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Achieve Excellence – 9 Ways to Make Accountability Work for You

Achieving excellence always results from focused, energetic, and consistent supervision and training. The coaching culture of accountability is vital.When you think of the word excellence, what images spring to mind? Is it the fine craftsmanship of a superior sailing ship? Or perhaps you think of an influential leader who masterfully brings out the best in the crowds that flock to her. How do people achieve excellence like that? 

Excellence is not only for an elite few. Admittedly, some people are predisposed to traits that come readily to them. But no one excels without dedication and consistent effort. Can you upgrade from ‘settling for good enough’ to ‘achieving excellence’? Yes!

You can achieve excellence.

 Can you think of anyone who has achieved excellence without coaching, support, and encouragement? We cannot achieve excellence by flying solo. Excellence always results from focused, energetic, and consistent supervision and training. We need others to pick us up when we’re down or to challenge us to push past what we think is possible.

We reach our full potential when we enlist the help of others who have already walked the path we want to travel. The coaching culture of accountability is invaluable for stepping up our game and deepening our understanding of how people change, plus it gets us out of our way.

Why is coaching so necessary and empowering? Because we all, at one time or another, suffer a disconnect in the process of wanting, planning, and achieving. For example,

  • We dream of an idea that makes our hearts sing, but then we get distracted or overwhelmed.
  • While mapping out our plan, we try impossible steps and get discouraged.
  • Our goal is in sight, but internal or external roadblocks get in the way, whether it’s negative feedback or we haven’t learned the necessary skills yet.

Magnificient coaches have learned the secret to healing this disconnect. The key to achieving excellence is creating a culture of assessment and accountability. 

A culture of accountability involves clear expectations, open communication, and strong leadership. Accountability coaches give us what we need at each stage of our journey. They have the ability and willingness to be vulnerable and humble, admit mistakes, and are skilled at active listening, modeling best behaviors, creating clear boundaries, analytical skills, and giving honest feedback.

9 Practices that Promote a Culture of Accountability and Personal Responsibility

    1. Master self-management. Before we support others’ growth and development, we must learn to keep our emotions, fears, and agendas in check. When you hone your skills for analytic thinking, meaningful communication, and healthful behavior, you can model excellence for your clients.
    1. Keep a non-judgmental approach. When personal judgments enter the room, we’re never fully present, and neither is our client. They will sense negativity and won’t open up to you. All your clients deserve respect. Be open to learning from them. They have something to teach you, even those who stretch your patience.
    1. Remain in a charge-neutral state. Stay calm and ensure your client is never placed in a compromised position, having to promote or defend their statements. Remain in the role of questioning and clarifying. Let yourself be involved,  empathic, and enthusiastic, yet objective and emotionally detached from the issue or the outcome. 
    1. Give specific feedback. Make your clients feel valued and understood. Instead of shallow, generic compliments, give detailed feedback, such as, “You showed some real initiative and creativity in your approach to this problem.”
    1. Be their champion. Take a stand for your client by reminding them of their values, strengths, and abilities that they take for granted or haven’t noticed. You expressed confidence helps position them to meet new challenges with confidence. It also encourages them to push through to new possibilities.
    1. Support, challenge, and stay focused. Hold your client accountable for their thinking and their actions in a way that supports their growth. Your job isn’t to make them comfortable but to point out their blind spots so they can move forward. 
    1. Believe in. There’s no need to fix your client since they already have the answers if you ask the right questions. Focus on helping them get their desired results instead of what you think is best. See your client as naturally creative, resourceful, competent, capable, and whole. Help the client discover, uncover, or polish the person they already are. 
    1. See intentions, not problems. Focus on coaching their internal way of being, beliefs, values, mindset, and development, not their problems, goals, or circumstances. Far-reaching transformational internal changes result as your client increases her capacity as a  person.
    1. Ask powerful questions. Uncover what’s important and empower your client to tap into their own knowledge, expertise, and personal values, so they find their answers. Your job is to help your client think, rather than think for them. Open-ended questions asked with genuine curiosity have the power to change lives. They can jumpstart creativity, change perspective, empower self-belief, and create powerful calls to action. Ask questions that are penetrating, not threatening, and thought provoking not leading. Avoid statements and suggestions disguised as questions.

Excellent coaches favor the process versus the content — they support growth versus telling the client what to do. Coaching is about the client’s agenda, not the coach’s. Three red flags to watch for are:

  1. Working too hard
  • Giving away solutions and solving problems rather than creating possibilities for your client to solve their problems.
  • Constantly summarizing your conversation may unwittingly lead the client rather than support them.
  • Getting sidetracked by too many details.
  1. Engaging your ideas and attitudes
  • Becoming overly sympathetic and doubting your client’s abilities.
  • Jumping to conclusions. 
  • Getting sucked into your past.
  1. Desiring personal approval, which clouds objectivity
  • Focusing on your client’s approval reduces your ability to listen and coach on a deeper level. 
  • Lacking the confidence to share your insights.
  • Angling for business support, like testimonials, at inappropriate times. 

Becoming a magnificent coach means paying attention to these red flags regularly. At each coaching session, be aware of your presence and how you contribute to your client’s growth. If you’d like an accountability partner to help you achieve excellence, let’s talk. Please request a free 30-minute consultation to explore my services or programs.

Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.


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Professional Certified Coach by International Coach Federation