Accountability, Symbolic Action, Practicing Who You Want To Be

Welcome to another episode of Coached.

These are reflection posts shared from the podcast.

They contain three reflections from my interactions with clients, personal thinking time, and preparation for talks and workshops.

In this episode three quick things to think about:


Accountability is often a very shame-driven process. The starting point for the accountability engagement is the implicit agreement that I won't let you down. Because if I let you down I will feel guilt and shame.

This works. But only for a while.

Eventually, people disengage from the process to avoid feeling shame and guilt. It's like breaking up with someone in your mind months before doing it in person. You become disinvested and even though you are sitting in accountability meetings you don't actually feel anything anymore.

Perhaps a better approach is to reframe accountability as "reminding". This means that we stop tasking people with holding us accountable (judging us based on behaviour) and instead start tasking them with reminding us of who we want to be and the values that we want to live by.

Symbolic Action

We take action because of the results that we attain from it.

But some actions also carry a symbolic value.

These actions are about others and come with subtext. It's an action that shows the other party that you considered them, that they mean something to you, and that you care.

Make sure to build them into your business too.

Practicing Who You Want To Be

Sounds strange, right?

But I believe that practicing who we want to be is an important element of growth.

First off, it requires you to actually have an idea of who you want to be.

Secondly, to determine the behaviour that align with the 'new you'.

Thirdly, you have to then embody those behaviours and ways of thinking.

This 'new you' is available to you immediately.

You can be who you want to be from this very moment.

Over time, with enough repetition, the 'new you' becomes the norm :)
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