Do you have an accountability partner?
How’s that going?
Do you find that you sometimes talk for over an hour and only a few minutes of that time is spent on your goals?
Have you really seen any growth since starting this relationship with your accountability partner?
If you have, GREAT! You’re ahead of the game and the tips I have for you in this post are going to help you advance that relationship even more.
If you haven’t seen progress from this relationship then you’re really going to be thrilled that you stumbled upon this article.
Accountability partners can be a really valuable resource, but oftentimes they fall into the friend territory where we just catch up and we don't focus on clearly defining our goals and how we plan on meeting them.
So, what makes a successful accountability partner relationship?
How can you structure those meetings so that they're productive for BOTH of you?
Let’s start by talking about what makes a good accountability partner and why you need one.
When you're an entrepreneur and you're doing this on your own, you don't have a boss that you sit down with regularly and say, "This is what I'm doing, "This is what I'm working on," and then they give you guidance. You don't have a boss in this – YOU’RE the boss, but you need to be held accountable. That can be really hard to do on your own. So, a good accountability partner is there to keep you on track.
The other important job of an accountability partner is that they are there to pull you out of the rut you will most certainly find yourself in at some point.
They're there to cheer you on, but they're also there to keep you honest and say, "This is a goal you set for yourself, and I'm not going to let you settle. I'm not going to let you pull back on something that you promised yourself you would do."
So, there are two sides to this. They're your cheerleader, but they're also there to keep you focused.
Choose this partner carefully because, like the word states, this is a partnership. Be as careful as you would be if you were deciding whether to date this person.
Here are some things to explore when choosing your AP:
It's important that you and your accountability partner share a similar philosophy on how to reach your goals, and a compatible drive and work ethic to you. Otherwise the partnership won’t be mutually beneficial and it's not really going to work.
So, it’s important to have this discussion in the beginning. Talk through your needs and their needs. Lay it all out on the table and then have the courage to be honest if you don’t think it’s going to work. Trust me, it’ll be easier to have that conversation now rather than after 6 months or a year of meeting together.
The other thing you want to make clear from the beginning is if they don't pull their weight, if they're not pushing you, if you're not pushing them, that one of you might break off the relationship, and that's okay. It doesn't mean that you're not friends anymore. It doesn't mean that they don't like you. It just means that this relationship as an accountability relationship isn't working. That's what makes a good accountability partner relationship stand.
A question I get asked a lot is - How do I structure the meetings?
Many of us fall into the trap, and I've certainly been guilty of this, where you show up and you're meeting for a lunch accountability meeting - you catch up, and suddenly an hour goes by and then the last 15 minutes you're trying to jam in all of your business. Sound familiar?
Until you and your partner have a flow for your meetings, follow these simple guidelines to ensure you’re both getting the most out of your time together:
Meet on a set schedule – meetings can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly – that’s completely up to you. Just make sure they’re consistent and the meeting length (30 minutes, an hour, etc.) allows enough time for you to cover everything and you stick to it.
Start the meeting with business – as soon as you sit down one of you should start with their business. Leave the catching up for whatever time is left at the end.
Come Prepared – Remember this is a business meeting, so come prepared. Each of you should have a list of 2-3 measurable goals you intend to achieve for the month and a plan on how you can get there. Your goals should be the 2-3 most important things that can move your business forward. Once you’ve identified those goals, then break them down into the action items you need to complete in order to make them a reality (e.g. if your goal is to level up in title and you need to sign 2 new partners in order to reach that title, your action items could be to host 3 virtual events that month, make 100 calls to fill those virtual events, and attend 1 networking event that month, etc.).
Take Notes & Review – You should each take notes on what you’ve identified as your goals going forward. Work off that list for the time between that meeting and the next one, and start the meeting going over how successful you were with accomplishing those goals. Talk about what worked, what didn’t work, and then what you can do going forward to improve the things you have control over in the future. This should be a conversation between the two of you where you offer each other insight and advice into what the other person has been doing or can do going forward.
That’s it! That’s the magic formula. Pretty simple, huh?
This will all become second-nature over time, but in the beginning, stick to the structure to make sure you don’t go off course.
By checking in with your partner and, as a result, with yourself you’ll see tremendous growth in your business and an increase in your overall productivity. This all bleeds into the other areas of your life because as you grow and accomplish more you’ll feel more confident all around and you’ll start to see things change in amazing ways. The work is worth it!