Accountability Partner Definition & How to Succeed

What is accountability?

Accountability is the ability to be held responsible for one's actions.

It's important because it motivates you to uphold your commitment to your actions and goals.

Accountability definition — Personal vs. social accountability

Personal accountability means that you are being accountable to yourself by making a personal commitment that you will accomplish something. You set your goal, decide which actions you need to take and commit to those actions.

However, personal accountability and self-motivation is a limited resource that needs ongoing replenishment.

Sometimes you have bad days where other priorities and responsibilities take over. Other days you procrastinate, just feel emotionally down or simply get too lazy. And once these bad days repeat, then your personal accountability and motivation gets depleted and you can go into a rut.

To help replenish your personal motivation, social accountability can be a powerful motivator for individuals and groups to improve their performance.

When people know that they will be held accountable by others for their actions, they are more likely to take those actions seriously and to try to do their best.

Social accountability can be used to motivate people in a variety of environments, including work, school, and personal relationships. It creates a sense of shared responsibility and ownership over a project or goal, which can further motivate individuals and groups to work hard to achieve it.

Why social accountability is so powerful

A study by the Association for Training and Development showed the huge power of accountability. If you make a conscious decision yourself that you want to achieve something, this increases your chances of success by 10-25%. Having a clear plan of how you’re going to achieve it increases your chances further, to 50%.

The study showed that having accountability (someone or a group of people to hold you accountable) increases your chances of success to 95%.

When employees are held accountable for their performance, they are much more likely to improve. It has a huge impact on employee performance, and it's a powerful tool for managers to use to improve their team's performance.

This is important to remember because often times we set goals for ourselves, but we don't have anyone to hold us accountable. This could be why we fail to achieve our goals. Having someone to help us measure our performance and give us feedback can help us improve and achieve our goals.

What is an accountability partner?

An accountability partner is a person who helps you to stay accountable for your goals. This means that they will help you to stay on track with your goals, and will help you to measure your progress. They will also provide support and encouragement to help you reach your goals.

Accountability partners can also be a group of people with a shared goal.

This can often be even more powerful as group dynamics can make the process of taking actions toward your goals can be more dynamic, engaging and fun.

How does an accountability partnership work?

The process of setting up an accountability partnership begins with each person sharing their goals with the other.

First everyone agrees on a goal and plan to check in with each other regularly and provide support and encouragement.

This may involve meeting in person, video/voice calls or a more asynchronous way where everyone can check in on their own time—so long as the check in meets the frequency that was agreed upon (ie daily, set days of the week..etc).

The frequency and format of check-ins will be determined by the partners and will vary depending on the goals they are working towards. However, it is important that the check-ins are regular and consistent in order to maintain accountability. The partnership will end when everyone feels that they have achieved the goal that everyone agreed on from the beginning.

What should I look for in an accountability partner or group?

When choosing an accountability partner or group, it is important to consider their experience, shared goal, and ability to work well together. This is obvious, but it's also important that your accountability group has a habit or goal they want to achieve during the same time you are also.

1. Safety, Trust & Support: When choosing an accountability partner or group, it is most important that you can feel completely safe with them and trust that they are with you to help support your everday challenges, wins and losses. This does not mean you need to have your best friends or family as your accountability partner. Although this can work, strangers,

2. Strong sense of commitment: Another important factor to consider is how much you share similar goals. Your accountability partner or group doesn't need to share the exact specific goal you are aiming to achieve but a general overlap is most helpful. For example, maybe you want to quit your gaming addiction by replacing it with an outdoor activity. If people in your accountability want to quit social media addiction—it would work out great because enough similarities exist between these two goals.

3. Communication: The final factor to consider is the ability of the accountability partner or group to work well together. This includes their ability to provide support, encouragement, and constructive feedback.

Benefits of an accountability partner

1. Accountability partners, coaches or groups can help you stay motivated and on track as you work towards your goals. They check in with you regularly and help you stay on track.

2. They can provide support, encouragement, and constructive feedback. This means that they can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and they can provide suggestions on how to improve.

3. Accountability partnerships can help you develop new skills and knowledge. This is because they provide a chance to learn from someone who is more experienced or knowledgeable. They can also help you identify what you want to achieve and develop a plan to reach your goals.

SMART framework—for successfully achieving goals & positive habits

The SMART acryonym is a tool that George T. Doran came up with as a business consultant and author. It is often used in business and project management, but is really helpful for setting personal goal

And most importantly, the SMART frame work is really useful defining the criteria for agreeing on a goal together with your accountability partner or group.

1. Specific: A specific goal is one that is clearly defined and easy to understand.
2. Measurable: A measurable goal is one that can be quantified or tracked in some way.
3. Achievable: An achievable goal is one that is realistic and achievable given the resources and time available.
4. Realistic: A realistic goal is one that is achievable and realistic given the resources and time available.
5. Timely: A timely goal is one that has a deadline or time frame associated with it.

Challenges with having an accountability partner


1. Time commitment: Another challenge of having an accountability partner is the time commitment required. This includes making sure that you have the time to meet regularly and check in with each other.

2. Motivation: The final challenge of having an accountability partner is maintaining motivation. This includes making sure that you are both motivated to achieve your goals and that you are providing support and encouragement to each other.

3 Trust & communication: One of the challenges of having an accountability partner is developing trust. This includes trusting that they will keep your goals confidential and that they will support you. As a requirement to get to trust, it is important that everyone is on the same page and that you are communicating effectively.

How Squad can help you achieve your goals

Squad is a social accountability app that helps you optimize your motivation and accountability so you can realistically achieve your goals.

Squad resolves the challenges of finding the right accountability group that—is motivated, can commit to a set time frame, and trusted.

Each squad accountability group agrees on a shared goal that is SMART. You join a squad mission with a specific goal which is measurable by checking in through the app. Missions are achievable because it is bound by a a finite time frame that everyone can realistically feel is achievable.

The Squad app provides the structure for realistically achieving your goals with a safe and trusted community where everyone is serious and committed to staying accountable.

Stay accountable together to achieve your goals

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Junu Yang

Designer and builder on a mission to help others become the best version of themselves