A New Accountability Group

I recently started working with a new accountability group. It’s fun to work with a new group because you get to teach them how our  process works. You also get to see the effect that being held accountable has on them. I am constantly impressed by the people that are drawn to putting themselves in an accountability group. Including, the level of honesty, the self-knowledge, and the desire to learn.

The First Group Meeting

I always think strategically about how I place people in a new accountability group. There are schedules to line up of course but more importantly what each person will be working on There are also energies to match correctly. At the first meeting, I will lay out the rules for the group, which I also refer to as our foundation.  Then each member will share their goals along with the commitments (actions) that they are going to do that week. Some will be incremental steps towards a larger goal. Others will be habits that they want to create. Some will be more challenging commitments depending on the goal and their capacity for the week.

The Second Meeting

By the second meeting some will come in with all their commitments completed, while others will have completed some or even forgotten or been unable to do anything on their list. This is pretty normal and everyone is a little anxious to see what it means to be ‘held accountable.’ Contrary to what they have built up in their minds, being held accountable is a learning process, not a punishment.

We will look at each commitment that they made, and whether or not they kept it. If they kept it, we will determine the next step. If they didn’t we will look at why they made that commitment, and what got in the way. By this point everyone in the group is learning that mindful accountability requires acting as a nonjudgmental observer.

We are aiming for each person to be in a ‘state of commitment.’ This is where when someone says they are going to do something, they are willing and able to meet all roadblocks and resistance until it is done. However, depending on the person, their confidence level, and their ability to set the right commitments for themselves this can take some time to learn. While also taking into consideration how much time they have all factor in. The important thing is that each person leaves the call more clear and better equipped to face the challenges in the week ahead.

The Experience of Accountability

The experience of this type of accountability is transformative. They know that they are seen. And that as a group we will be looking at each commitment that was made. And that they will be getting feedback from their coach and group mates. They understand the container of our group is tightly held and structured. As a group they will continue to test themselves and push up against resistance but the frame of reference is one of growth rather recrimination. Especially when we are trying to do something we’ve never done before. However, each week they will have more clarity, they will have taken more focused action and will be building confidence and momentum.

The Context of Accountability

I remind them that they are building a context around themselves. The context is, “I do what I say I’m going to do.”  With each week it builds and brings with it self-respect. It breeds confidence and allows us to grow and expand further faster.