Becoming the Business Person You Were Meant To Be – Part 7: Creating Accountability

In coaching relationships, one element of the relationship to which many clients ascribe great power is the accountability provide by the relationship.  The client makes a plan to take certain actions over the next week, and the coach will ask about those actions in the next session.  While there is no right or wrong for doing or not doing any action item, many clients feel that they have made a formal commitment to taking those actions, and will work much harder to complete them, just knowing that they will be reporting on them to their coach.

Even outside of coaching relationships, you can build an accountability partnership with people who share your goal.  If your team at work decided that you will all eliminate complaining, you can hold one another accountable and help each other notice when you spiral into a negative cycle.  Just knowing that one other person is going to be asking you about your progress can help you stay on track with your intended actions.

In an organization, there is no skill more important than “walking the talk”, or living by the principles that you publicly espouse.  If you have ever seen a management team say they “value diversity” and never change the gender/race/nationality of their own team, you know what I’m talking about.  Another great example in corporate America is companies who say “people are our greatest asset” and then allow poor people management skills to persist and even promote the individuals with the poorest people skills – because they bring in revenue results.  At what cost?

The cost for a management team not “walking the talk” is in losing credibility and trust.  This is often when the corporate mission begins to be seen as a “slogan of the week” to be hung on the wall and ignored, just like the last one was.

The cost to you as an individual in not “walking the talk” and honoring your commitments to yourself is that you begin to lose trust and faith in your own ability to follow through.  The impact of this is greatest on your confidence, your self-image and your faith that you can overcome obstacles.  An accountability relationship of some kind can help you stay on track, and also help you catch yourself quickly when you begin to fall short of your action plan, and make adjustments to the plan, or to your habits and thoughts to ultimately bring you success.