Creating a plan for action
After you’ve worked with your mentee to identify a goal and have evoked change talk, you’re ready to support your mentee in making changes in their life.
Like the other steps, creating a plan for action with your mentee is flexible. Your mentee may want to work on these skills on their own, and have you offer support along the way. Or, your mentee may want to practice a concrete set of skills together when you meet. There’s no right or wrong way to support your mentee in achieving their goals.
Although supportive accountability is not traditionally taught alongside MI, it is a strongly related concept and can be an excellent next step for mentors supporting mentees in reaching their goals.
Supportive accountability is an approach that combines elements of support and accountability to facilitate personal or professional growth, development, and goal achievement. It involves providing individuals with the resources, encouragement, and guidance they need to succeed while also holding them responsible for their actions and progress.
Key components of supportive accountability include:
- Emotional Support: Offering empathy, understanding, and a non-judgmental environment.
- Resource Support: Providing access to tools, information, and resources that can aid in achieving goals.
- Encouragement: Offering positive reinforcement, praise, and motivation to boost confidence and self-efficacy.
- Feedback: Providing constructive feedback to help individuals identify strengths and areas for improvement.
- Setting Expectations: Clearly defining goals, expectations, and responsibilities.
- Monitoring Progress: Regularly tracking and assessing progress toward goals.
- Holding Responsible: Ensuring individuals take ownership of their actions and responsibilities.
- Consequences: Establishing appropriate consequences for both success and failure to meet expectations.
Supportive accountability recognizes that individuals are more likely to succeed when they feel supported and encouraged rather than judged or criticized. It acknowledges the importance of empathy, understanding, and positive reinforcement in promoting growth and change.
Supportive accountability strikes a balance between providing the necessary support to foster growth and development and maintaining accountability to ensure that individuals take the necessary actions to achieve their goals. This approach can be highly effective in helping individuals reach their full potential and overcome challenges.
After setting a goal with your mentee, remember to continuously apply MI techniques
Use OARS: Employ open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summaries to facilitate meaningful conversations.
Apply DARN CAT: Draw out change talk through desire, ability, reasons, need, commitment, activation, and taking steps.
Elicit Sustained Change: Revisit core MI skills regularly to support your mentee in making informed, self-motivated decisions.
As a mentor, your flexibility in adapting to your mentee’s needs, combined with the principles of supportive accountability, can significantly enhance the mentoring experience. By maintaining a balance of support and accountability, and consistently applying MI techniques, you can effectively guide your mentee towards lasting change and personal growth.