Several weeks ago I wrote a couple of blog posts about Goals and Goal-Setting (Part 1 and Part 2). This post is something of a follow-up on those posts. Definitely read (or re-read) those posts and then come back to this one.
So your wife has a direct sales business and you’ve set some goals. Great! Now what?
Let’s talk a little bit about accountability.
This can be a little bit of a touchy subject for some couples, so it’s important that your relationship is healthy. That’s definitely important in anything you do in helping her with HER business. From what I’ve seen, this is probably not as common as most guys think. So be careful. Remember that your primary goal in everything you do to help her is to be supportive. Keeping her accountable to her own goals and working points can be a great way to help, as long as you follow some key guidelines:
7 Keys to Direct Sales Business Accountability.
- Talk about the topic of accountability.
- Make sure the goals are written down (see the posts above).
- Add additional points of accountability with mutual consent.
- Do not badger or nag her.
- Focus on positive achievements and progress more than negative areas.
- Keep discussions short.
- Remember that if it gets intense, you’re probably hurting the process, not helping it.
1. Talk About Accountability:
In a way the accountability partnership is a contract. Think about it that way. There are two sides to the contract and both sides need to be clear on what to expect from it. She should know that this is something you’re going to do. You need to know what she expects from you in HOW to do it. It may be that you are not the best person to keep her accountable. If that’s the case, find somebody who is the right person and can benefit her that way.
2. Write Down Those Goals:
Goals aren’t necessarily the only points you’ll need to keep in mind, but they’re the biggest points. These HAVE to be written down to be effective. Just refer her back to those goals from time to time. Sit down monthly or quarterly and discuss the goals. “Are we applying our time and energy in a way that we will achieve our goals?”
3. Add Additional Accountability Points With Mutual Consent
It should be pretty obvious that you can’t just go around saying “you said you’d do this, so I’m going to hold you to it.” In business, you’re going to have TONS of ideas (hopefully you will, anyway!). Not all of those ideas need to be accountability points. It’s ok to let things drop. But some ideas are worth more time, attention, and follow-up. She can use you effectively for this by saying something like “remind me to…” or “I really need to be doing … more. Can you help me with that?” Don’t let those points drop. Talk about it some and write them down yourself to remind yourself that you need to follow-up on it.
4. Do NOT Badger or Nag Her.
Do you really want to be her mother? Let me answer that question for you: No! You definitely don’t! Think about how effective it is whenever somebody nags YOU about something. Isn’t there a better way? Don’t be that person.
5. Focus On Positive Achievements and Progress.
When you’re trying to keep someone accountable for anything, it’s easy to think (and say) “hey, you’re not doing …” That’s not going to be your most effective use of time and effort. Humans tend to respond better to a mix of mostly positive reinforcement along with some mention of the negative side of things. This is something I personally don’t always achieve myself. But in a perfect world, you’re better off focusing more on reminding her of her successes. For instance: “Holley, I just wanted to tell you how awesome it is that you booked 7 parties in November! That’s really going to help keep your booking calendar filled for December and January and meet our monthly personal volume goals. Way to go!” And “You’ve already had 2 recruits this month! That’s awesome! Any chance we can get that 3rd girl to sign up?” You get the idea. Keep it positive. When you need to move her in another direction, just ask a question about it after you find something positive to mention. “You’ve been doing great in bookings the last two months. And your personal sales are rocking! How’s it going keeping your business expenses & accounting up to date lately?”
6. Keep Discussions Short.
Every so often you’ll probably want to have a sit down “state of the union” sort of discussion. But for the most part, keep it short. Two or three sentences or a short interaction should do it. Remember 4 and 5 above.
7. If it gets Intense, Back Off.
Accountability is never worth a fight in your marriage. If the discussion starts to get intense, you’re most likely NOT helping move her in the direction you think. I’m an “intense guy” (apparently, anyway. People are always telling me this). And I gather that’s not always a good thing. Also keep in mind that your marriage is far more important and valuable than ANY business or accountability point. Just don’t let it get anywhere close to an argument. You’ll lose all of your effectiveness with accountability if your interactions cause her to become defensive or avoidant.
Girls – Do you think your husband could be helpful by being an accountability partner for you in your business? Or is it more a dangerous thing?
Guys – What do you think about this? Helpful or more likely to be harmful?