Accountability works

I hear from fellow coaches that Accountability sounds like control or policing when we use it with clients. What if it isn’t? What if we hold it as just a way to help our clients to increase the probability of doing what they want?

After some coaching you have decided to go for a run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon.

AND you know yourself well enough to know that some says you will be lazy, some days it will be raining, some days you will not be in the mood and some days other activities (like watching the news) will take precedence.

We all recognize this, and we have all been there.

Right next door lives a 5-year-old boy who usually plays in the front lawn in the afternoon. You ask him “Will you check in on me and see if I run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon?”. He agrees.

This child has no power over you. He has no way of influencing you directly and no way of making you run. So, what has happened?

You have created accountability with another human being. You don’t really want to disappoint them. You want to show that you can follow through.

Does this guarantee that you will go running when you say you want to? NO

Does this increase the probability that you will run those afternoons? YES. (A lot or a little.)

And that is the point of accountability.

So, if you are a leader and create accountability with someone, that does not make you their parent or controller. And if you are a coach, likewise; all we are OFFERING is a way to increase the probability for follow-through.