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Our guest velocity guru is executive coach Henry Evans. His book Step Up is an Amazon Top 10 business book and his is CEO of Dynamic Results. In this article, Henry offers best practices for selecting an accountability partner.
Today we want to talk to you about three rules for driving results through accountability partners.
We all know the concept of an accountability partner: Someone with whom we share our commitments, knowing that they will hold us accountable and responsible for executing what we told them we would do by when we said we would do it.
Here are some pitfalls of choosing the wrong accountability partner, along with some best practices for knowing whom you should pick.
Pick someone at the peer level: You should not pick your boss, and you should not pick any of your employees. Why? If you have people who work for you, or if you are working for someone, they may (or may not) have your best interests at heart. You want your partner to be someone at your peer level or someone outside of your organization.
When people are writing your performance review, (or when you are writing someone else’s), you are very unlikely to completely ignore things they told you they are trying to accomplish; things that you know they are not succeeding at.
Example: you might be writing a performance review for someone who is doing a fairly good job at work; and has said they are also trying to lose weight, cut back on Facebook time, and also, quit smoking. Because you know they failed at those, your perception is just a little bit lower than it might otherwise have been. And you, if you are like most human beings, are going on some level to let that impact your review. That would not be fair, because he or she is being rated on business performance, not on anything outside of business.
Choose someone who has your best interests at heart. Further, we don’t want you to choose a person you are in competition with. So let’s talk about peers. If I have a peer that I am competing with, either for resources, or a promotion, that person is not a good accountability partner. My accountability partner has to have my best interests at heart.
Choose someone who will be assertive and has the courage to tell me when I am messing up; or to challenge me when I am falling behind on a project, so I can achieve my desired business results, on time.
Having chosen an accountability partner, the burden is now on me to make it emotionally safe to challenge me when I am not keeping my commitments (and that’s what a coach must be able to do). So whether your accountability partner is a coach whom you hire externally, or someone whom you work with as a peer, or someone outside of the organization:
These are just a few of the ways you can drive better business results through using accountability partners.
Henry Evans specializes in Executive Coaching and Change Management and Strategic Implementation services. He is author of Winning With Accountability: The Secret Language of High Performing Organizations, which is in wide use by multi-national corporations, and co-author of Step Up, Lead in Six Moments that Matter, which is an Amazon Top 10 business book and also one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 5 recommended business reads for 2014.