You’ve tried it all and still feel like you’re in the same place as several months or even years ago. You took time management courses, you have your to do lists, you’ve been making plans….you’ve even started executing several times, but just can’t seem to stick to it.
Sometimes, talking to a friend or a person you trust can help move the needle in the right direction, but more often than not, you find yourself stuck again soon enough. I get it! Been there, done that. This doesn’t hold true for all aspects of my life, but for some of them, I just can’t seem to figure out how to get past that step 3.
Which is why I got so excited when I learned about accountability coaching. The irony is that I learned about it after I got my coaching training, but as soon as I did, I started digging into it to learn as much as I can so that I can use it in practice and help others reach their goals and get unstuck.
In this article, I will share more about accountability coaching. We’ll go over what accountability coaching is, what an accountability coach does, how to choose one, what to expect and how you can benefit from working with an accountability coach. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.
Who is an Accountability Coach?
An accountability coach is a professional who helps you reach your personal and/or professional goals by keeping you in check and focused on a previously arranged plan. These individuals are not necessarily therapists. They come from various paths of life and bring along different experiences, which is why some accountability coaches will be a better fit for you than others (just like with anything else in life, right?! ).
What does an Accountability Coach Do?
As mentioned above, accountability coaches keep you on track with your personal and/or professional goals. An accountability coach can help you in a variety of areas, some of the most common ones being health, business, physical or emotional challenges and spiritual growth.
Accountability coaches help you define priorities and create goals. Then, they work with you on breaking those goals down into smaller chunks that are easier to digest and accomplish. When needed, an accountability coach will provide motivation to keep you going and will dig deeper with you to try and understand what drives you and what slows you down.
Please, note that just like in any other type of coaching, the coach is there to guide the process, but you are the one providing the content. It is you who decides on the goals you want to reach, the plans you want to make, etc. The coach is there to help you create a roadmap and nudge you to stay on the right track along the way.
Are Accountability Coaches Worth It?
Do you find yourself juggling too many things and not finishing up any of them? Do you find it hard to get yourself started on a goal or a plan you’ve been thinking about for a long time now? Do you often start working towards a goal and then give up when you reach an obstacle?
If you answered any of those questions with a yes, then you can most definitely benefit from working with an accountability coach. In case your finances don’t allow for an accountability coach for the time being, you can always find an accountability partner; someone to just hold you accountable to an action plan you work out together.
The main difference between an accountability coach and an accountability partner is that the accountability coach has the needed experience to guide you through the process. That is to say, you are more likely to achieve your goals more efficiently with a coach. Nevertheless, something is better than nothing. So if you find yourself paralized when thinking about everything you need to do, just reach out to a friend or someone you know is reliable and ask them to be your accountability buddy.
How does an Accountability Coach Make a Difference?
There are many areas of your personal and/or professional life where an accountability coach can make a difference and s/he can do it in a variety of ways. Here are my top three choices.
One of the main requirements for a coach is to be present while working with a client. That means that your coach is actually listening to what you are saying during a given session without trying to have all the answers or the next question ready in advance.
How is that beneficial? When your coach is listening actively and being present during your session, he or she is actually trying to understand what’s going on. Your coach is not interested in giving you the answer to a problem you may have. S/he is genuinely interested in understanding why a given issue is important to you and how that affects you. That means that the coach will be able to give you candid feedback and ask questions which will help you understand your situation better and will eventually lead to you coming up with a solution to your problem.
Think Outside the Box
When we spend time thinking about an issue at hand, we tend to get stuck and just start going in circles without seeing a solution to the problem. An accountability coach can help you see other potential solutions. Coaches have a lot of tools and techniques at their disposal that they may use to help you get out of your box and gain different perspectives on the issues you’re trying to resolve.
This holds true for any type of coaching, but while you’re working with a coach, you continuously get feedback not only on your progress, but also on pretty much everything you share with the coach. You don’t have to act upon it, but the coach will always be returning information your way. Sometimes they do it to make sure they understand what you’re saying and sometimes they do it to drive your attention to their observations in order to provide you with more insight. And the best thing is that it’s completely judgement-free. Your coach is there to support you, not judge you. Keep that in mind when choosing a coach!
How to Choose an Accountability Coach?
Before you start working with an accountability coach, you should ask about their experience. As I mentioned above, not every accountability coach will be the right fit for your needs. Sometimes, the fit needs to be on the experience level, but more often than not, it’s a combination of the coach’s experience, knowledge, and personality that helps you choose the right one.
So, when you’re choosing a coach, make sure you feel comfortable with the person. You will be sharing a lot of details with this person (personal and/or professional) so you need to be comfortable doing it. Otherwise, the process will not be as effective.
What to Expect from an Accountability Coach?
First of all, you can expect the coach to be willing to learn about you and understand your situation in order to be able to help you. In addition, you can expect the coach to have a certain process, a way of coaching which is quite coach-specific. However, the coach should be able to adjust his or her process to your needs. If that’s not possible, then you need to move on to the next candidate.
As for the logistics, most coaches have a standard coaching agreement they will ask you to sign. The agreement usually states how long you’ll be working together, what each side is responsible for, etc. Finally, you will learn about the rate and method of payment. When it comes to accountability coaching, more often than not, the sessions are shorter compared to other types of coaching because most sessions are check-ins really so you may be able to work out a different payment arrangement that’s good for both of you.
As a general rule of thumb, we tend to achieve more if we’re not doing it alone. This is true in all aspects of our lives. As I already mentioned, you don’t necessarily have to find a professional to help you move forward. Sometimes, that can be a friend or someone you trust.
However, if you want faster and better results, you’re more likely to achieve that with professionals because they are trained to be there for you and guide you along the way as objectively and judgement-free as possible. If you’d like to learn more about accountability coaching or even try it out, feel free to contact me.
Until the next article, keep learning and growing.