Having an accountability partner can be very powerful if you find the best fit for you and remember to use it wisely.
More and more I hear from colleagues that they are working with an accountability partner but it doesn’t seem to be going so well. Perhaps they chose a “good friend” and it just seems to fall flat. I always suggest not using a “good friend”, you simply are too comfortable with them. An accountability partner is someone you will meet with about goals you have set for yourself. Think of this person as the one you answer to, the one you must say, “I didn’t get the job done”. Now will you have an easy time telling your “good friend” this? Most likely you will, people often fall into the trap of thinking she is my friend she will let me slide.
When choosing an accountability partner, choose someone who will kick your butt. Who will motivate you to work harder, who will inspire you to do your best and then some.
Once you have decided to work with an accountability partner, there are a few questions that will help you get the most out of this new relationship.
- What are you hoping to get out of each meeting? If you are looking for someone to help you solve all your business problems, you need to seek out a coach or mentor. An accountability partner’s goal is to help you stay on task with what you want to accomplish. Yes, they may brainstorm occasionally with you on ways to achieve your task if you are stuck, but their primary focus is not to help you accomplish your tasks.
- Is your accountability partner organized and dedicated? If they are the type of person who is always late, or never seems to have their stuff together, you will fall into this trap with them. You need someone who is going to meet with you on a set schedule and hold your feet to the fire. If they are not as committed as you are, you will easily get off track.
- Do you respect this person? You will be spending a good amount of time with them over the next few months, sharing personal details about your business. Do you feel comfortable that they will keep your confidential information to themselves? Are they as committed to their own success as you are?
Once you enter into a relationship with an accountability partner understand that there are guidelines you two should put in place.
- Schedule one call/ meeting a week.
- The call/ meeting should run around 30 minutes.
- Schedule the call/ meeting for the same day and time each week.
- Do your best to show up! Don’t casually reschedule.
- Be on time and come prepared.
- Calendar your calls/ meetings at least 90 days out. This supports your mutual commitment.
- Clearly define each person’s role, and put it in writing.
- Track your achievements.
- Agree that this is neither a social call nor a ‘bitch’ session.
Each call/ meeting should follow the same format.
- Start the call with a recent ‘win’ from each of you.
- If there is something frustrating you, and you need to ‘get off your chest’ set a timer for no more than 2 minutes!
- Discuss your top three business issues/goals and the action steps to move them to the next step.
- Discuss your prospecting activities from the prior week.
- Choose one aspect of your business to review together and then work on improving that skill set. Discussing a chapter in a business book is a good plus for this area.
- Set the top three action steps you will take before the next call to move you in the direction of your goals.
- End the call/ meeting with a brief positive or motivational quote.
An accountability partner can be an added value to you if you use them correctly and find the correct one for you. Make sure you are doing your part as well by bringing value to your partner and expect it in return. Don’t be afraid to hold your partner to a higher standard and expect it in return.
Lastly agree that at any time, if the relationship is not serving either of you well, you will have a conversation and cancel the partnership without drama or judgment.
Angella Luyk is a national award-winning business owner at Angella Luyk LLC, Midnight Janitorial, and One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply. She understands what business owners go through and wants to help end the struggles with proven techniques. For more information check out her website angellaluyk.com or send her an email firstname.lastname@example.org Bring her donuts and she will provide the coffee. Connect with her today and start taking your business to the next level.