For accountability to be successful, two key roles must be present. The first role is the user, who installs and utilizes accountability software on their devices to facilitate transparency for their actions. The second role is that of the accountability partner, who is tasked with receiving reports and alerts for the user’s activity. Receiving reports for a user’s activity is all well and good, but what does an accountability partner really do from there? In this article, we will look at the three major components of an accountability partner’s role.

Review

When you receive a report or an alert regarding a user’s activity, the first action you will want to take is to review that activity to get an idea of what it is and why it may have alerted. Always remember that accountability software is simply a tool to bring items to your attention, as technology can’t read very well into the context of a situation. Therefore, your review of the reports is essential to providing insight into the true nature of an alert. Be sure to look not just at items that were alerted, but also at the activities that surround that alert, which can help you understand the context of why that alert occurred. You may very well find that an alert was triggered by a legitimate activity that doesn’t merit any significant concern.

Discuss

If there are any questions regarding the activity that you have seen, the next step is to engage in a constructive conversation with the user. Share what you have seen on the report, and ask the user if they know why that activity is showing up. If you have concerns, share those concerns. Above all, be sure to allow the user ample opportunity to provide you with any additional context regarding the activity. Remember that the reports contain data, whereas the individual can provide you with the context surrounding that data which can provide you with a more complete understanding.

Encourage

There will be times when it becomes apparent that objectionable activity has occurred. This is the toughest part of an accountability relationship because it requires a degree of confrontation. However, with healthy confrontation comes an opportunity for growth. There is a balance that must be exercised between communicating the seriousness of a mistake, while simultaneously extending grace and support. There is a time to discourage someone from inappropriate action, but an even greater opportunity to encourage someone to a life of purity. No one has ever finished a race by looking backwards. Be certain that when all is said and done, the individual has been abundantly reminded of what they are aiming for. In this way, you have set their eyes toward the goal so that they can run with purpose and passion.

Being an accountability partner is an important undertaking, and it is absolutely vital to the success of an accountability relationship. But don’t stop there. Who are you accountable to?  Be sure to complete the circle!

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