Often when I'm meeting with people who are interested in starting a business, nonprofit or they just want a strategy to figure out how to move ahead in life, one of the first five questions I ask is "Who do you have that will hold you accountable towards your goals", and nine times out of ten, I get a blank stare. People seldom think about the benefits of having an accountability partner and/or network when it comes to the strategic direction of their lives.
If you don't know an accountability partner is someone who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment and if you're serious about walking in your purpose and moving that purpose to impact, having a great accountability partner is crucial in helping you accomplish your goals. Here are five tips to help you in choosing one.
1. They must hold you accountable-I know this seems like "duh" but it's not as easy as it seems. The person who you choose can't be timid and must be bold enough to hold you to what you said you would do and call you out if you're are not doing it.
2. If you can't trust this person-move on- Your accountability partner will be your sounding board, the person that you share your ideas with and brainstorm with. If you're not able to trust this person or don't feel comfortable openly sharing with him/her, then move on. You can keep them in your network, but you don't have to form an accountability relationship with them.
3. Communication is key- We talked about trust, but you also need to find someone that you can communicate with. If you know that you hate talking on the telephone and prefer face-to-face meetings, find someone that communicated that same way. Bonus tip: When forming this relationship make sure to build a communication plan which outlines how you will communicate, when and how often you will meet and what are the deadline for your goals.
4. Discipline is a must- Make sure to find someone who is as disciplined as you are! This is a must, if you find yourself working with someone who is not disciplined to hold you accountable and/or accomplish their goals the accountability relationship will not flourish.
5. They must be open as well- Your accountability partner must be open to your feedback and holding them accountable as well. This relationship is a two-way commitment, you have to be willing to give back as well, but they must be willing to hear feedback from you.
Remember, this is an important decision for you and your accountability partner. The both of you or the network you choose will spend a lot of time together, make sure that you take time to choose wisely. How about you? Have you had any luck or tips in finding an accountability partner?
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