I pride myself on being self-motivated and an independent worker who doesn’t need a great deal of hand-holding. However, once a week, I meet with a colleague of mine and have done so for the past couple of months. We are each other’s accountability partners. Over the course of an hour or hour and a half, we discuss the past week’s successes and trials and with open minds take in each other’s suggestions and criticisms. From there we set a new week’s goals. Having this established routine has helped me tremendously in my business, yet having an accountability partner is not just limited to career goals. You could have an accountability partner for just about any major goal or change that you’re seeking out in your life, whether it is a healthier lifestyle, career change, bringing balance, you name it — an accountability partner can make a world of difference.
Encouragement: Embarking on a mission of change takes bravery and acceptance of risk. Even the most ambitious will run into days of doubt, fear, or lethargy. A good accountability partner provides reserve fuel for your fire by acknowledging your accomplishments along the journey as well as calling you to action when you are stuck.
Perspective: You gain insight from giving advice just as much as when you take it. Having a symbiotic relationship with someone who is also striving toward a goal can give you a new perspective on your own challenges. Resolving their challenges or calling them to action may even lead you to the A-ha! moment of realizing you should take your own good advice too. Stepping out of your own issues for a moment to help someone with theirs can be really effective in hitting your restart button and finding a new burst of motivation.
Accountability: Obvious maybe, but setting a routine with someone who can be up front and honest about your progress and vice versa is key. In essence, you are held responsible for your mistakes and your accomplishments. Having to come clean face-to-face with another is a powerful motivator.
A Devil’s Advocate: More than just a cheerleader, a great accountability partner will be able to cut through B.S. excuses and challenge you to take on unfamiliar and unique approaches to your goal that you would otherwise avoid.
- Network: As each other’s accountability partners, you are not only voicing your goals and aspirations to each other, you are also sending it out into the universe. A strong relationship like this opens up a world of networking opportunities that allow you to assist and be assisted by each other’s networks. Having your progress witnessed by an equally goal-oriented person as well as providing sound advice in return, you’ve built trust in someone who will be open to vouch for you for years to come.