“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani
How to leverage an accountabilibuddy
So you read the accountabilibuddy article, you’ve found your buddy, and they’ve agreed to help you out. Now what? Here are a couple of KEY things to help make the most of this relationship (which gets you to accomplish your goals faster than you thought possible):
- Be Clear on the ask
- Are you asking for their help in brainstorming?
- Are you asking them to help mentor you in something?
- Are you just asking for them to hold you accountable?
- How do you want them to hold you accountable? Is them asking you if you did your tasks sufficient? Do you want them to ask follow up questions on your tasks?
- There is a BIG difference between ‘check in with me on my task list’ and ‘help me brainstorm solutions to my roadblocks’.
- Create Some Structure
- Have a consistent structure to your meetings/calls with your accountabilibuddy. For a 30 minute call this might look like: 5 minutes of small talk –> 5-minute recap of which items got done and which didn’t –> 10 minutes of brainstorm around roadblocks –> 5 minutes to identify to-do tasks for the next talk –> 5 minutes of thanks and small talk.
- Even if you are hiring a coach – make sure that you help define the structure of meetings so that it works for you (maybe: Recap of fieldwork –> Obstacles/Challenges –> Solutions –> Identify the future obstacles and plan accordingly –> Clarify fieldwork).
- Be Prepared
- Know what you promised to do during your last conversation. Have a list.
- Identify which things on that list you accomplished and which things you didn’t.
- Make sure you know how the items on your list connect with your overall goal. Being busy does not equal progress.
- For every item that you didn’t accomplish you should identify if it goes back on the list for this week, or if it comes off the list entirely. Whatever that decision ends up being – write down WHY you are deciding that way.
- Have a list of next-steps to replace the accomplished tasks. This is what you are asking your accountabilibuddy to hold you accountable for during this conversation.
- Be Upfront
- Accountability meetings are the wrong place for bashfulness. Leave the guilt, shame, pride, etc at the door. Be honest and upfront.
- Taking responsibility for what you have or haven’t accomplished will make meetings exponentially more effective for you to reach your goals.
- The less your buddy has to wade through B.S. to get to the point the more likely they are to be able to help you.
- Prioritize the Work
- Never blow off a meeting, forget to call, or double-book. If they are helping you for free then this feels like you wasting their time. If you are paying a coach to work with you, then you will probably have to pay for the session anyway AND you wasted the time they spent prepping for your meeting.
- Treat this at least as seriously as you want them to.
If you remember nothing else:
If you struggle to keep this multitude of things in mind as you step into working with your accountabilibuddy then remember just one thing:
Make it easy for them to be your buddy.
Whatever that means, make it easy and enjoyable for them to help you out. They’ll be far more likely to keep up their end of the bargain and that means you getting what you want faster.