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Accountability Partner: Who, Why, When and How? (and some Bonus Tips!)

Accountability Partner: Who, Why, When and How? (and some Bonus Tips!)

Accountability Partner: Who, Why, When and How? (and some Bonus Tips!)

Imagine this: You have defined all your goals > You have developed a game plan > You follow the first few steps > You lose the motivation > Fail to achieve the desired. Sounds familiar? Well then, you are not alone. There are a million others trapped in this vicious trap. So, what’s the rescue? Wait, let me rephrase – Who is the rescue? – Your Accountability Partner!

Yes, you heard that right.

‘Accountability’ Partner!

What is an Accountability Partner?

Accountability partnership is your constant reminder to achieve your goals. The partners are equally invested in your success both emotionally and energetically.

Remember how the feeling of guilt kicks in when you promise your gym buddy about a hardcore session next morning, but fail to keep up? That’s the crux of accountability relationship.

When you choose an accountability partner, you mutually agree to share wins and feedback sessions on a regular basis. The uninterrupted support and the fear to let them down make you stay on track and fixate your vision at the set goals. The whole idea of being ‘accountable’ to someone about achieving your goals has a history of great success. (Even research advocates to that!)

Accountability Partners v/s Mastermind Groups

For most of you who are aware of the concept of mastermind groups must have observed the similarity between the two.

While the purpose of both these theories is the same: to help you achieve your goals, there is a slight difference in their functioning. Accountability partnership is a more personalized relationship with interests at heart for each other. On the other hand, a mastermind meeting is a discussion amidst a group of 10-15 people who brainstorm solutions for each other to help them resolve challenges. 

Long story short, if you want a constant who keeps a regular update on your progress towards your set goals – you need an accountability partner!

Remember, goals and dreams are not the same – here’s a detailed dig if you wish to explore.

Do You Really Need an Accountability Partner?

Ofcourse, yes. In the world of blame-game, accountability can bring in some real sincerity to your plan. The kind of progress an accountability partner can help you make towards your goals is unreal.

YES, YES, YES! Read it as *a thousand times* Yes.

Considering the connotation meaning of the word accountability, i.e., answering or accounting for your actions and results – it is all the more reason to start working with an accountability partner right away. Primarily because it helps you dodge the negative impacts of excuses you tend to give your own self. Apart from that, it derails your motivation and self-confidence. You start to consider every positive result, a stroke of mere good luck.

On the contrary, when you are ready to be accountable – you own up to all your actions and let go of the negative thoughts that cloud your vision. The unconditional time investment of your accountability partner triggers an emotion in you to pay them back. And you already know, the best form of payback will be achieving your goals.

A good accountability partner is not just about the regular reminders on your way ahead, neither it is about the irresistible rewards on your every achievement. It’s a lot more than that –

It’s about the companionship, the collaboration, and the co-mentorship.

Now that you are totally convinced about the essentiality of accountability partners, let me introduce you to its different kinds. This will help you identify the best type for you.

Accountability Partner: Who, Why, When and How? (and some Bonus Tips!)
Accountability Partner: Who, Why, When and How?

Different Types of Accountability Partner

1. Individual Accountability

This is the ideal form of an accountability partner. The kind that we discussed above, where an individual inspires you to achieve your personal and professional goals.

Identify your ultimate goal and all the small goals you wish to achieve, then select an AP who matches your wavelength, believes in your vision, and complements your skills.

2. Team Accountability

Mostly adopted in organizations, team accountability equips the member in an organization to be accountable for each other’s actions. This helps them gauge reliable results and develop healthy relationships.

The benefits of team accountability can be achieved when clubbed with self-awareness. Thus, the organizations aiming to establish an accountable-team must first encourage each individual to own their behaviours. 

3. Reciprocal Accountability

Reciprocal accountability is more of a mutual setting, that is both you and your accountability partner are struggling through the same pain points with a similar end-goal in mind.

While you are on the run of finding an accountability partner who is reciprocal in nature, choose someone who is going through the same experience or suffering with a similar problem in the same intensity.

How is an Accountability Partner Helpful?

While I have already given you a sneak-peak of this in the matter above, here’s a detailed dig on how choosing an accountability partner can prove to be an asset in your life:

1. Accountability partners keep you honest

Self-awareness is often undermined, but its significance in your professional life is irreplaceable. Because, if you don’t know what’s wrong in your mechanism, how are you going to fix it? Accountability partners consider it their personal responsibility to help you dodge the blame-game and be brutally honest to your own selves. 

2. They illuminate what you are missing

Each and every human brain comes with a unique arrangement of strengths and weaknesses. None of us can do anything about it until we learn to identify our blind spots. Exactly where accountability partners kick in – they help you uncover these blind spots and lend you a third-eye perception.

3. Acts as a sounding board

When you hit the rock-bottom, you first need a patient-listener followed by a goal tracker. If your AP can narrate 2-paged inspirational poetry in times of crisis, but cannot lend an ear – he/she is not worth it!

4. A gentle nudge to your lazy brain

Humans tend to resist change – primarily because of the uneasiness and the struggle it carries along with it. Well, the road to success is certainly not going to be a smooth ride. Irrespective of the bumpiness, you can’t afford to slow down or lose focus on the way. At this hour, accountability partners show you a red flag and guide you on the right path.

