Everyone can benefit from trusted counsel. One of the best benefits we can give ourselves is to invest in a mentor who serves as our partner in accountability.
There are two schools of thought with mentor and accountability partners. Some believe that mentor and accountability partners are two different individuals.
The belief that mentors are there to help you with quick questions, give you an opinion based on their expertise and possibly to keep you from making a big mistake and that accountability partners are there to help you solve problems and bounce off ideas – keep you motivated.
The fact of the matter is that your mentor can be both these individuals and in my cases they are serving this role.
In my own experience, my mentors have held me accountable. They have never been afraid to “tell me like it is”. They deliver the good and bad advice without any sugar coating. The trust in the relationship build is key. A mentor should be able to call you out when you are in the wrong – with honesty and trust – and on the flip side they will give you the encouragement you need to keep pushing forward.
Accountability is a give-and-take concept. If you cannot hold yourself accountable, you cannot be ask others to be accountable either. You should offer the same benefit as they offer to you. Reciprocate.
How do you find such a mentor or partner?
You need someone whom you can trust and be able to confide in without fear of judgment. The individual should not judge you, but remind you where you stand in your journey. You need someone who is invested in you and motivating you to reach your goals. A family member, spouse or friend can at times be too close to you and while their support is critical to your success, their advice can lack the perspective you need from someone from the outside of your inner circle. Many times, individuals look to references from colleagues or programs to seek out wise counsel.