I. listing of AOC participants for individual connections
Please find a PDF listing the Accountability Partner groups HERE .
And just for the fun of it, where we are in the world through a map view
II. Some information on the benefits of accountability partners
1. Why do it?
The Accountability Partners element of the AOC gives each of us the opportunity to:
- be of support and be supported,
- notice our own tendency to advise or hold back or lean forward so as to be more intentional in our own influencing skills,
- practice some of the skills and models we are learning as they become applicable 'real time' in various situations,
- have a diverse set of thinking partners who may see something we are missing, etc.
It is also a way to practice forming relationship of mutual trust quickly across time and space and differences, which is a key capacity for any one of us who is determined to create something new or change something in our spheres of influence.
It also will give us inspiration, ideas, a container of support and challenge that can underpin our intentions, how we meet external expectations and how we dance with internal expectations.
2. Recommendations for the FIRST Accountability Partners session (in person or virtual depending on membership):
- Timing of the first Accountability Partners session - February 2018
- Duration of first session: spacious 1.5 hours. Give yourselves the time to be present and focused
- Preparation for the first Accountability Partners session, I recommend that you pull out your intention work or journaling, your lifeline process map, your leadership archetype self-assessment and the Gretchen Rubin self-assessment, and any other materials you might want to use to outline for yourself answers to: who am I, in a nutshell? what am I aiming for in terms of intention/s related to this program? what do I call my work? what do I want to call my work in the future? is there a difference? where do I live? where do I come from? what matters to me? how does it feel to be disclosing or considering disclosing any of the above with 1 or 2 relative strangers?
- Structure of Accountability Partners session,
- Start with some informal time (5-7 minutes) to share name, location, background, anything that will start the process of connecting.
- This first session will focus on a long Check In to come present and build trust, with the following Check In 'invitation': Where are you right now? And name what is on your mind, your heart and you are feeling in your body, as we start our work together". Give 15 minutes to each partner to share her answers to some or all of the questions above. Make sure to give equal time. You do not have to rush. If you are sharing and your time is up and you have some much more you want to share, you can acknowledge that, pause, and let your partner have her 15 minutes of listening time. If one of you ends 5 minutes into her 15 minutes, the role of the partner/s is to simply ask the AWE question: "And What Else?", and then wait and listen and not rush to jump in with 'filling the quiet'.
- This first session is essentially meant to be setting the start of the foundation of trust that will be the bedrock of your partnership. Building vulnerability-based trust requires self-disclosure and a space that feel 'safe'. It may not happen after just one session, but it could. We will continue to look in the program at the architecture of trust and that may provide more insights on how easy it is for us to trust, bestow trust, build trust, lose it or regain it. In the meantime, be gentle with each other and suspend judgments. Give each person the time and space to settle into the partnership. There will always be time in subsequent sessions to challenge or provoke or manage the conflict/differences that will inevitably arise.
- Close your session with a round of final sharing from each partner: What is the 1 intention that you want your accountability partners to hold with you in AOC? And What is 1 challenge to achieving that Intention that you want your accountability partners to hold with you in AOC? Make sure to take notes so that you each can hold the others' Intention and Challenge in your awareness. You may want to write it in your journal for AOC or on strips of paper that you can then place in an actual container for safekeeping.
2. Recommendations for ONGOING Accountability Partners sessions
- Duration of the sessions: if trio 1.5 hours, if duo 1 hour
- Structure of the sessions: in order not to go into an open-ended chat for the duration of your call, either out of conversational habit or politeness, I suggest the following format for your time together:
- First - Some chat time - reconnect/connect, informal, settling in - 5-7 minutes total time
- Then - A Check In - to get present, notice what is up for you at the moment, share key highlights of what is present for you - can be something as simple as "What is your internal weather as we start?" or "What is present for you today?" - 10-15 minutes total time
- The bulk of your time - Working session. Allocate the remaining time equally to each person (at least during the first sessions). And during that time allocate 25 minutes for each person to take on the role of the 'Client':
- 5 minutes - First person to go becomes the 'Client', the other person or persons become the "peer coach or coaches". First person describes a bit of context and challenge they are experiencing or idea they want to examine. "Peer Coach/es" LISTEN, SLOW DOWN URGE TO JUMP IN AND SOLVE and LISTEN some more. Do not interrupt. Let the "Client" talk, describe as without interruption.
- 15 minutes - Once the "Client" feels heard, "Coach/es" ASK OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS and the 'Client' answers or takes notes, as she feels inclined. Your role is to be thinking partners primarily and not advisors/resolvers.
- 5 minutes - Once the time is up, Client is asked "What insights did you take from this session?". They may have an insight, they may not. It matters not. Asking the question plants the seed of self-awareness and reflection.
- Then everyone takes a pause to reflect, take notes, rest. The next person becomes the "Client" and so on.
- 5 minutes - Preparing to close - Bring to a reflective close with 'Areas for Improvement' - what to do better or change during the next session
- A Checkout - take time at the end for at the very least a 5 minute checkout to hear one word or phrase of personal insight or act ion from each before closing. Appreciate each others' hard work and close.
- Frequency of the Accountability Partners sessions between February 2018 and October 2018: 1 time a month, at a minimum, but up to the individual groups to determine what is feasible/optimal
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