The Value of an Accountability Group


The Value of an Accountability Group

The definition of accountability:

The quality or state of being accountable – personal and public. An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. To account for your actions.

The ‘accountability’ that I am speaking about though is not simply taking the blame when something goes wrong; it is not a confession of wrong.

Accountability is about delivering on a commitment. It is taking responsibility for achieving set outcomes, not just the tasks. It’s taking the initiative one to one or with a small group with thoughtful, strategic follow-through.

The value of an accountability group.

I discovered the value of being in an accountability group in 2013 as part of a 40-week accelerator program with Key Person of Influence. We were allocated a group of six business owners from a diverse sector to not only keep each other accountable but to have discussions and brainstorm around solutions and growth in our diverse businesses.

This was invaluable and pivotal to my business and personal growth.

My next accountability group was via a weekly Skype with five business owners Australia wide. I learnt so much from this group and achieved an incredible breakthrough in business. Now I am kept accountable with 3 Smart Chix, don’t you just love the name!

I have two amazing business owners who question me, challenge me, keep me accountable and kick butt when I’m off track. We meet fortnightly, once face to face and once via Skype during each month.

Seven Keys to Accountability Group Success:

1. Have a set agenda.

This is so important for a successful accountability meeting whether one to one or in a small group. For example:

  • Discuss what you accomplished since your last meeting. The outcomes achieved and any wins you had.
  • What you are currently working on, timeline and any barriers you are facing.
  • Priorities you are committing to for the next accountability session

2. Set time limits.

If you don’t set a time limit for each section of your meeting, then your group may fall apart. Within a group, there is usually at least one person who dominates the time. It makes good sense to have a mix of all personality types when it is managed well.

3. Set the tone of the meeting.

Members of the group have already committed to being accountable. If a member comes to the table with excuses and not prepared, don’t accept that. Everyone is busy, and everyone has unexpected things happen in their lives. However, commitment is commitment. Don’t let it become a ‘pity party’ or gossip session. I have experienced both, and it serves no purpose.

4. Be honest but kind.

Honest, open feedback is critical. There are times when you may not even be aware you are stuck in your business. It may be the case of ‘you can’t see the forest because of the trees’. Accountability buddies can provide a wealth of experience and often can pinpoint how to overcome this hurdle.

5. Trust.

Within your group, you are sharing your business knowledge and intellectual knowledge, being vulnerable by sharing both personal and business issues you may be facing. You must have complete trust in each other for your accountability group to provide successful outcomes. Chatham House rules must apply.

6. Track group progress.

To look back and see your progress is empowering in moving forward even further. A simple platform where you share your information allows the group not only to review their effectiveness but to review achievements. 3 Smart Chix use Google Docs, however, Trello or Slack can work well also.

7. Celebrate.

Take some downtime, reward yourself and congratulate your success and celebrate. Give yourself permission to pat yourself on the back and to celebrate with your accountability buddies, your team and/or your coach.

The high achievers in business and personal life, intentionally, set and keep accountability measures in their life daily.

Accountability is not a ‘get results quick’ guarantee. It is a structured and confident approach and sometimes a complete lifestyle change. You need accountability, we all do.

I work with clients to help them set, then monitor their health and fitness goals and business intentions for the month. Empowering them to forward plan, and then stay committed through accountability. It’s not a one-time thing, but on-going check-ins, in regard to their business goals for the month, personal work-outs, nutrition and sleep.

When things go off course, and they do, then we identify why and make the necessary changes, keeping them accountable to what they say and commit to doing.

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  • mm

    There is little as powerful as an accountability group. I agree. Thanks for the reminder and the tips, Alison.

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