5 Important Tips for Choosing the Best Accountability Partner

There is certainly no shortage of goal setting when looking forward in your career.

Often times, the goals we set are large, hearty and ambitious. And something about our assessment of our abilities suggests that, though large, these goals are attainable. That’s just the easy part—the goal setting.

[Related: Women of Power: Strategies from the C-Suite]

Things tend to get tricky, however, after the goals are set and we are then charged with attaining said set goals. Our intention is always there. We want to do precisely what we set out to do, but that want is simply not enough. Attaining goals takes action–it takes strategy, a plan, a vision, precise steps, and in many cases, it takes sound, unwavering  accountability.

If you take a poll of successful goal attainers many will tell you that often times their reasons for reaching new heights exceeding themselves—they had someone or something to answer to. Who or what do you have?

Find accountability and hold steadfast as you embark on your goal attaining journey. Some of the best and most effective accountability may come from a friend, colleague or mentor. Here are a few tips for selecting an accountability partner that may be best for you.

  1. Find someone more disciplined than you are. It would behoove you to select a partner that doesn’t take it easy on themselves, thus, are less likely to take it easy on you. If you know someone who tends to put their money where their mouth is, that’s your guy…or gal.
  2. Choose a partner you’d be remiss to disappoint. You may be willing to let yourself down, but have someone in your corner that you wouldn’t let down if your life depended on it. That’s an ideal accountability partner candidate. Find someone who you’d hate to say, ‘I haven’t done it yet’ to, especially if you’d assured them the deed would be done.
  3. Find a partner who has the time to invest in your goals. We’re all pretty busy doing what we can for ourselves. If you happen to know someone who is just as invested in seeing you do well as they are in themselves, you might want to hold on tight. Create a set time/date periodically to check in with your partner to ensure milestones are reached. If your partner is consistently unavailable for check-in, you may want to reconsider your choice.
  4. The more the merrier. No need to put all your eggs in one basket. The more partners you have to answer to, the less likely you are to want to answer ‘no.’ Find a select few that won’t take it easy on you.
  5. Hold your accountability partners accountable. Let your partners know that you are counting on them to keep you on track. If they slip, you may just as likely. There’s certainly no need for that. Let your partner(s) know ahead of time what you’re expecting from them and hold them to that expectation. You’ll be glad you did.

Learn the value of surrounding yourself with the best people to help you reach your career heights at the 2016 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, March 9-12, at the Hilton Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida, for the Women of Power Summit. Register now. For information on the 2016 Women of Power Summit, including sessions, speakers and performers click here.

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