Career Coaching: Accountability. There are three main parts of my job: Firstly I need to understand the landscape and the ambitions of the person in front of me. Secondly, I need to help that person to tackle whatever it is that stands between where they are and where they want to be. Thirdly I help hold accountability for the steps that each individual needs to take to get from their “A” to their “B”. When you have a clear picture of your goal. When you know how to work with the barriers in between. When you have someone you are answerable to regarding your progress. Then you have a winning formula.
What I believe accountability does is to help you to put yourself at the centre of your world.
Why is accountability so important in this process? Taking a little look at previous New Years Resolutions might give you some clarity. This is a cyclical process that traumatises most of us: Consume way too much at Christmas. Set self new (perhaps unrealistic?) targets to ‘better self”. Experience sense of deep failure when you have fallen off the wagon / deferred going to the gym / not lost two stone… Is this sounding familiar? Unless you have accountability, I’m guessing it might resonate.
What is it about accountability that makes the difference? It’s not like this coach has any magic ways of punishing a client who hasn’t been able to do the thing they tasked themselves with. In fact, it’s the opposite, this creates an opportunity for us to explore and learn. This learning is held with reverence in this work.
What I believe accountability does is to help you to put yourself at the centre of your world. Read those words again and see what arises within you? For many, there are implications of ‘arrogance’ or ‘self-centredness’ that arise. I think this is valuable information. For who are we to put ourselves first? Well actually, who are we not to! If we don’t put our needs at the centre then we have nothing to give others … And it certainly doesn’t have to be the coach that holds accountability for you. I found myself writing these words to a client earlier today:
“I hear you regarding using your friends for accountability. I believe that if you can really use your own network of friends and contacts with discipline, that forms a FAR stronger a layer of accountability than any coach can provide you with. Go on! Set it up. Get those letters written by initiating accountability with those who care for you. It’s a really powerful way of putting yourself at the centre of your world. Without doing so; nothing will change as it’s WAY easier to keep the peace and do all the things others ask of us….. “
The problem we have is that we have been educated to put others first. This is coming from a coach who totally believes and invests in community and who has worked voluntarily all her life. However, there is nobody who knows what you need as you do. It’s much more efficient to take control yourself rather than wait for someone to guess what you want – what are the chances of them getting it right? So, decide yourself, pull in support from those you love – their accountability is powerful. This way you are much more likely to achieve your goals.
Oh, do I hear a little “I’m asking too much!” Well, I have a solution to that too. Ask your mentors this “what can I do for you in return?”. See, this can be a transaction. A swap; agreed, and free of guilt.
Try building accountability Into your next plan or the New Years Resolutions you just made. Ask For Help: I Dare You!