: I believe that "taking someone to task" means giving them a bollocking and "holding someone to task" means not letting them off the responsibility for doing the job. (Both of these expressions are used in EN-UK too.)
6 mins
  -> I wondered about that, hence my lower confidence-level. I'd love to know the difference.

neutral  Robert Forstag: I think B D is right, although it seems to me that "holding someone to task" is not (as far as I know) much used in the US (where one might more commonly see "hold accountable" or "hold someone´s feet to the fire" in such contexts).
6 hrs
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