Members of our BuildPT team have been long-time contributors to Impact, the official magazine of APTA’s Private Practice Section (PPS). In it, we’ve shared a number of valuable perspectives, tips and other tid-bits about marketing a private practice physical therapy clinic — information we’d love to share with you through our blog. So on occasion, we’ll be going back through the Impact archives to highlight some of our relevant articles of the past.

In the article we introduce below, Tannus Quatre discusses by making ourselves accountable to others, we will get some really important stuff done.


5-Minute Fix: How to Trap Your Way to Accountability

By Tannus Quatre, BuildPT.com

Ever set a commitment for yourself and fail to get it done?  Sure you have.  We all have. 

It might be that 5 AM run we carefully planned the night before, or it could be to get through our unread emails by the end of the day.   

Sometimes the stakes are even higher – like carving 5% from the expense budget or having a sit-down with an underperforming employee. 

Despite our best intentions, being accountable only to ourselves for getting important things done is a system rife with flaws.   

Now, of course we didn’t become physical therapists without a healthy dose of self-discipline and an unwavering drive.  We’ve all got that – but it’s not always going to be enough.  It’s easy to temporarily let ourselves down from time to time as often there is little immediate consequence. 

But letting others down is much harder.   

Looking someone in the eye, allowing them to read your uncomfortable body language, and admitting to failure.  It makes me quiver just thinking about it. 

And this discomfort can be used as great leverage in our pursuit of execution.   

By making ourselves accountable to others, we will get some really important stuff done.  And it’s easy to do. 

When setting a commitment, start by defining it for yourself – clearly.  Tell yourself EXACTLY what you’ll do, and by when.  If you need to be more disciplined with your spending, set a measurable and time-based target such as, “I’m going to commit to reducing my variable expenses next quarter by 5%.” 

Once you’ve established your commitment, then you need to set what I call “the accountability trap” for yourself.  The accountability trap ensures that you won’t be able to slide by with anything less than a valiant effort toward your commitment.  Set your trap by voicing your commitment to someone who will hold you accountable. 

In your business, your accountability options are plenty, but I prefer confiding my commitments in someone who I can trust to actually keep me accountable.  Someone who I respect enough to care about what they think of me, and someone who respects me enough to hold me to task. 

This could be a business partner, a member of your management team, or a mentor.  The possibilities are endless as long as you share your commitment with someone who will actually keep you accountable.  

Not only is this exercise as easy as it is powerful, but it also serves the benefit of modeling a culture of accountability within your organization.  By demonstrating the importance of accountability for your own behaviors, those who you entrust to hold you to task are also learning an important lesson in accountability for themselves as well. 

Performed strategically, you might be surprised at the difference this technique can have on a bottom line. 

This post was originally posted on PPS Impact’s website.