Join me as I chat all things accountability in this solo episode.

How do you prefer to be held accountable?

Do you like the big stick approach, do you scare yourself into doing stuff, or are you a collaborator?

In this episode I talk about how I’m shit at accountability for myself and why that’s been of benefit for my clients, the different methods I use to help people move from being held accountable, to becoming accountable for themselves and my special Ninja mind tricks 🤣

In this episode I mention my mentor Sarah Jolley Jarvis, the person who wields the big stick over me sometimes.

She also has an excellent podcast…you can find that here

If you’d like to know more about my approach to coaching, you can find out here

And if you’d like some accountability around your health behaviours, why don’t you join my FREE Facebook group here?

Transcript
Hayley:

Hi, and welcome to the Fit For Business podcast with me Hayley Field, also known as the Food Ninja.

Hayley:

I'm here to chat with business owners about their health and how it impacts their business and vice versa, and to share with you all the latest tools, tips and strategies that are working for myself, and my clients. Hope you enjoy the episode.

Hayley:

Hi, and welcome to today's show, which is another solo episode. I know I say this each time, I'm still not sure about how I feel about these solo episodes, it all feels a bit weird, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Hayley:

So today I am here to talk about accountability. And the reason I'm going to talk about accountability is I'm a bit shit at it.

Hayley:

I'm really great with other people's accountability, because obviously that's kind of my job, it would be fucking weird if I wasn't.

Hayley:

But I'm not all that good with mine. And I think the reason for that is I don't always hold myself accountable in the right way.

Hayley:

Accountability doesn't work for everyone. And it doesn't work for everyone, because people do it wrong a lot of the time.

Hayley:

I know that when most people think about accountability, they probably think that it's when someone says they're going to do something, maybe they make a big sort of public declaration.

Hayley:

And that motivates them to do the thing. Because they don't want the embarrassment or shame of people going, Hey, weren't you going to do that thing?

Hayley:

They don't want to be seen as a person who doesn't do what they say they're going to do. And that doesn't really work with me. The minute I say to someone, I'm going to do this, and publicly declare it straightaway, it makes me not want to do it.

Hayley:

Not because I'm like, oh might be shit or whatever. But just because now that the expectation is there, and people are expecting me to do it. And I don't like being told what to do, straightaway, I'm just like, Oh, someone's expecting me to do this, I'd rather do something completely fucking different.

Hayley:

And I guess the purpose of me telling you this is when I realised this, it really helped me working with my clients. Because there isn't one way to keep people accountable. You need to understand what are those that person's motivations, and understand what type of personality they have

Hayley:

A lot of the time, sometimes a big public declaration is, you know, I'm going to go live on my Facebook from Monday to Friday at 11am. That's not going to work for everyone. Because straightaway, they're just like, No, that's it, you know, the expectation is there.

Hayley:

I think people also think that keeping someone accountable is about policing. But it's not about policing, it's not about making sure someone's just ticking a box and doing that behaviour. It's about helping them take ownership of that behaviour.

Hayley:

For that reason, I don't believe holding people accountable is particularly effective. I think helping people to become accountable is what you know, certainly what I should be aiming for, as a coach.

Hayley:

I coach people with health behaviours, and if you can't become accountable for your own health, I mean, that's a pretty serious situation to get into, right?

Hayley:

I mean, not with your mates and stuff, right? If you're in a WhatsApp group with some mates, and they're like, oh, let's try to lose weight together. I mean, clearly, it's not your job to fucking psychoanalyse them and decide what's the best method of accountability for their personality and situation.

Hayley:

But in terms of being a coach, the thing that I've noticed from working with hundreds of different clients now over eight years, fuck me, that sounds like a really long time, doesn't it?

Hayley:

Everyone starts off wanting to be held accountable, because they don't yet realise the value of the behaviour that they're being held accountable to.

Hayley:

Does that make sense? Sounds very wordy, doesn't it? I guess what I'm saying is they haven't yet seen the benefit of doing the behaviour. So they can't take accountability for themselves. So they want to be held accountable to just kind of tick that box, which is fine, like because you never get buy in straight away from people.

