Back when my son was a teenager, whenever I would ask him the dreaded question–“How’s that homework coming?”–I would receive the typical, teenage, roll-of-the-eyes response and the standard “I was going to finish it after dinner” answer.
Even if you don’t have kids, at one time you were a kid so I’m sure just about everybody can identify with this scenario. Being held accountable for completing your homework as a kid was never fun, but let’s face it–when we’re held accountable for our actions, performance, and commitments it tends to heighten our awareness of what we are responsible for and what we have promised to do.
So it is with networking your business: accountability is important. When you make a commitment to yourself to get out of your cave and attend productive networking functions, the reality is that sometimes other things come up and we forget those promises or push them to the back burner. So why not find and accountability partner for networking your business? That way, every time you commit to a new networking strategy, your accountability partner can keep you to the task. Each week, perhaps by phone, meet with your accountability partner to identify your strategy for the week and because you have someone waiting to hear of your progress, you’ll be more inclined to focus on the task at hand.
To find the right accountability partner, ask yourself these questions:
1. Who do I highly respect as a business colleague?
2. Who would not be afraid to push me and keep me focused?
3. Who would I never think of disappointing?
4. Who is also interested in networking her business so that we can be accountability partners for each other?
5. Who knows me–and my tendency to procrastinate?
6. Who will follow through on this commitment to me?
7. Who has the time to help me?
Think about it. No one likes to knowingly disappoint someone else, and no one likes to waste her time or have her time wasted by someone else. The urge to comply compels us to perform at a higher level and this leads to greater networking results.
Do you have a story about how someone held you accountable in a way that really benefited you? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience so please share it in the comment forum below. Thanks!