some accountability tips03 Dec 2019
here are my little tips on asking for accountability from friends/supporters. i wrote these up after a conversation with kathy lebrón in sept/oct 2019 and figured i’d share them more broadly, too. it was only this morning that i realized the accountability she and i were talking about is generally perceived as different than the accountability people talk about in the wake of harm… and yet… i think some of these tips and practices apply to both. #doupledipping
- get clear about the vision you have for yourself. put it in writing. ideally, put it writing somewhere that you and other people can see easily (particularly the people you’re going to ask for support, but it’s great if others can see it, too). example: in 2018, i started making my commitments public on a blog post (and again in 2019) and then i asked many different people to help me out with only one or two commitments at a time… but i could send them all to the same blog post.
- ask individual people 1on1 (ideally in person, but phone or email/text also works) to hold you to one, maybe two, commitments.
- i want to do [action] at least [number] of times by [some end date].
- i want to be/stay [way of being] during [circumstance]
- make sure the person knows they don’t have to say yes to your request for support. also make sure they actually have capacity to hold you if they do say yes.
- let folks know what it looks like when you aren’t doing the commitment (for example: my spiritual formation support team knows i’m not doing my work when i don’t email them regularly)
- let folks know how you like to be checked in on (example: “if you don’t see an email from me by friday, i’d love for you to send me a gentle text message reminder if/how you can support me in getting the email out. i’d also love if you asked how i am and what’s going on that might be preventing me from sending the weekly email.”)
- set a date for the end of the accountability support: 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 months, whatever.
- note: you can always re-up the ask. but i think it’s important to have the ask be a terminal ask; forever asks feel heavy to say yes to.
- express gratitude in all directions!: if they say yes to the support role, if they say no, and every time they actually do the supporting during the process.