Personal Accountability Defined. I was asked to blog my thoughts on personal accountability. Specifically, Accountability vs. Obligation— Is there a distinction between the two or are they one of the same in meaning? I didn’t find it odd that accountability was the very topic that I had been reading in my coaching studies which had just come up in a very random text message; I was more shocked at the blog “request” along with the spin on obligation. [Important note: I don’t do blog requests ]
At first, I wanted to say, Yes… it’s just semantics, the two are very much synonymous; however, as I thought about what my response would be, I started changing my mind. I had to break down my own beliefs.
I believe obligation is the hierarchy of the two words. According to the dictionary, obligation is more of a binding promise – as in a contract; a call of duty if you will. Obligation according to Tonesha, is part of a person’s belief– it is a belief to do the right thing, a belief to be honorable, a belief that is attached to a person’s set of core values. I had to add in a person’s core values because I don’t believe that a person can honestly be “obligated” to anything without attaching their values. [Keyword: honestly]. The belief to oblige would supersede the legality of the “contract” or “call of duty”. Think of a married couple, the marriage contract doesn’t supersede the belief of the love and promise they have to each other. A soldier being sworn in, the belief of honor comes before the actual swearing-in.
Moving on to Accountability. The dictionary says accountability is being liable, responsible for, answerable to. As a coach-in-training, I love the word and what it means [to me]. Accountability is the meat and potato of the “promise” –it’s the ACTION to the belief. Very importantly, accountability is measurable. Accountability is the liability of the obligation. It’s where the consequence begins–success or failure.
I believe obligation cannot possibly have any sustainable results when a person being is not being responsible to the promise. With coaching, accountability is essential to the relationship between the coach and the client. The client comes to a coach to seek guidance in fulfilling personals goals leading to success. The client must first be obligated to themselves to set personal goals, but more importantly, is fully willing to accept the accountability they’ve collaborated with the coach in order to reap the success! Without accountability, one is susceptible of facing a broken promise.