The most important thing to establish and preserve when it comes to coaching is to create a goal accountability system. This ensures people are held accountable to themselves as well as to others.
“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.”
― John Di Lemme
Let's start with an example.
When a salesperson tells senior leadership that they’ll get the proposal done by the end of the week, they are more likely to do it.
When they tell a client they’ll get a proposal to them by next Tuesday at 5pm, they will deliver.
Setting an expectation with someone in senior leadership is enough motivation to get them to commit to the task and get it done.
However, when salespeople tell themselves (and nobody else) that they will make prospecting calls, they are less likely to do it. Distractions are sure to impede on those plans. And doing what's comfortable is always the easier choice. It's also easier to make excuses or justify why you didn’t follow through on what you said you would do.
Committing to Goal Accountability
The American Society of Training and Development recently did a study on accountability. They determined that you are 65% more likely to complete a goal if you commit to being held accountable by someone. If you meet with that person regularly, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
That's why coaches, mentors, and advisors are so important in our lives!
The best way to make goal accountability work is to make your goals visible. By doing this, those who agree to hold you accountable have something to work with. If you're a coach, make sure your coachee sets specific outcomes they'd like to achieve and discuss what you should do if they don't deliver.
Putting Accountability to Work
Put structures and systems in place to measure and record your coachee's progress towards accomplishing their goals. Schedule regular check-ins. It can be over email, text, phone, or face-to-face. Schedule ahead of time. Preparedness is key!
Once you’re willing to set and review goals, make sure that they are the right goals for coachee. Team goals should be hierarchical, so that everyone’s goals align with the strategic goals of their organization.
Aligning goals helps people understand the priorities and how their activities support overall organizational goals. All goals should be specific, measurable, and time bound.
Roadblocks to Goal-Accountability
Keep these in mind when coaching:
- People get too busy.
- People don’t want to be held accountable.
- It takes time to set goals in a meaningful way.
- People must confront their level of performance.
- Senior leadership doesn’t provide support to help their employees to help them accomplish their goals.