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Accountability groups are a good source of support, strength and ideas that can help you take your ideas from dream to reality. If you are part of one, make plans to use it more strategically from today forward. If you are not part of one, take this opportunity to join or create one.You will be glad you did.
Between the end of one year and the beginning of the next people all across the country make plans to do big, bold and audacious things. They get excited about the possibility of moving their ideas from dream to reality. Often they think about what they can do on their own and what they will need to help to accomplish. This is a good thing. If you are thinking about your goals and plans for the next year and understand that there is strength to be found in using a team to help you reach your goals.
Accountability groups are groups of people who team up to help each member reach their goals by requiring each member to be accountable to the other members. Typically the groups meet in person, via video conference or by telephone on a regular basis to talk, share ideas and hold each other accountable. At their best, these groups are small so that all members get to know each other, interact on a regular basis and feel comfortable sharing their secrets, thoughts and feelings in the group. When accountability groups get too large, members feel like they are dealing with strangers. Large group also make it possible for members to disappear in the crowd and not actually be held accountable. With smaller accountability groups, members feel as though they know each other. When the members know each other it is harder for them to disappear because they can be called out by name by the other members of the group.
One thing to keep in mind is that accountability groups change and develop over time as do the members. During the past year, I was part of three different accountability groups.
3. project based
My personal accountability group has been existence for the past five years. Two friends and I started the group after a business conference. We met every other week for several years. Then one of the members dropped off and just two of us continued to meet. The two of us became friends and worked together in a variety of ways both personal and professional. At our accountability meetings, we only discuss our personal accountability issues. We share goals and plans and work hard to give each other support advice and accountability. This year the two of us introduced a new member to our accountability group. This year I learned that new people can be brought into the personal accountability group and though they change the atmosphere, it can be a good thing.
For business, I have been part of a mastermind group for the past two years. Our group was formed to work our way through business improvement projects. Over the course of two years members left the group as their projects were completed or they decided to move on to other things. Over the past two years, our group shrunk from ten women to three. We have held steady at three members for the past nine months. As the group shrank in size we learned what each person was capable of doing. We got a clear understanding of which member was best at which type of advice and assistance. As the group shrank in numbers it became better, stronger and more of a resource to its members. This year I learned that small can be spectacular when it comes to accountability groups.
My project based accountability group has been in place only for the past two and a half months. This group was formed after some women entrepreneurs got together for a networking lunch decided it would be good for us to meet on a regular basis to encourage,support and advise each other when it came to work projects. We set aside time once per month for six months in order to support and encourage each other on one project. At our monthly meetings we picked a project to focus on with the group. Between meetings we share ideas and ask questions and answer questions for one another. It has been a good two and a half months with these women. This year I learned that small and focused accountability groups can be a powerful tool.
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