A while back in my higher education career, my boss asked me to create a class or workshop for students on high conduct statuses (read: about to be kicked out) to help them examine their values, choices and actions, and learn to make decisions in better alignment with our institution's values and expectations. As a good friend of mine would say, this was essentially a class of telling them to "Get their poop in a group ASAP!" At that time, I thought I had just been given a task equivalent of facilitating detention for college students.
One of the expectations of the students was weekly check in meetings. Each of them had a one on one meeting to talk about how they were doing, what they were struggling with, and how we could help. There was one student who started popping in two or three times a week. When I tried to casually point out to him that he was only required to come see me once a week, he responded with, "You are my accountabilibuddy." And so, the term was born.
In the best sense of this creative combination of words, your accountabilibuddy is that person who cares for you enough to call you on when you aren't following through with the things you said you wanted to do or who they know in your heart you want to be. It's that person who isn't afraid to tell you the things you may not want to hear, but know to be true. Accountabilibuddies can operate from a place of radical candor, a concept coined by Kim Scott after her many experiences in the tech world.
Radical candor says that you care personally and challenge directly. When you choose not to do these things in tandem, you fall into one of three other areas:
1. Obnoxious aggression- when you challenge but don't care about the human you are challenging. The person on the receiving end doesn't feel like you wanted to give genuine feedback. Rather, it feels insulting and attacking.
2. Ruinous empathy- when you care a lot, but don't challenge. It's those times when you think you might hurt someone's feelings so you don't offer feedback. But, you've also missed an opportunity to help them move toward their best self.
3. Manipulative insecurity- when you neither care nor challenge. People may be wondering if you are even engaged at all.
There is tons more on Radical Candor's website that goes into all of these concepts more, so if you are intrigued, head that direction when you are done reading this.
A radically candid person truly cares about you or your organization and is willing to put their own needs on the back-burner to help either succeed. Scott describes this care as an act of love and human decency. She goes on to describe that the challenge aspect of being radically candor is done with humility, honoring the other person involved. In the best sense, accountabilibuddies are the same; those people who honor and love you while also giving direct, helpful, actionable feedback that helps you and/or your organization excel.
Take a moment:
* Who are you or your organization's accountabilibuddies?
* What makes them the people who can both love you and call you out at the same time?
* Who are the truth-tellers who can help organizations and businesses excel?
* What is it about people or business environments that make them able to receive AND act on radical candor?
Use the "Get In Touch" link above and tell us more about the best accountabilibuddies you've ever had, personally or professionally. Let's create more people who can be and receive radically candid feedback from these buddies.