You might have heard the saying, “We plan, God laughs,” and that rings true in every aspect of our lives—both with clients, and with our own projects. The last two years have been proof enough of that!
That’s why it’s so important for us to establish accountability. It’s also why I wanted to discuss the idea and how you should apply it, especially for when our plans don’t go according to, well, plan.
With clients, the concept of accountability is simple, provided that it’s applied correctly. First of all, we must be open and transparent in our communication from the beginning of the relationship, no matter how long the duration of the project may be. Our clients must know that we’re going to get the tasks done, but that plans are fluid and must be treated as such. If you’re matched up well with your client, it shouldn’t be a problem, but open and regular communication is the key to avoiding any pitfalls, regardless.
Your not-so-secret weapons? A process for change that you follow religiously and regular email debriefing from you to your clients, throughout the project.
In this episode of “Can We Talk About Your WordPress Projects?” (replay below), we’re breaking down the subject of accountability vs. flexibility. (originally live-streamed October 2020)
Accountability and Change Control
First of all, a process for change lets your clients know that you’ve got everything under control, even when it seems like things are going off the rails. Not only does this establish continuity for yourself, but it also gives your client reassurance and a visual aid. Remember to communicate this process to your client from the get-go!
Accountability and Status Reporting
Your email debriefing is a backup for your process—it lets your clients know what you’ve planned to do, what you’re doing, and where the two come together. The frequency of the email depends on the duration of the project, but you should at least be sending a Friday email. It’s a great way to keep your clients in the loop without flooding them with too much information.
The Struggle with Self-Accountability
Unfortunately, self-accountability is a little bit more complicated. This stems from having life throwing things at us from every angle and the fact that we have the tendency to put our clients’ needs first. But the key to success doesn’t stop at motivation or drive—I’ve got that by the boatloads, and I have no doubt that you do, too. In order to bring out the best in ourselves and our projects, it’s important to find a source of accountability partnership.
You’d be surprised, but a little bit of shame goes a long way. And if you don’t accomplish what you told your accountability partner or group you’d do, you’re going to have to own it up to them—and to yourself. It doesn’t matter who you choose, but it has to be someone who’s going to hold you to your word.
It’s important for me to practice what I preach, so I included in this episode, a little bit about what I’ve been doing with the Academy, and how the process of bringing it all together was going.
BONUS – Consider taking Shanta’s suggestion and use our Friday chats as your own accountability group. Come join us and tell us what you’re working on. We’re there to support you.
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