Coaching Toward Action!

Julianne Schwietz MA, CPCC - December 2011

As the end of December came closer and closer, I found myself imagining what it would be like to wake up in a new year with the ability to actually follow through with resolutions. What a concept! It seems so easy from a distance of days and hours, between the decision to change, and the moment of change. Then comes the brick wall.

Motivation and desire are not to blame for lack of follow-through, so what is?

"The highest probability of following through on something occurs when you tell someone what you will do, request that they hold you accountable, and schedule a specific time to meet and follow up with them on your accountability. If you do this, the probability that you will reach your intention goes up to 95%."
~ Entrevis, Vision Story 11/05

Taking action requires a Purpose, a Plan, and a Partner. These three Ps are the ingredients of taking successful action. For those of you who are in the position of assisting others toward success—be a Partner! For the rest of you—pick a Partner!

The Three Ps

1. Having a Purpose for your desired change is the same as being able to name why it is important to you. It identifies the value you are looking to find, and what you want to get out of your idea...the WIIFM (what's in it for me) statement. It can also be good to identify the flip side of your desire—the negative consequences that may occur if you do not follow-through (bad feelings, letting others down, tardiness, illness, etc.)

2. Creating a Plan, is where you sit down and actually decide the what, when, where, and how of your idea. In fact, any concept remains an idea, until a plan of action is made.

3. Including a Partner is about accountability. It doesn't need to be about finding a helper or a companion for your plan. It simply means finding someone to hold you accountable to your Plan.

Choose to be Accountable and You Choose Success!

To whom are you accountable? In most cases, people don't love the concept of "being held accountable" because they feel a pressure to live up to someone else's measure of their success.

But what if you got to design your own level of accountability, and only for that which you want to have your feet held to the fire? Where is the benefit? What good is there in having someone help hold you accountable?

Probability percentages toward success:

10% – with an idea only
20% – with a conscious decision
40% – with time set aside to do it
50% – with a Plan in place for how to do it
65% – with commitment to someone else
95% – with an appointment with another person for accountability

The greatest chance of following through on anything happens when we tell someone what we will do, request that they hold us accountable, and then schedule a specific time to follow up with them on our actions.

Imagine now what it would be like if you were to decide it is time to make movement or improvement in your work. And, imagine what it will be like to go through each of the stages listed above in order to achieve your goal!

Choose an accountability partner who will not hold judgment or be a voice of disappointment should you fall away from your plan. A Partner's role will be to offer the support and encouragement you need for success.

Holding others accountable is a cornerstone of coaching. Everyone gets to choose what accountability will look like and how you want to feel in the process of being held accountable. In the end, when you cross the finish line of your goal, you will be able to look back and see where this partnership gave you added support when it was most needed.

A coach is a Partner. Begin with your decision to achieve what you want to this year. Then pick a Partner to hold you accountable to your dreams and desires.

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