We began this series by introducing a study by a noted psychology professor that looked at how goal achievement in the workplace is influenced by three key actions: 1. Writing goals 2. Committing to goal-directed actions 3. Creating accountability for...
We began this series by introducing a study by a noted psychology professor that looked at how goal achievement in the workplace is influenced by three key actions: 1. Writing goals 2. Committing to goal-directed actions 3. Creating accountability for those actions In previous episodes we focused on the first two steps, Today we’re moving on to Step 3, Creating Accountability.
In the study we discussed last week on creating goal-directed actions, the group that was most successful in creating the outcome they wanted established some form of accountability for taking goal-directed actions. Some just told a friend about their goals, while others went as far as writing weekly progress reports and sending them to the people that they told about their goals. The more rigorous the process of accountability, the more success was had in creating the desired outcome.
A different study by the Association for Training and Development also demonstrated the power of accountability. The study showed that:
- Those that made a conscious decision that they wanted to achieve a goal increased their chances of success by 10-25%.
- Those who developed a clear plan of how they were going to achieve their goal increased their chances further, to 50%.
- Those committed to someone else that they were going to execute on their plan bumped their chances of success up to 65%.
- The chances of success increased to a massive 95% if participants made a specific appointment with another person to report back their progress to them.
So what are the qualities of a good accountability partner? A good accountability partner is:
- A good listener. It’s much easier to have someone hold you accountable if you believe they really understand your situation.
- Empathetic. Your accountability partner is much easier to open up to if you believe they are empathetic, and not judgemental about your situation.
- A cheerleader. Even if your accountability partner is not exactly a “Rah-Rah” type of person, the feeling that they are truly happy for you when you achieve an objective can be really encouraging.
- A drill sergeant. This is where the “holding accountable” part comes in. A good accountability partnership is not afraid to (tactfully) call you out when you’re not taking the actions that you’ve committed to take.
So, with all that being said, how can you go about finding an accountability partner? There are a few options:
- A good supportive friend who cares about and knows you can be an option. Friends often know what motivates and keeps us encouraged, have our best interests at heart, and some aren’t afraid to be brutally honest with us when needed. On the other hand, friends can also be more willing to let things slide or reluctant to hold us accountable when we fail to hold up to our commitments. Whether or not this works may depend to a large extent on the nature of the friendship.
- Local or online communities are another option. Social media sites like Facebook have groups for virtually every interest. Sites like Meetup.com are helpful in finding local in-person groups. These groups are often made up of enthusiasts who are very willing to share information. Many are either on the same journey as you or have walked in your shoes in the past. This can help relieve the sense of shame and isolation that we can sometimes have when we may feel that we're the only ones that are struggling with our finances. Of course, you always have to be careful and discerning when it comes to advice of any type from relative strangers.
- A third option is to hire a coach. A good, qualified coach has the training and experience to hold you accountable and keep you engaged and motivated. The fact that you typically pay for coaching can be a drawback, particularly if you’re already struggling with money. However, paying for accountability may make you more inclined to take it seriously and stick with it.
Contact the Host - firstname.lastname@example.org