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Do you need an accountability partner?

Do you need an accountability partner? I am often asked this question by clients. Overall, my answer is, yes: Having one can have great benefits – if you do it the right way and truly hold each other “accountable.” It shouldn't just be a way to have coffee with a friend.

Coffee with friends is nice, but friends without some upfront agreements about the ground rules and what being an accountability partner means will be just a friend. They will never tell you the things you need to hear.

I have been part of a group of five business owners for 10 years that truly care about each other and our success, but follow guidelines to be an accountability partner group. Maybe these will help you as well.

 Start with what I call an accountability triangle, which has to have three points.

Top five accountabilities: All individuals who commit to working with a partner should be able to focus on the top five areas that positively impact their success.

Accountability partner: The partner is responsible for providing feedback in the areas of awareness, skill, knowledge and application.

Accountability process: Regular meetings, set agendas, mutual goals, role feedback, candid conversation, defined steps, bridging ideas, measurable commitment, benefit to each, etc.

Step 1: Pick a partner who is strong and objective

Step 2: Determine the impact topics each of you will focus on

Step 3: Create a meeting format

Step 4: Set a timeline for the meetings

Step 5: Agree on the type of feedback that is appropriate for each of you.

Step 6: Review the process after three sessions and make appropriate modifications.

Follow these six steps, and odds are you will succeed in this partnership. Good luck!

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Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


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