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Accountability partner

A phrase I remember hearing for the first time and when I heard it I wondered, "what does an accountability partner do? Who chooses your accountability partner? and, How long do I need one for?" And since then another related question that comes up is if you are asked to be an accountability partner, what is the commitment to being one?

So what does an accountability partner do?

The give away is in the title - they are a person (or persons for you can have more than one) who hold you accountable to a goal or goals you have set for yourself. They remind you - usually through gentle questioning, about how you are working toward your goal. They might even help you craft your goal into a series of smaller realistic steps to help you get to where you want to go. Another element is they help you review what progress you are making and reflect on actions needed to continue / build momentum. This may, depending on how you contract with them, to allow them to point out any elements of self sabotage they observe and remind you to talk to ourselves kindly when things don't go as planned.

Who chooses your accountability partner?

In the corporate world often HR will pick one for you as part or a learning journey or workshop series. But way more often you choose them yourself

For how long is one needed?

That's your call but usually they are around long enough to support you to achieve a goal or complete a task.

What is the commitment to be an accountability partner?

You have to co create that agreement. What support do you need? A weekly check in? a WhatsApp message next Tuesday? And what level of support are they prepared to give you? Remember they are someone to whom you have to be able to say "I did what I committed to", they are not doing the work for you.

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