Why Accountability Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Last week, I told you the biggest contributor to my successes was the factor of accountability. “Accountability gets the job done when Brit just can’t.”

And then, I challenged you to envision your future in five years in order to plot out what actions you’d take over the next six months. This was to identify what your marketing efforts and your business successes need to do for you.

Now, it’d be easy to assume today’s blog post would encourage you to share your vision of your future and your specific goals with someone else. Why? Because #ACCOUNTABILITY.

But that would be an unfortunate mistake. Because if you’re one of the many who simply do not respond well to outer expectations, including accountability, I would lead you astray.

See, I’ve learned everyone views and deals with accountability in a different way. And this is why we can’t assume what works for me will work you to get the job done, and vice versa.

This concept of our accountability “tendencies” has been made recently popular and more easily understood by the work of Gretchen Rubin, author of several New York Times Bestsellers, including The Four Tendencies.

In The Four Tendencies, Rubin shows us “there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all answer for building a happier, healthier, more productive life.” In fact, there are (you guessed it) four unique tendencies that we, as individuals, can be categorized as when it comes to how we live our lives.

For detailed explanations of these Tendencies, refer to Rubin’s website, book, and take her free quiz to find out what Tendency YOU lean toward.

Why Accountability Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, online marketing strategy for creative female entrepreneurs

But for a quick overview, the Four Tendencies are:

  1. The Upholder meets outer and inner expectations. They meet others’ deadlines placed on them, as well as their own New Year’s Resolutions.
  2. The Questioner resists outer expectations, while meeting inner expectations. They question others’ views, but if they come up with the initiative themselves, they can bring it to fruition.
  3. The Obliger meets outer expectations, while resisting inner expectations. They put others’ views ahead of their own, meeting others’ deadlines, but can’t seem to complete what they themselves set out to do on their own.
  4. The Rebel resists both outer and inner expectations. They disregard others’ views but also feel trapped by their own initiatives, often struggling to meet either long-term.

Once we know which Tendency we lean toward, we can understand better why we act and why we don’t act, as said on Gretchen’s website.

But even more so, we can begin to understand those around us better – why they do or do not act.

This is crucial intel as a Coach – someone encouraging others to act. Of course, I’ll have an easier time encouraging Upholders and Obligers. These are the people that often feel they desperately NEED a Coach because without one, they’ll struggle to act in a way that yields results.

But what happens when I meet a Questioner or a Rebel? Can they be “coachable” enough to reach their goals? I believe they can be, but it’ll require a different coaching style than those open and responsive to outer expectations.

These perspectives fascinate me to no end. I can’t wait to hear what Tendency you lean toward and how I might be able to Coach you best in the future.

Click here to go straight to Gretchen’s free quiz and find out.

And just in case you’re wondering, I’m an Upholder – responsive to both outer and inner expectations. This makes complete sense to me, as I certainly rely on accountability from external sources at times, but on a daily basis, I have to rely on my own expectations (as my own “boss”)  to get the job done.

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