The 5 types of accountability partner you need in your life right now
By Eleanor Hope-Jones
Apr 12, 2023
Accountability. Put simply it’s the expectations and knowledge that at the end of the day you’ll have to justify your actions, decisions and productivity.
It’s a necessary part of our working lives and personal goals, yet so often we’re on our own when it comes to the practical business of actually completing our work.
Staying motivated, organized and overcoming procrastination is no easy task, even if you really want to achieve something.
Enter: An accountability partner. And not just any accountability partner, but the right accountability partner in the form of Flown’s top 5.
What’s an accountability partner?
A 2016 study found metal workers’ productivity outputs sharply rose when they introduced individual accountability. In other words, when every individual was held responsible for the work they produced that day, they got a lot more done.
But sometimes it can be difficult to hold ourselves accountable to our own goals, in the same way we feel accountable to others or in a professional working environment.
That’s where an accountability partner can come in handy. With the right person, you can create mutual accountability through a consistent schedule and regular meetings. This can help you avoid procrastination as you respect your accountability partnership and don’t want to let them down.
With some types of accountability partnerships, you even provide feedback on each other's preferred methods of working or help the other quash negative thoughts and fears.
But not all accountability partnerships are created equal. Let’s take a look at five types of accountability partners, what makes a good accountability partner, and how external accountability can increase your personal responsibility.
The Cheeky Cheerleader
The Cheeky Cheerleader is always encouraging and motivating you to do your best. They are a source of strength and optimism, pushing you to reach for the stars and exceed your expectations. They provide an attitude of positivity and resilience, always reminding you to remain focused on your goals and strive for success.
With their enthusiasm, the Cheeky Cheerleader is the perfect companion in your corner when approaching tasks you find boring or repetitive. The con of this kind of partner is they may not provide honest feedback. So if constructive criticism is highly valuable to you, consider a different kind of accountability partner.
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
The No-Nonsense Coach
This type of accountability partner is all about results. They’ll help you stay focused and on track with your goals, but they won’t take any excuses.
The pro is that they keep you accountable and help you stay productive. You can trust that your partner will always have your best interests in mind, and will provide you with the support and motivation necessary for you to succeed.
The con is that they may be too strict and can take the fun out of the process. If you’re someone who likes to take their time and savor the journey, then having an accountability partner who is always looking for results may be a bit too intense. It might be important for you to find a partner with similar interests who’s flexible and encouraging, whilst still keeping you on track.
FLOWN has a range of coaches who can help you feel accountable
From a confidence whisperer to a breathwork maverick, the FLOWN facilitators who run our daily deep work sessions are a talented bunch. They use a range of scientific techniques to help you get more work done than you ever thought possible. And maybe even have a good time in the process — stranger things have happened!
The Pleasant Prompter
The Pleasant Prompter is there to help you stay organized and on top of your tasks. They’ll remind you of deadlines and help you stay on track. Try asking someone to check in on you in a week and see where you’ve got to on a certain task or to remind you about a certain deadline.
The pro is that they help you stay organized and on top of things. The con is that they may be a bit too gentle and not push you that much. They’re only interested in reminding you of the deadlines, not working through any mental blocks or challenges you’re facing.
Make sure you’re not relying on your prompter to project manage your entire life. See what you can learn from their tip-top organization skills and whether you can implement any of their techniques yourself.
The Silent Motivator
The Silent Motivator is an invaluable asset, quietly providing support and encouragement. They don’t need to be loud and outspoken, but their presence is often powerful and impactful. They can be a stabilizing, supportive and encouraging presence usually because of how focused and diligent they are in their own work.
A silent motivator can be a great body double for when you want to get some actual work done. You can both share an accountability statement of what you’re going to achieve in the next two hours, then check in on each other’s progress at the end of the session.
On the con side, they may not be as vocal or active as other types of accountability partners, such as the no-nonsense coach or ambitious associate. The silent motivator is less likely to be directive and proactive in helping you reach your goals.
“Treat a person as they are and they will remain as they are. Treat a person as they can and should be and they will become as they can and should be.”
The Ambitious Associate
The Ambitious Associate is someone you can talk to about your goals and challenges. They’re there to help you stay on track, provide a listening ear, and share the wisdom from their own journey, as you will also do for them. Because you have similar life goals or aspirations, you’re willing to hold the other consistently accountable and may have useful advice for the other.
The pro is that they provide support, and understanding whilst also being brutally honest. Often peers who are on the same journey have the most honest feedback as they recognise a lot of their struggles in you. The con is that at times they may get lost in their work and not be consistently present, which can be difficult if you’re working through a tricky block at the time.
Try having a range of accountability partners with different skill sets
Every kind of accountability partner is going to add different benefits to your life. Like a team of avengers, you’re at your strongest when you all work together and support each other to achieve your goals. Consider how you could bring different friends together or join a like-minded group to create a community of people all working towards their goals.
Bonus accountability partner: Your Friendly Flock
Imagine having not just one accountability partner but a group of human beings with your best interests at heart. A team of accountability partners who all show up at the same time every day, share their accountability statement and help you get stuff done.
Why not learn more about your potential accountability buddies, and try FLOWN for yourself to see if it can help you stay on track and make sure you reach your goals.