When it comes to staying focused on achieving results, having some form of accountability is a powerful way to keep you on track but, for many people, even the slight mention of accountability stirs negative feelings and a shiver down the spine.
In many corporate settings, accountability is seen as a case of joining meetings or having discussions around the topic of ‘why did we do this wrong and who is to blame’ or ‘whose fault is this?’.
This negative approach to accountability isn’t just confined to corporate work environments. High profile positions including CEOs, national football managers and high-stake industries are all positions where questions are asked if results aren’t achieved, and this form of accountability serves a great purpose.
It’s important to learn from mistakes, and that can only be done by understanding what went wrong and how a process or decision can be done differently to achieve better results. But it can also de-motivate and discourage individuals from taking brave actions or calculated risks that could yield great results.
It shouldn’t be about blame, and it should be positive
Unfortunately, the way many people and businesses approach being accountable has left the word ‘accountability’ with a negative perception that it doesn’t deserve. When supporting my clients I refer to ‘Positive Accountability’ which is about encouraging, supporting and motivating them to achieve their goals.
Positive accountability is less about blaming someone for what has happened (or not happened) and more about providing inspiration and celebrating success, no matter how small that success or achievement is.
It still holds individuals feeling responsible but in a positive ‘you’ve got this! way. Positive accountability, when focusing on achieving goals, involves having a single person or group of people that you share your progress with, and they support you as you progress towards your desired results. There are various ways you can do this which I will discuss later.
So, does accountability work?
Yes, it does. There is plenty of research and evidence that having someone hold you positively accountable when trying to achieve your goals increases the chances of success.
It’s worth pointing out that it’s important to have the right goals first. If your goals aren’t challenging enough or are too challenging, then success is a lot harder, no matter whether you use accountability or not.
According to a study by The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), the chances of achieving your goals increase by up to 95%. When I first saw that statistic, I had to re-read it. It’s not a 30, 40 or 50% greater chance… it’s 95%, and even if everyone reacts differently to accountability, the chances of it helping create success are massive.
How will you use positive accountability?
There are many ways you can use accountability to achieve success. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Buddy system: partner up with a like-minded individual and share your goals and progress. Make it a social event and meet up regularly (remotely if necessary) and inspire each other.
Weekly Accountability Sessions: Meet up weekly with a group of individuals on a group call and share your inspirations. These sessions are short and focused, with each session lasting up to 20 minutes. If you would like to know more about weekly accountability sessions, get in touch.
A Mastermind: These sessions tend to take place once a month and bring together like-minded people with similar challenges. They aren’t solely focused on accountability but can be inspiring and motivating as well as providing support for solving specific challenges your business might have.
Coaching or mentoring: Having a coach, whether it’s a business coach, life coach, lifestyle coach or career coach - you will get personal support and motivation with achieving your tailored goals. If you are looking for individual support for business growth then get in touch.
Accountability works! It’s proven to, but it must be focused on being positive. To achieve real success it must be coupled with properly thought out goals. Find out how to set the right goals with this free eBook - How to set goals that get results.
The author Darren Hignett has a wealth of experience and knowedge on effective sales and marketing with 7 different books on Amazon as well as experience running a digital marketing business.