Hayley:

Like hey, do this thing. Oh, yeah, amazing. I can't wait, like why should they? They don't know if it's gonna work or not, you know, they know that it's good for them to do this behaviour on a daily basis, but you can't expect them to be motivated just by that because they've not seen the benefits yet.

Hayley:

And of course, with what I do all the health stuff, benefits are really slow to arrive. They're not instant, despite what dieting industry or the health industry tells you. You can't drop a dress size in a week. You know, you can't do a six day shred six pack, whatever the fuck the latest thing is, they're not instant.

Hayley:

You don't instantly lose fat in a linear way. I mean, I've been having a conversation with a client just this week who just cannot get their head around the fact that you know, because they've been told by Slimming fucking World in this instance, that they should be losing two pounds a week or actually, you know, one of my clients was told You're a big girl, you should be losing more than two pounds a week by a Slimming World consultant.

Hayley:

So that kind of culture or that behaviour perpetuates this kind of like, I should be losing two pounds a week. So you know, it's really hard to get people to stay accountable when they have this expectation, that's completely unrealistic.

Hayley:

Fat Loss is not linear, you don't instantly have loads of energy and you know, feel great, you don't instantly have brilliant skin and shiny hair and building new muscles, right, it's all really slow to arrive.

Hayley:

So you do have to hold people accountable until they start to see the benefits of their behaviour. And then they become accountable. Because they're more emotionally invested in it.

Hayley:

I figured out with different personality types, some people like to be held accountable by you leading by example, for example. So if I (and I have got a client like that at the moment, actually) so when I'm trying to coach this person, I'm always thinking about my actions matching with the words or the things that I'm asking them to do.

Hayley:

You know, because some people, I don't know why I tend to attract kind of rebellious people, like, Oh, why is she holding me accountable to doing this when she's not even fucking doing it herself, you know, and obviously, there are situations where that's not appropriate.

Hayley:

But I do believe that, you know, I don't believe health coaches should all be shredded and have six packs and you're not about to see me in my GymShark leggings, you know, showing my ass off to the camera.

Hayley:

But I do believe that you should take care of yourself. If you are trying to persuade other people that taking care of themselves is a good idea, then absolutely, you should be doing that behaviours that allow you to be healthy, whatever that looks like for you.

Hayley:

It doesn't always look like big, massive glutes in GymShark, leggings. Although I have got big, massive glutes I'm quite proud of actually.

Hayley:

So some people are motivated by seeing you lead by example. And me giving them examples and telling them stories about when I've decided to do this behaviour on a regular basis, or telling them stories about a client who's similar to them who did something, you know, is in a similar situation and did a similar kind of thing and got amazing results.

Hayley:

Those kinds of people are motivated by those stories, those, you know, examples and possibilities, you know, it gives them a little glimpse into what their life could be like.

Hayley:

it's not always motivating for me to tell people that, hey, I do this thing, because for some reason, a lot of people put you on a pedestal as a health coach, right?

Hayley:

They think, oh, well, Hayley's super healthy and fit and whatever. Like, spoiler alert, I'm fucking not.

Hayley:

Not at the moment anyway, because I've walked 50 kilometres on Saturday, which I might do another podcast about actually, let me know if you'd like me to do a podcast about that experience. My toe has a brilliant story to tell.

Hayley:

So yeah, people aren't always motivated by me telling them, not initially anyway, not at the beginning of their journey. They're kind of like, oh, yeah, but you're super healthy and do X Y, Zed.

Hayley:

And then you know, later on, they realise that actually, it is attainable for them to have a certain level of health.

Hayley:

So as I said, those kind of people are motivated by stories and inspiration from other people and the possibility of what they could actually be. So that's one method that I use.

Hayley:

Now some people just want a big stick. Now, my mentor, Sarah Jolly Jarvis, who has an excellent podcast, by the way, called Selling Without Sleaze for all you business owners out there, she is pretty amazing at what she does. So go check her podcast out.

Hayley:

But we have a bit of a joke that sometimes if I'm procrastinating about things, she gets her big stick out. So she is kind of a big stick accountability person. But it's what some people require.

Hayley:

They just want to be hit over the head with a big stick and told that they're naughty for not doing certain things like a school teacher, which you might think is a bit weird, but actually, I find that type of accountability generally tends to work for people who have a lot of responsibility.

