Want to get things done? Here's how an accountability partner can help.
Hi, I'm Pete Mosley. I'm a coach, speaker and author of The Art of Shouting Quietly – a guide to self-promotion for introverts and other quiet souls. Extrovert or introvert, quiet or loud, confidence can be an issue for all of us. Here, I explore the benefits of working with an accountability partner.
Over time, working with an accountability partner can neutralise the drag of resistance and ensure you overcome blocks and barriers on the way to getting things done.
If perfectionism, procrastination or impostor syndrome stop you in your tracks - or if you suffer fluctuations in your confidence levels - working with a buddy might be the one of the things that helps you most.
Most people are quite good at setting goals or planning the steps they need to take to make something happen. Or they can do that with the help of a coach or mentor. But when real life kicks in, all the good intentions can be overwhelmed by the pressures of everyday life. We grind to a halt.
When I'm getting close to the end of a coaching relationship, I always offer my client the option of splitting the remaining coaching time up into a series of short 'accountability' calls. Each call lasts around 30 minutes, and we use it to review the goals that were set the previous week, check progress, make adjustments and set new interim goals to review on the next call. This steady drip of accountability and support can often be the thing that ensures progress is made. When a coaching relationship finishes, the client gets drawn back into the pressures and demands of everyday life once again and progress can slow or halt completely. Regular accountability sessions stop that from happening.
Finding an accountability partner.
Your accountability partner does not always need to be a trained coach. (sometimes they do - see below) They do need to 'get' you and what it is that you are setting out to do. If they are on a similar path of self-development themselves and the relationship is reciprocal, so much the better. That way you can help each other when you falter.
Agree the rules
How will you help each other? Set some rules of engagement. How regularly will you meet/talk? How will the meeting/call be structured? How will you record what is agreed? A simple action planning pro-forma can help - or you can use Skype itself to capture the notes and fresh goals as a message between you. Skype also helpfully records the date and elapsed time of your call.
What happens if something comes up that you don't feel you can handle?
Sometimes, your accountability partner does need to be a trained coach or mentor. If you are not yet clear enough about your goals or after a number of accountability sessions, you are still stuck, specialist help might be required. If a coach or mentor helped you name and work with the original block it might be best to go back and do some more work with them. Or, set the accountability process in chain with your coach in the first instance and then set up your own accountability partnership when you are good and ready.
Having an accountability partner could be the most powerful and rewarding thing you could ever do for yourself. Simply put, it works a hell of a lot better than trying to be accountable to yourself.
Ponder on this for a while. Who could help you in this way, and who could you help in return? Have a few exploratory conversations. Set the ground-rules. Get started.
If you have found this post helpful, and would like to explore the issues raised in more depth. please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can arrange an exploratory call at your convenience.