How to Stay Consistent By Using Accountability and Positive Peer Pressure to Your Advantage
Jan 14, by Tanya Alvarez
Contrary to popular belief, peer pressure is a highly effective means to help push someone (or yourself) to accomplish new goals or acquire fresh skill sets. Positive peer pressure, too, is also a key to developing habits, partially keystone habits.
And like we’ve waxed poetic about before: Accountability is a cornerstone of change, which often lines-up with positive peer pressure. But how exactly can you deploy accountability and positive peer pressure practices to grow and drive your business?
Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
The Science (and Studies) Behind Accountability and Positive Peer Pressure
Like any powerful business tools, tips, and techniques, there’s proven science behind each one. And the same holds true in regards to accountability and positive peer pressure.
Interestingly enough, shame—which is at the center of what people wrongly synonyms with peer pressure—is antithetical to driving positive change. As Dr. Brene Brown, a well-known social research who hails from the University of Houston has gone on record to say: You can’t shame people into changing. But you can guilt them into it.
And therein her quote is exactly why positive peer pressure and accountability work so well as social and professional change-makers: Each one is centered around guilt. But why is guilt good?
Easy: Guilt holds a mirror to yourself and your actions, showing you ways you can improve and change for the better. Shame, on the other hand, basically communicates to your brain that you’re beyond saving—and this version of yourself is unchangeable.
For example, a “guilt driver” would look like this: You missed today’s early morning meeting, which isn’t like you. This is unacceptable behavior, but I know you can rectify this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
To the contrary, a “shame trigger” looks like this: You missed today’s early morning meeting, which no good employee would do. Clearly, you’re not one and we made a mistake hiring you.
While each communicates the same thing, it’s crystal clear to see which one leaves room for positive change…and how the other stops any chance of that happening dead in its tracks.
How to Use Positive Peer Pressure and Accountability to Your Advantage
It’s a proven fact that people who are accountable not only outperform those who aren’t, but they’re also viewed as more trustworthy, likable individuals. And one of the best ways to bolster accountability is through positive peer pressure.
But implementing positive peer pressure—be it toward yourself or an employee—is confusing to many. Here are a few top practices to keep you (and maybe your employees) consistently accountable.
Keep an Open Dialogue
Hinting back at shame again: Shame can’t survive being spoken because it requires you to believe you’re alone and incapable of changing. However, on the other hand, gult—which, as we’ve already discussed, is a vital component of positive peer pressure—thrives when spoken.
Next time you’re in a rut or find yourself (or someone around you) underperforming, talk to you (or them) like you would a child. Be kind, be open, be honest to yourself and those around you. Then, and only then, can accountability begin to flourish.
Actively (and Regularly) Journal
To those familiar with the OwnersUP model, it’s no surprise that we’re big fans of journaling. It’s one of the most powerful tools to steer your professional and personal lives in the right direction.
Regarding accountability, using your journaling time as a tool for self-reflection and introspection can greatly help keep you accountable on a day-to-day basis. Jot down ways you saw yourself making excuses, blaming yourself, and, ultimately, underperforming. Then, look into your habits and characteristics around those problem areas. This will not only act as a means of positive peer pressure but, also, give you clear direction as to where you need to change.
Start Working Out
Looking for a tired-and-true way to stay accountable? Well, the answer to that question is simple: Start working out.
Studies show that people who regularly workout out four or more times a week hold themselves to higher levels of accountability than their peers who, frankly, lounge on the couch. Suffice to say that it might be time to lace up those sneakers, and hit the gym.
Find Yourself in Community
In like-minded groups and communities that pedestal growth and change, positive peer pressure thrive in those spaces.
There’s only so much willpower you can muster yourself. However, one way to boost your morale and accountability levels is to find or join a peer group, mastermind, or, of course, becoming an OwnersUP member. Research shows that by regularly participating and attending such groups can catapult accountability levels, often increasing them upwards of 90 percent.
Use Music to Your Advantage
There’s a reason why we’re so fond of music: Our brains crave them and the stories they can tell, with or without words. And using music to make you more accountable is a sure-fire way to make you an all-around more consistent person.
Ideally, try to create a playlist of fifteen or so songs that immediately conjure-up thoughts of productivity and optimism. These can be childhood favorites or new upbeat hits you just came across. Either way, this playlist should push you toward the best version of yourself. If it doesn’t, scratch it and build another one.
So, what’re you waiting for? Incorporate these tips and tricks into your weekly routine to help keep yourself (and perhaps those around you) consistently accountable.
Want to learn more about how OwnersUP can grow your small business and other entrepreneurial endeavors? Feel free to get in contact with us, and don’t forget to watch the video below for more insight on how to onboard clients effectively!