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The Importance of Accountability in the Coaching Process

July 7th, 2010

For me personally, the accountability part of the coaching process is extremely important. For many people this is the only reason they actually hire a coach. They need that “someone” who will hold them accountable for the actions they promised to carry out. I had clients who would rather cancel a session than admit they didn’t follow up on their own action plan! On the other hand, I had plenty of those clients who, due to the accountability part of the coaching process achieved their results fast and remarkably well.

Accountability is a strong word and for many it can have the ramifications of forced school projects or unwanted after school activities. However, in the coaching context, accountability is holding clients responsible for their own agenda, supporting their own decisions and following up on their own desires.

Accountability in coaching serves more like a genuine and constructive feedback: what worked well and what did not, how to do things differently and better next time and overall, what were clients’ feelings while performing all those tasks. During the process, the coach is there to support his/her clients but also to make sure that clients grow as individuals and push their own boundaries.

The process is not always easy and straight forward for many coaches. They struggle to use the accountability. They let their clients move through the process without holding them accountable, because they feel that their aura of being a “genuinely nice person” would be damaged.

The opposite is the truth. By not holding your clients accountable you are doing them disservice and you are not doing the coaching process/industry justice. Accountability can often be the very single most important process that will decide whether the whole coaching process was successful or not. Of course, it can’t be said about each and every client but in my experience, it really makes a huge difference.

If you are a coach, please take this as a gentle reminder to do a little check up on whether you are using the tool of accountability as effectively as it deserves.