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Weekly Accountability is a Weak Technique

One of the main techniques that coaches in coaching groups, namely WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY, doesn’t work that well.

If you’re new to my “campus,” then you may not know that I’m a big proponent of providing DAILY ACCOUNTABILITY to your coaching clients.

That may sound ridiculously difficult for you to provide as a coach, but believe me it’s not.  I will explain more in my next post.

But first you must understand the problems with WEEKLY ACCOUNTABILITY.

Here is the typical coaching client, the day of the next WEEKLY group coaching session:

bed_and_clock_small“Argh!  Tonight’s my coaching group!  Where did I put that accountability form the coach told us to fill out? I don’t even remember what I committed to doing this week!

Oh, finally, I found it.  Uh oh, I committed to calling 3 prospects and writing two blog posts!  I haven’t done any of that!  Well, maybe I’ll start on the blog posts. I can’t think of anything to write about!  It’s too much pressure.  Well I’ll write any old thing so at least I can say I finished one.”

What happened here?

WEEKLY (and certainly MONTHLY) ACCOUNTABILITY doesn’t work well because:

1. Usually the tasks that people commit to doing are the very tasks that they have anxiety about implementing.

a. The coach rarely addresses the underlying anxiety
b. People need more hand holding and help because of this anxiety

2. It’s too easy to put off tasks until tomorrow.

3. It’s easy for the clients to forget what they committed to do.

4. People tend to plan implementing their big tasks in “binges.”

Here’s an example of a binge: “I committed to calling 10 prospects.  I’ll just sit down and call all of them on Friday afternoon.”

procrastination_chalkboard_smallWhen Friday rolls around: “OMG, 10 prospects!  I hate calling prospects.  I think I have to warm up by meeting a friend for a long lunch.”

Later:  “Oh, darn; it’s too late to call people, and besides nobody wants to be called on a Friday afternoon after 3:00.”

5. Binges cause procrastination, perfectionism and paralysis, in a vicious cycle.

6. People become overwhelmed when faced with a large task.  Coaches usually don’t help their clients, especially when they’re coaching groups, to break large tasks into smaller tasks.

DAILY ACCOUNTABILITY, if done right, can vastly improve your clients’ results.  That will be the subject of my next blog post.

Most of you have probably only experienced weekly accountability.  Have you had any of the problems mentioned above?  I’d love to hear what you think, both from the coach point of view and from the client point of view.


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