High achievers know how to use accountability to have more success. Being accountable is a key to their success.
What is Accountability?
Accountability is defined as “the state of being accountable, liable or answerable.”
When we’re accountable, we’re held responsible for doing or achieving something we’ve agreed to. Accountability is a powerful motivator.
Why Do We Need to Be Accountable?
We’re driven to gain rewards or to avoid a pain or a consequence. In an ideal situation, if we agree to do something, we should get it done. However, we know that’s not always the case.
Human beings are more driven to avoid a pain than they are to gain a reward. If there’s something we consider painful on the line if we don’t complete what we’ve agreed to, we’ll be motivated to avoid that pain.
When we use accountability to have more success, it doesn’t make us weak or unreliable. It means we’re serious and committed to achieving a particular result.
Accountability is a tool or a system we can use to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be.
The Benefits of Accountability
Using the power of accountability can benefit us in many ways, including:
- Staying focused and being reminded of the outcomes we want.
- Having someone we can talk to about what we’re working on.
- Receiving support and encouragement to keep moving forward.
- Getting new insights or perspectives when dealing with challenges.
- Celebrating our successes with someone who has been with us throughout the process.
When we learn how to use accountability to have more success, we’ll progress faster towards what we want.
5 Ways to Use Accountability to Have More Success
There are different options available to use accountability to have more success. Sometimes, it’s helpful to use a combination of these options to accelerate our success.
Here are five ways you can use accountability to have more success and achieve what you want.
- Place a high value on your word and your commitments. Accountability is about personal integrity. When we agree to do something, our integrity is on the line. Knowing what and why we’re committing to something will help us stay motivated, especially during challenging times.
- Join a peer group or network. Having a peer network who also want to achieve similar things as us is helpful. The members of the network can offer guidance, support and challenge us to stay on track and continue taking action.
- Find a coach, mentor or partner. One reason successful people have coaches is because they want to be held accountable. Coaches are accountability partners, which means they can challenge us if we make excuses for not taking action. We have to give them permission to not buy into our excuses and face consequences if we don’t do something.
- Make a public declaration. We don’t like to fail publicly. This is one reason things we deem to be failures can be painful. By making a public declaration, not doing or achieving something is a consequence because our reputation is on the line. Losing face or experiencing shame is a powerful motivator.
- Use competition to your advantage. Competition can be a good thing. We’re programmed to compete against others. If we want to achieve a result, we can find someone who also wants to achieve that result and compete against them. This happens in sports, so we can also use it. The best competition however, is when we compete with ourselves and aim to continually improve.
Things to Be Mindful of When You Use Accountability to Have More Success
Accountability can have a negative connotation. We don’t want accountability to become a punishment, which can cause the relationship to end.
Here are things to be aware of with any accountability relationship.
- Don’t focus only on what wasn’t done or achieved. Focus on the gains and progress made.
- Include rewards as well. Reward is also a good motivator.
- Give focus to habits formed and processes followed. If the right things are done consistently, the result will be achieved.
- Maintain open and honest communication. If something isn’t working, work through it.
- Enjoy the experience and the challenge. Accountability will make us better.
When we use accountability to have more success, it indicates we’re committed to improvement and progress. That will help us achieve better results and enjoy more success.
If we don’t use accountability, we’ll be relying on ourselves only to get things done, which can be risky. Having accountability adds in an extra level of responsibility on us to achieve what we want.
Action Step: If you don’t have any accountability, find someone who can be your accountability partner. It can be a mentor, a colleague or a coach you can work with to achieve what you want.
Question: What is another way to use accountability to have more success?