Having an accountability partner goes a long way when it comes to setting your goals and taking proactive steps to achieve them. But in order for the relationship to work, there are a few things you need to consider.

In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.

The most successful real estate agents often rely on other people — whether that person’s their coach, mentor or coworker. Having an accountability partner can help keep you on track and move your business forward at a pace that works for you. An accountability partner holds you accountable to your commitment to yourself and your dream.

Although there are so many benefits to having mentors or accountability partners by your side, to really succeed and make the most of out of the experience, you need to know how to work best together. Here are four ways to be a good partner while getting the most out of the relationship. 

1. Plan

It’s important for you and your partner to set a regular time to meet and discuss exactly how you’ll connect (virtually via Zoom, by phone or in person while social distancing). Determine what works best for both of your schedules, and enter the meeting into your calendar as a fixed, regular occurrence.

Make sure you’re not changing plans, unless there’s an extenuating circumstance. Once you start switching up meeting times or shifting things around, your partnership will quickly crumble and come to an end.

2. Focus on the goals

Always start off by setting or updating goals. What gets measured, gets managed — which is why it’s important to implement goal-setting with your accountability partner.

If you don’t have specific goals to track, what are you holding yourself accountable for? Most successful agents have certain objectives they want to accomplish. Formulating and jotting them down creates clarity on what you have to do every day and week to get there.

Focus positively on your partner’s successes and goals, rather than on their mistakes and shortcomings. Expect growing successes and reasonable failures along the way. Gently refuse to accept excuses, and hold your partner up to do what they’ve agreed to pursue.

3. Communication

When you’re working with an accountability partner, make sure that you’re basing all of your communication around positive reinforcement. This means that every step in the right direction toward your goals should be rewarded.

We all need positive reinforcement when it comes to accomplishing difficult things. When you’re facing resistance toward your goal, even a small step like thinking about your habits counts — and should be reinforced. Then, you can build on that. 

Don’t forget to communicate clearly, directly, honestly and respectfully. Regular, genuine communication is key to making your accountability partnership work. Ask difficult questions, and make critical but helpful observations that are bolstered by positivity.

4. Celebrating wins

Acknowledging hard work and success really works to boost your accountability partner’s confidence and determination. Always be on the lookout for wins, however big or small. Celebrate them. 

Making this a regularly practiced event will make your partner feel valued. It’ll encourage them to continue doing their best work and improve themselves — with your help! 

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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