In an accountability group it’s important to show up consistently

Our small group coaching program requires a certain level of commitment that many people aren’t used to. Part of the agreement of being in an accountability group is that everyone agrees to show up consistently. For us that means, not missing more than 2 meetings in any given session. I never thought I’d be quoting Woody Allen, but he really was on to something when he said, “eighty percent of success is showing up.”

That might seem like a no-brainer but actually spelling it out is important. Accountability is something that people love when it helps them get more down and avoid when they haven’t done as well as they’d like. Requiring that each group member shows up regardless of their performance for that week is so important. And that ability to show up even when we don’t want to translates to other areas of our lives.

Why we don’t show up

In our accountability groups, we find that people don’t show up largely for two reasons. They don’t want to or they have overcommitted. In the case that they don’t want to, the important thing to understand is why. Very often, we will get more insight by asking, where else is this showing up? We find that people that have trouble showing up in one area often experience that same resistance behavior in other areas of their lives.  It makes us look at what is making us uncomfortable or resistant to going. In the case that we are overcommitted and couldn’t show up or forgot because we were simply too scattered or overwhelmed it makes us look more deeply at why we are overcommitting. And again, where else is this showing up?

Accountability helps us show up consistently

When someone is held accountable for not showing up they are often surprised. After all, our group members pay whether they show up or not, so if they decide not to come it’s okay right? If I fail to meet my trainer at the gym, then it’s my loss. I still have to pay for my time. Well, from our point of view, it is our role to hold you accountable to doing what you say you are going to do. That includes showing up. Especially when you are part of a group. The promise of the group is that by coming together you will work faster and smarter. However, to do the important work, you need to be with people that are committed.

It seems simple enough but in practice people have a really hard time doing what they say they are going to do consistently. And they are also used to not being held accountable for that behavior. Being held accountable to showing up might be uncomfortable at first but it reinforces the dynamic, successful, high-growth container that everyone wants. So really showing up consistently is the foundation of all the work.