As a coach, you’ll probably hear other coaches lament about the lack of accountability in their clients and they seek your advice on managing progress and accountability. Specifically, you hear things like: They just don’t seem to care enough. Those action items never get done and I have trouble getting people to be committed to achieving the things they are responsible for.
You are concerned because a lack of accountability is frustrating, but you also know that tremendous productivity, progress, and efficiencies can be gained when your clients are accountable for completing their tasks, commitments, and expectations.
Accountability is an important thing and it is one of International Coach Federation’s core competencies that is required in coaching.
Unfortunately, inherent in most of the comments above and in the many conversations we’ve probably had is that we think the accountability gap is about someone else. They aren’t accountable. They need to improve. The focus is on managing others or correcting their behaviors.
While this might be true, this is the wrong place to put the emphasis on, at least at first. So, how do you go about managing progress and accountability in your clients?
Take a Look in the Mirror
If you want greater accountability in your clients, start by being more accountable yourself. You can start by being a good role model and be 100% accountable yourself.
I’m reminded of what a friend told me: When you point a finger towards someone else there are four times as many fingers pointing back at you.
Being accountable is about figuring out how you can make things better for both you and your clients. Their actions aren’t in your control, and many events aren’t in your control either, but your response to these situations and events is completely in your control. You can choose to be 100% accountable and responsible for your response.
Some Questions to Ask Yourself When Managing Progress and Accountability
While thinking about the challenges you face with accountability in your clients, ask yourself the following questions:
· What is my role in this situation?
· What am I doing (or not doing) to understand the situation as it currently exists?
· Is the situation in my control?
· What am I thinking?
· What are my beliefs?
· What can I do to have an impact?
· What can I do differently to change the situation or result?
Asking these questions takes courage, because it takes away your ability to blame others or hold them responsible. Asking these questions may require you to change your habits. Asking these questions may be difficult, because the answers may need work.
Courageous and difficult, perhaps, but these are the questions that’ll make you a 100% accountable coach.
Activity vs. Accomplishment
One of the most important things that you need to be aware of as a coach when helping your clients manage progress and accountability is that there is a thin line that exists between activity versus accomplishment.
Many people feel if they are physically active then they are productive. This is not true! Too often people run around doing things, go back and forth to meetings and are continually on and off their cell phones, but they never accomplish a single task. Consequently, they never obtain their ultimate goal.
As a coach, you need to help your client set daily, productive action goals that are results-oriented. Afterall, you are your client’s goal partner – an accountability partner – someone they can be accountable to each and every day to make sure they did what they said they were going to do! As soon as you instill this into your client’s mindset, you will see the results of their productive efforts flourish very quickly.
The daily compounding of effectiveness will be very dramatic for both you and your client to witness. The key to their success is leverage, but both you and your client must be confident in their efforts to be duplicated in a productive manner.
Ask your client to ponder on this very powerful, truthful question every night as they retire to bed, “If everyone did today what I did today, how much would they have actually accomplished?”
Always remember, a small improvement over a long period of time yields dramatic results! Help your client review their actions TODAY RIGHT NOW!
Confirm that they are accomplishment-oriented and that their mindset reflects productivity rather than treating pure movement as activity. And in no time, you will begin to see outstanding results begin immediately.
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Writer, Coaches Training Blog community