How to Be a Good Accountability Partner
You have been invited to play an important role in your partner’s success. So what can you do to be a good accountability partner?
Here are some indispensable attitudes and actions to keep in mind as you encourage your partner to make good choices.
1. Agree to be supportive.
Agree with and support your partner’s goals and values. Encourage your partner to carry out the action plan to accomplish their goal. It’s important to clearly define the goal before you agree to be an accountability partner. (If you cannot support your partner’s goal or action plan, you might want to help them reconsider their proposal or even withdraw from being their partner.)
Encourage your partner to carry out the action plan to accomplish their goal.
2. Focus on the goal.
Focus positively on your partner’s successes and goals, rather than on their mistakes and shortcomings. Expect growing successes and reasonable failures along the way. Gently refuse to accept excuses, and hold your partner up to do what they have agreed to pursue.
3. Listen to understand.
Listen to your partner and seek to gain understanding. Compassionately, gently, and graciously encourage, challenge, and remind your partner of the goal to be attained. Seek to build up your partner. Yes, this commitment will take some time, but the reward is worth it.
4. Communicate well and regularly.
Communicate clearly, directly, honestly, and respectfully. Regular, genuine communication is key to making your accountability partnership work. Ask difficult questions and make critical but helpful observations. Keep matters appropriately confidential.
Seek to build up your partner.
5. Offer thoughtful counsel.
Thoughtfully share your knowledge and brainstorm solutions with your partner. Help identify real or perceived obstacles to success. Humbly share the lessons you have learned from personal successes and failures. Give your partner good counsel as one who is also changing and growing.
6. Stay faithfully committed.
Be trustworthy, available, willing, and consistently committed. Other than wanting to see your partner succeed, you should remain objective and free from personal interest in their success or failure. Realize this relationship may last for months or years (depending on what you’ve agreed to). Your partner needs you to stay all in.
7. Share your life.
Invite a reciprocal relationship. You will both get more out of your investment if you choose to see this as a two-way commitment. Share your life with your partner as appropriate, and be open to their feedback and encouragement.