We all walk through life alone…
This is an often heard phrase said by those who are trying to inspire people to action.
For me this is the worse thing to say.
Struggling against the world is demoralising, being forever along is scary and can cripple both my motivation and creativity.
For me working with others means that I can:
- bounce ideas around
- gain inspiration
- bolster myself when I’m feeling low
- give support to others which builds my own confidence
- get feedback on possible new ideas
- work with others on collaborations
- find those WIN WIN opportunities
This week several of the members of Yarn Academy have said they are struggling with lack of motivation and/or a lack of confidence.
I was so proud to see the community swoop in with positive comments, expressions of support and love for fellow members of their community.
Not everyone has access to a supportive community in this way and for those folk I would say
Get Yourself an Accountability Partner!
We are social beings by our very nature, and if we promise someone we will meet them at the gym, we feel really guilty if we do not keep our promise. Research shows that having a partner or “exercise buddy” can be highly effective at ensuring we will actually work out, not just talk about it.
Dr. Robert Cialdini, a well-known social psychologist, who has written a great deal about “social influence” and decision-making. His studies show that
- peer pressure is powerful, especially when the decisions we are making are complex or ambiguous, and
- the closer we are to the person or group we are comparing ourselves to, the more likely we are to be influenced by them.
It turns out this peer pressure thing, when you turn up the “accountability” knob, is a motivator for a lot more than losing a few pounds.
Whats one of these?
An Accountability partner is someone you can rely on to give you impartial advice. They’re NOT your Mum or your Bestie.
Compared to mentorship—a more hierarchical relationship—a peer to peer relationship seems to be easier to organize, and it is a more effective tool for making progress towards a goal. Accountability partnerships work when they are a collaboration between two colleagues who like and respect one another—your partner is someone you trust, who will keep you honest and moving on a path you set for yourself.
Why Would I want One?
So you can chat with someone on a regular basis, someone who wants to support you and act as a sounding board. They won’t be full of criticism that you haven’t done the washing up, the house is a mess, you didn’t visit them last week when you said you would… etc
How does this ‘Accountability Thing’ Work?
You can set the specifics with our own partner, in general though these are the Rules for working with an Accountability Partner:
- Find someone you trust to be your accountability partner (a different personality from you is good, maybe better).
- Talk to them about your goals.
- Get specific with them about actions you will want to take to meet your goals as well as consequences/rewards for taking or not taking them.
- Set up regular check-in times (this can be a text message, no need to meet every time).
- Revisit goals and strategies every once in a while to make sure you are on track.
I’ve been working with an Accountability Partner for several months now and let me tell you … It Works! It really does.
I look forward to our weekly Skype chats and its wonderful to celebrate our achievements and to offer/receive comfort for those items we missed. We inevitably spend a reasonable amount of time ‘chatting’ which is so important for stay at home entrepreneurs!
Providing list of folk looking for an Accountability Partner is another service provided to Yarn Academy Members.