Choosing an accountability partner isn't something you should take lightly. This article provides some tips on what you should look for when choosing someone to get in your life for accountability.
I've had a lot of conversations with people around accountability. While almost all agree that it is critical, the common thread I've seen is that most people don't know where to start.An accountability partner is invaluable to help you walk through personal, physical or financial goals and even crisis in your life. We all desire real connections and to have someone in our lives who really cares to ask us how we're doing and to call us out when we get off track. But how do you choose the right person?This list will help you start thinking about some core attributes of what you need in an accountability partner.
1. Someone That Is The Same GenderLet's face it, guys and girls are wired differently. Guys can tend to think in terms of logic while women tend to draw from emotion. As you open up and share with your partner, you want to have someone who can relate to you in all aspects. There are some things that only guys will understand and conversely, only women will understand.If you are in a relationship, your significant other may not be the best choice. If you are discussing highly sensitive topics, there will be temptation to not be completely transparent in an effort to protect the other's feelings. If you cannot be completely open to process through your feelings, you are hindering one of the greatest benefits of having an accountability partner.If you are in a relationship and you choose someone of the opposite sex as an accountability partner...prepare for complications in everything from opening doors to intimacy, not to mention jealousy with your significant other. This definitely should be avoided at all costs.
2. Someone You Talk To RegularlyYou should be meeting with your accountability partner on a regular basis. Your partner should be someone to whom you have regular access. It is not recommended to choose someone who is extremely busy and difficult to contact. Your partner should be readily accessible and available to meet with you.In a healthy accountability relationship, you will meet on a consistent basis. If you can meet as often as once a week, that is ideal. Some people can only meet every other week. I don't recommend stretching out communication further than that. As more time passes, you will disconnect and begin to lose the strength of the relationship. On the practical side, if the last time you met was weeks ago it is easy to forget what happened since your last conversation.
3. Someone Who Knows You WellIn an accountability relationship, transparency is key. Let's be real, at times it is hard to be honest with ourselves much less with someone else. Because of this, it is ideal to choose an accountability partner who knows you well. This person can see past your facade and know when you say "everything is fine," that you really mean everything is a mess.Accountability is pointless if you cannot be transparent. If every time you meet you tell the other person that everything is fine and they believe it, then you will never progress. If you have someone that can read your body language and even your tone of voice, they will be sure to stay on you until you come clean. That is one of the biggest benefits of a deep relationship, which ties directly into the next tip.
4. Someone That Is HonestYour accountability partner has to be someone who is honest. You will need someone who is able to confront you (speak the truth in love) and call you out when y0u are not doing what you need to be doing. It is comforting to have someone to commiserate with you, however a good accountability partner will not let you feel sorry for yourself and continue doing the wrong thing.You need an accountability partner that will push you to reach your full potential. An honest approach is important. You will need someone who isn't afraid to tell you something that you do not want to hear.
5. Someone You TrustI save the most important trait for last. Above all things, you need to choose a partner that is trustworthy. During the course of your relationship, you may share some deeply intimate things about yourself. It is imperative to have a partner that you trust implicitly. There is nothing worse than pouring out your heart to someone, just to find that they have violated your trust and shared the information with someone else.No one is perfect and there is definitely grace for situations where people make mistakes. However, you should choose someone that you know will guard your heart and protect your integrity.
These are a few tips to consider when selecting an accountability partner. Keep in mind that no one is perfect and your partner may not excel in every one of these areas. Part of walking out your relationship is growing in each of these areas. Once you know what you are looking for, you can then being to talk with those close to you about an accountability relationship.
Did I miss anything? Share your feedback in the comments and add any other tips you have found beneficial in your experiences with an accountability partner.