How to Achieve More Success With an Accountability Partner
5 Steps You Can Take to Reach Your Goals Faster
To achieve more success faster, working with an accountability partner will make a big difference, if you find the right person.
All successful people will agree, being accountable is a necessary ingredient for reaching new levels of success in life.
What is an Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is a relationship or partnership, where you mutually agree with another person, to support each other.
It can be a two-way mentoring relationship, where you offer each other feedback and guidance to achieve your goals. The frequency of offering feedback depends on the agreement you have.
An accountability partner can also be known as a success buddy or success partner.
The Benefits of Working With an Accountability Partner
When you work with an accountability partner, things you can expect to happen include:
- Stay more focused on what’s important.
- Have someone who can relate to your challenges and struggles.
- Not have to always figure out things yourself.
- Be challenged to go further than you have previously and not buy into your excuses.
- Become aware of how you are limiting yourself.
- Have someone as a sounding board to bounce ideas with.
- Improve your communication skills and ability to give feedback.
Accountability partnerships are usually free because both people are benefiting from the relationship.
My First Experience Working With an Accountability Partner
The first personal development training I attended was an eight-month program, that included live weekend workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions and working with other participants. In between the weekend workshops were the coaching sessions and catching up with another participant.
The benefit of working with another participant was we could share what we were learning and we also had a common language we understood. That helped us better integrate what we were learning and also stay committed to completing our assignments.
The downside was it was not a formal partnership, with no agreement on how we would work. That meant there wasn’t a structure to follow, and the sessions were often unfocused and not directed toward specific outcomes.
We both did not get the value we could have from that partnership. That experience helped me to be more intentional when forming new accountability partnerships. It also allowed me to identify what needed to be in place for an accountability partnership to work well.
5 Steps You Can Take to Achieve More Success With an Accountability Partner
Here are five steps you can take to achieve more success with an accountability partner and reach your goals much faster.
- Identify what you want to gain from the partnership. You should only form an accountability partnership if you know it will benefit you. That means you have to be clear on what you want to achieve and what you want to be held accountable for.
- Make the accountability partnership a priority. The partnership will only succeed if you make it important. This means scheduling your catch-up sessions in your calendar. If it’s not in the calendar, chances are it won’t happen.
- Find someone you trust and know will challenge you. The person you work with has to be someone you are comfortable with and can relate to, but who also will call you out on your excuses. They have to be non-judgmental and know the process you are going through to get to your outcomes.
- Set clear guidelines for the partnership. Without clear guidelines, the partnership will not succeed. This means knowing how often and how long you will meet, what is in scope and out of scope, how you will deal with disagreements and how you will communicate with each other.
- Start with a trial period. The reality is some people are not suitable. It is better to test out the partnership first to ensure both of you are getting value from it. A trial period can be two weeks or month. If it doesn’t work out, it is better to end the partnership early than continue with it.
How to Choose an Accountability Partner?
Things to consider when choosing an accountability partner include:
- They understand the value of the partnership.
- They speak a common language about life.
- They are not over-committed in their personal or professional life.
- They have the right attitude.
- They have goals they want to achieve and want to be held accountable for achieving them.
When you find the right accountability partner, you will progress faster towards the things you want. This means you will achieve more success and feel better about yourself and what you are doing.
While there is nothing wrong with not having an accountability partner, you risk slowing your progress because you are only relying on your perspective and what you know. Getting a different perspective can often be the difference between achieving what you want or not.
Action Step: If you don’t have an accountability partner, decide if having one will benefit you or not. Make a list of people who could become your accountability partner and choose someone based on where you are in life and what you would like to accomplish.
Question: What are other steps you can take to achieve more success with an accountability partner?