Reach your goals faster and get that motivational boost you've been missing!
Staying on track can be tough. Sure, you might have colossal aspirations, but without the motivation to work towards them, they're futile. Luckily, working with an accountability partner could be just what you need to move forward. In the following guide, we take a look at what an accountability buddy is, how to find one, and how to work with them.
What is an accountability partner?
An accountability partner is someone who helps you to reach your goals. That's the short definition - however, there's so much more to what this person does for you. Often, your accountability partner will be a friend, coworker, or a business connection. You tell this trusted person what targets you hope to meet and they hold you accountable for them.
How you work with your accountability partner depends on your unique set of needs. You may meet them in person, contact them virtually, or have regular phone calls with them. Some people strike up a mutual agreement in which you hold them accountable for their goals and they do the same for you. Besides checking up on you, this person may also offer some moral support, guidance, and even give advice when you need it.
The benefits of an accountability partner
Now that we've covered what an accountability partner is, let's talk about why you should get one. If you have big plans for your future career, working alongside someone you trust may be the secret weapon to your success. Let's take a quick look at the benefits here:
You have to answer to someone else
Setting goals for yourself is all well and good. However, when things get tough and your life gets busy, you may go a tad too easy on yourself. If you're guilty of pushing those all-important deadlines back to “someday soon,” you know that day will never come.
That's where an accountability partner comes into play. Research shows that sharing your goals with someone who you perceive to be more successful than you gives you a better chance of reaching them. So, when you tell someone else about your plans, there's an element of social pressure to actually go through with them. If you've had trouble reaching your career-based goals in the past, you may find an accountability partner helps.
You can get support and advice
Career progression can be a lonely game. When you're striving for success, you might feel that you're the only person in the world dealing with this challenge. The stress is all too much to handle by yourself. Having an accountability buddy changes the narrative. This trusted person can give you support and advice when you need it the most. That may mean lending an ear when you need to have a rant, offering up solutions to some of your work-based problems, or simply checking in with you when things get difficult.
Make more purposeful decisions
No man (nor woman!) is an island. While you may be fiercely independent, it pays to get someone else's opinion. When you're planning your future moves, your accountability buddy will be by your side, ready to give you the advice that you need. This person can help to motivate you, offer up a unique take on your position, or help you to strategise. Working with someone else allows you to make purposeful decisions about your career.
How to find an accountability partner
Ready to get started? Finding accountability partners might sound hard, but it's easier than you imagine. If you're looking for a way to push yourself forwards professionally, the first step is finding the right person to have by your side. Here are some tips to help you out.
Speak to your colleagues and friends
Your colleagues are likely to understand your work better than anybody else in your life. So, when you're looking for an accountability buddy, they may be your first port of call. Is there someone in your company who you trust above anybody else? Is there a coworker that you share a unique rapport with? If the answer is yes, that person may make the perfect accountability partner. Take the time to consider which person fits the bill.
Should nobody spring to mind, why not ask a friend instead? There may be someone outside of your workplace who inspires you. If you have a go-getter pal who's always reaching their goals, they may be the perfect person to be your accountability buddy. Take a moment to think about each of your friends. Do any of them impress you with their constant thriving? If a name just popped into your head, you might have the right person.
Check the other person has time
We won't beat around the bush: Being someone's accountability partner takes time and energy. These are limited resources for most of us. When you first approach somebody about being your accountability partner, you need to check that they have the time. Be honest about what you expect from them in this scenario and see what they say. Keep in mind that mutual agreements work well. Discuss whether the other person has any career goals that they're hoping to reach. If so, how can you help them along the way?
Make sure you trust them
Trust is a huge deal. Working with accountability partners simply will not work if you don't trust them. When you get started with this setup, you'll be sharing your long-term career goals and aspirations. To some of us, these dreams are highly personal.
For that reason, when you're considering who your accountability buddy should be, think about whether they are someone you trust. Do you have confidence that they will motivate you? Do you feel comfortable sharing your professional plan with them? When you're comfortable with a certain person in your life, it may be time to pop the question.
Use an accountability partner app
Are you drawing a blank? If you can't think of anybody who would make the ideal accountability partner, don't panic. There's a sneaky way to find someone who you can work alongside. Yes, you guessed it, there's an app for that. Try using an accountability partner app, such as Supporti, to find your ideal match. The app pairs people up based on their long-term goals and personality. Once you've found your accountability buddy, you can use the app to chat, give each other support, and reach your goals together.
How to work with an accountability partner
You've found your accountability buddy - well done! The next stage is to start working with them. To make sure that this relationship thrives, follow these key steps.
Tell them what you expect
First up, you need to let your accountability partner know what you expect of them. How hard do you want them to push you? Do you prefer the carrot or the stick? What do you expect them to say to you when you're falling behind? Be as honest as you can.
Pick goals (and break them down)
Next, you should start picking some goals. Trying to do everything at once is a mistake. You need to take things slowly. Start by choosing one core goal, such as becoming more productive or completing a project. When you've done that, break it down into steps.
Arrange regular catch-ups
Next up, you need to decide how often you want to communicate with your accountability buddy. In some cases, that may be every day, every week, or a couple of times each month. Make sure that you're both on the same page here and also discuss how you want to keep in contact. You might want to meet IRL, have phone calls, or just message.
Review the working system
Having accountability partners is a game of trial and error. You might find everyday chit-chat overwhelming. You may not enjoy having lengthy phone calls. You could realise that trying to schedule in your meet-ups is an absolute nightmare. Whatever the case, you need to review the working system. After you've been working with your accountability buddy for a while, arrange a catch-up to discuss what's working and what's not.
If you're searching for a way to push your career forward, having an accountability partner may be the right move. In this guide, we've taken a look at everything you need to know about setting up this professional relationship. Why not start searching for your ideal accountability buddy today? Pairing up with a like-minded professional could spur you on.
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