“Not for ourselves alone are we born.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero
There are countless tips and tricks when it comes to success. There’s time-management, cutting bad habits, networking, and continuous learning, to name a few. From waking up early to reading all sorts of self-help books, we grab every opportunity to help us on the way to the top.
But on this quest, we often forget ONE crucial ingredient: PEOPLE. How we interact with one another has a huge impact on our success – not just as an individual, but for all of us.
When we’re feeling down, a kind word can lift us up. During times of distress, reaching out to others helps us feel good about ourselves again. There’s no doubt about it: success is sweeter when shared with others. And having an accountability partner can help you on the road to get there.
But what’s an accountability partner anyway? And do we all need one?
Why Get an Accountability Partner In The First Place
In an article written by Emma Seppala, Ph.D. and Kim Cameron, Ph.D., several researches suggest that employees put in a positive environment where there’s encouragement and constructive feedback are more productive than those in cutthroat conditions.
This isn’t the only benefit. According to some studies, when leaders foster positive social relationships, it also leads to: loyalty, better well-being, amplified creativity, and better employee engagement.
But encouragement and constructive criticism and feedback are not only important in workplaces, but in society in general.
In a thesis by registered psychologist and speaker Dr. Paul T. P. Wong, he found that personal pursuit of happiness may often lead to “egotism, disappointment, and psychological disorders”. Whereas pursuing responsibility towards others can help us not only to realize our full potential, but also aid us in finding a deeper meaning and purpose in life.
So if you’ve always wanted to “find your purpose” or “fulfill a calling”, why not become an accountability partner? When you help someone get motivated to reach his/her goal, you’re also helping yourself in a deeper, more meaningful way. This sense of purpose becomes your fuel, your drive, to excel.
The same thing happens with YOUR accountability partner. This symbiotic relationship is a good example of give-and-take. Like trees and ants, they both benefit from their relationship with one another. As the tree provides shelter and food, the ants offer protection.
Similarly, when you help someone remain motivated in their goals, you’re also helping yourself by fulfilling a deeper calling.
How an Accountability Partner Makes Both People Successful
Being accountable to yourself is often a challenge enough in itself. But to be responsible for someone, too?
This might look like a massive feat, but by becoming accountability partners to each other, you and your friend can touch success sooner than you think.
1. An accountability partner reminds you of your goals.
We now live in a world obsessed with activity. We like to plan our days in advance, and fill in every minute of our existence. It’s too easy to get distracted by the little things, thinking that they’ll keep us busy and propel us towards our goal.
But not every task is created to help you achieve success.
Your accountability partner is there to remind you of that. Just because you filled up all your free time with hustles doesn’t mean you’ll be a millionaire in a year (you might just burn yourself out). And accepting that mediocre job? Careful: you could just be settling.
It’s normal to get sidetracked. So thank heavens for accountability partners!
2. You’ll have someone to talk to.
It’s expected that you’ll encounter hardships and trials on your way to success. It’s during times like these that you’ll really need someone who will understand and support you – no matter how crazy you might sound or act like.
Your accountability partner is expected to be there for you when this happens. Talking about your problems may seem intimidating at first. After all, it can make you look bad to your mentor/parent/lover/friend if you tell them you’re having difficulties.
But it is exactly for this reason why you should open up. When you talk about your problems, you’ll learn something about it. Together, you’ll see a side that you never thought to explore. And then maybe, come up with solutions.
3. You can both share networks and knowledge.
Whether you’re aiming for success in career or personal goals, having someone else back you up can make you feel invincible. Sure, you have your own expertise and network of professionals. But having another set never hurt anyone, right?
Whether you’re working with your friend/lover/mentor/parent towards a goal, ask for their help in terms of new knowledge or contacts.
Need someone to invest in your startup? Ask your accountability partner to setup a coffee date with one of his friends. Stuck on your career path? Don’t hesitate to talk to your mentor. Can’t get your team to cooperate? Ask for referrals about leadership presentations.
That’s what partners do: they help each other. Of course, don’t forget to do the same once they need YOUR help.
4. Your accountability partner offers new perspective.
Even if you and your accountability partner share the same traits, you each have different thoughts. So if you encounter a challenge, don’t forget to ask for his or her take on things. After all, two heads are better than one, right?
There’s nothing like having a different set of eyes look at the same problem. Not only will you gain an unusual perspective, you might discover off-beat solutions.
5. You’ll get constant encouragement and support.
Praise is easy to give – but encouragement is trickier. When you encourage someone, especially in terms of reaching their goals, you need to do THREE important things:
- First, acknowledge their strengths.
- Second, identify areas for improvement.
- Third, provide specific help.
If you’re both acting as an accountability partner, be sure to encourage and support more than simply hand out praise. When you encourage, you’re actually helping each other develop weaknesses into strengths. This increases your chances at success for you both.
6. It’s better to celebrate success with an accountability partner.
Imagine climbing a mountain. You strain your arms and legs as you ascend to the top, the summit almost peeking through the clouds. You’ve never felt so exhausted in your life, but you’ve come so close. As soon as your feet touch the peak, you cry in triumph.
Finally, you’ve made it! You look behind you with a wide grin, eager to share your story of achievement and hard work.
But there’s no one there.
Why are graduations, promotions, birthdays, and weddings celebrated with people? It’s because milestones in life are sweeter when shared. Sure, you can climb every mountain – but what is that feat if there’s no one to tell it to?
“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” ― Leo Buscaglia
Your accountability partner can be anyone: a friend, a partner, a parent, or a mentor. What matters is that you’re both willing to help each other. Lift them up when they are down, and trust that they’ll do the same for you.