5. Keeps a track of your progress

Whether you wish to be the best in the business or lose some pounds – you NEED to keep a track of your growth. Often times, when you are on your own, you fail to do the needful. So, choose a partner who can invest enough time to keep track of your learning.

6. Accounting partners are your daily dose of motivation

As discussed in #4, changing behaviors is not going to be easy (but it will be worth it!). On some days, the stress can overpower you and you might want to just give up. A good accountability partner prevents such situations and acts as your cheerleader, motivator, and playmate – all combined in one.

7. Your confidante on the way upwards

Success is a lonely road” – Not really! If you have an accountability partner by your side who has your best interests at heart and helps you achieve your goals, the journey will be a fun ride. After all, even hell seems fun when you are accompanied by your best friend! 😛

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Accountability Partner

I know the benefits are irresistible and most of you are already finding an accountability partner.  Here’s a starter pack for you to find the best AP for yourself.

1. Find the right person (trustworthy and non-judgmental!)

Your accountability partner will know all your set goals, listen to your pain points, limitations and even weaknesses. This is a lot of authority already. So, make sure, your AP is completely reliable with a mindset that aligns with your own.

However, don’t restrict yourself to a particular type – explore! Muddle all the options available online or in-person and then pick the best.

2. Discuss your goals and how you wish to achieve them

Talk about your goals to the ones you have shortlisted. Listen to their goals and encourage a healthy discussion. Understand their idea of success and check if it matches yours. It need not be a clone but at least the crux must match.

Let them know about what encourages you and what puts you down. This will help you both analyze the ‘what you are getting into’!

3. Ask him/her out! 😉

No, I don’t mean for dating (if that’s what you all have been thinking) – I meant, ask them out for discussion on ‘accountability partner’.

Once you have identified the ONE, don’t shy away to directly approach him/her and ask whether s/he is interested in this type of meeting. If both you agree mutually, move on to the next step.

4. Set a meeting on a mutual free-time

Figure out your check-in timings. It can be either via phone, skype calls or even in person. Irrespective of the communication medium, it is important that the meeting hours maintain a level of consistency without any long-breaks.

Both of you must block a particular day and time in a week for the meet-ups and try to not miss or switch it unless really required.

Never bring judgment in your accountability structure – it will derail all your efforts on a large-scale. Make sure even your AP is well-aware of this fundamental. Because as soon as the fear of getting judged creeps in, your safe haven will immediately transform into a living hell.

5. Organize weekly accountability statements.  

Now, when you have identified your accountability partner and set up regular check-in timings, it’s time for some action. Accountability statements are basically recorded for your actions and milestones you wish to achieve before the next meeting.

Create weekly accountability statements with the help of your AP which is both possible and actionable in the given time frame.

How to Be a Good Accountability Partner?

“Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment to results”

Will Craig.

And when the results are so big with so much at stake, you will never want this partnership to fall out. The reason why I have listed these master-tips so that working with an accountability partner becomes easy and long-lasting for you.

1. Commit to your touch-points

As defined by Will Craig in the quote above, commitment is a primary aspect of accountability partnership. The ‘call-in-need’ approach doesn’t work here. You must establish regular progress-check sessions to intensify the impact.

2. Make it a priority

Your priority list must be clearly defined in your head with accountability at the top. Remember, your accountability partner will not be able to benefit you in any form if you let comfort overpower you. It will always attract you like a pie on your crash diet but the real win lies in the determination.

3. Honor feedbacks

When you make it your priority, you will naturally feel a personal responsibility to achieve your goals not only for your own self but for your accountability partner as well. Listen to what your AP has to say about your progress and honor all the feedback, positive or negative.

4. Create an engagement plan well-before

Let your accountability partner dig deeper in you, let all your walls down because the benefits so derived will be miraculous. Discuss your expectations from each other, your comfort zone and operating principles.

5. Practice healthy and clear communication

Communication is the key to every healthy relationship. Thus, when you feel awkward situations are popping between you both, it’s time to talk! Don’t let situations creep in between your partnership.   

6. Do not forget respect

In my viewpoint, shame and disrespect are the worst motivators. So, unless it works for one of you, refrain from using it. Follow the rule of ‘speak the way you like to be spoken to’ and don’t let the consistency break. Your AP is not your 24*7 retainer, he is your coach, a motivator, and ‘achieve your goals’ buddy! (if you know what I mean) 😉

7. Revisit goals and strategies

Every once in a while, at a defined time interval, check on your ultimate progress. That is the journey that you have covered from the start until now and the area that you are yet to cover until the end-goal. It will help you and your accountability partner to adjust your future gameplan and redefine goals if necessary.

Final Thoughts!

A wise man once said ‘If you want to go fast go alone: if you want to go far, go together.” It holds 100% true even today.

Accountability and partnership, both the words have immense power individually but when combined, can transform the entire meaning of your life. There’s a reason why accountability partners are a thing now and are widely gaining its deserved recognition.

Follow the guide accurately and you will find yourself a good accountability partner. Also, don’t forget to consider the tips if you wish to continue the partnership for the long-run.

Finally, let me close this think-piece with a few numbers by The American Society of Training and Development (about accountability) that is sure to blow your mind:

  • People with a commitment to another person are 65% more likely to achieve their goals
  • When the partners keep checking on the progress, the chances of success increase by 95 percent!

*on the run to find myself an accountability partner*

Where are you?

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