Hayley:

So they are maybe quite a high performer. And they're quite focused, but they have such a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, in their business. And in their life. That actually when it comes to being coached, they just want to be held to account with a big stick as in JFDI mate, just do the fucking thing, right?

Hayley:

It works for those sorts of people, but those sorts of people are also very self aware. So they know that in the first instance, that's what they need to get them going, to build some momentum.

Hayley:

And the big stick is what is required initially. But it's those people that very quickly learn to take on the responsibility for their own actions and actually own that accountability, so that's the second type of accountability.

Hayley:

So another type of accountability is people who want to do it in a collaborative way. So they want to be held accountable, but they want to decide what they're going to be held accountable to, obviously, with my guidance, and obviously, I prefer that because that is better than me telling people what to do.

Hayley:

I'll tell people what, what to do if I have to, but it's much better when it's collaborative, there's more buy in, and then you're working with them to decide what's the behaviour that they feel they can change right now and what are they capable of? What is their capacity, like right now?

Hayley:

It's also a really good way of trying to find out what's important to them, what are they prioritising. So that's another personality type with other people.

Hayley:

And again, this is normally very early on in the journey, people want to use fear for accountability. I mean, it's, it's not my favourite thing to do. But some people do require a short, sharp shock. And they want to be told what the consequences of their current behaviours are.

Hayley:

So I can think of a situation with a previous client where, you know, they had a lot of health problems, they were very overweight, they were not very physically active, they were in their late 40s. And, you know, there were potentially quite a lot of consequences in terms of heart health, and this client was pre diabetic as well.

Hayley:

So showing those people the consequences around longevity, I mean, longevity, for their health, and then the knock on effect on their business, you know, if they get sick, they need to take time out for their business.

Hayley:

And usually, these are people who are doing everything themselves, right. So you know, when they go bang, the business goes bang too right.

Hayley:

They know, obviously, you know, these are smart people that I work with, so they do know what those consequences are. But they're either in denial, or they're disassociated themselves from it. But yeah, these these people basically want to be kind of scared into accountability.

Hayley:

And let me just say, none of these methods are right or wrong. They're just right for a particular person at a particular stage in their journey.

Hayley:

So first of all, they get motivated by the big stick, they're not always going to be like that, we hopefully move on from the big stick to collaboration, or being scared into looking at the consequences to collaboration to ultimately becoming accountable rather than being held accountable.

Hayley:

So those are the ways that I motivate people, or what some of my clients like to call my ninja mind tricks. I couldn't possibly comment.

Hayley:

I have a client actually, who calls me a sneaky little ninja quite often, because she's very similar to me. I don't know why I'm being all kind of shrouding her in mystery, you can go and listen to a podcast that I did with her recently, an episode. It's my client JoFo.

Hayley:

Now she doesn't like being told what to do. And she doesn't really like being held accountable. You know, she's like me, oh, you want me to do this? Yeah, fuck you. I'll do what I want.

Hayley:

So we're very similar. So I know that motivating her with a big stick, for example, is just going to be like, No, that is not going to work.

Hayley:

So yes, I do sneaky little ninja mind tricks as she calls them on her. You know, I trained in CBT. I've done a bit of NLP, although I don't really use that too much anymore, motivational interviewing, lots of different techniques, a lot of behavioural change techniques, a lot of mindset stuff to kind of suggest courses of action to her.

Hayley:

And then apparently, she just ends up doing them by accident. She didn't even know that I'd suggested them. I mean, I don't know if that's completely true. But I'm just gonna go with it and say, Yes, Jo. That's exactly what's happening.

Hayley:

But I guess in conclusion, to say that it's really important to recognise that accountability in its more traditional form doesn't work for everybody. And it doesn't work in the same way, it won't have the same outcome.

Hayley:

And in fact, it's a journey. It starts from being held accountable, right through to becoming accountable for your own actions. And then those actions become a part of your lifestyle, because you see the benefits of it, and it's just something you do.

Hayley:

So that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening to one of my weird little solo episodes where I just sit in a room and talk to myself.

Hayley:

I would love to know what you thought of this episode. How do you keep yourself accountable? Do you need someone to help you do it? And which of those methods do you think works best for you? I will be back next week with another guest and until then take care of yourself!

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