Actually, it is 3-3-What-What-1-2 – an accountability buddy process that was born from a mix of the Franklin Covey Seven Habits described on wiki over here, David Allen’s Getting Things Done or GTD described on wikisummaries over here, and a person’s own self-designed time and project management approaches.
This post shares an approach my friends and I use to support each other’s endeavors. It is nothing fancy. There are no bells and whistles. In fact, it is pretty “old school” and is a good excuse to hang out with each other for a quick spell to catch up on each other’s life.
Where there is not community, trust, respect, ethical behavior are difficult for the young to learn and for the old to maintain.
– Robert K. Greenleaf
(from The Servant as Leader)
More Than Tracking Projects and Activities
We have used this process – 3-3- -not only for work-related activities but also for personal pursuits, e.g., family, sports, hobbies, etc. This is usually done in real time in person, e.g., in a face-to-face meeting, on the phone, on video. If someone cannot make the real-time 3-3, then a brief email is sent on the day of the meeting. Each person tracks his/her report. In some cases, a buddy may take note of another buddy’s report, e.g., pen and paper journal, email, shared doc such as Google doc.
While intended to be a reporting activity with optional participant feedback, I found the additional following benefits –
Behavior Design – Sharing successes, challenges, and failures of our goals and activities naturally have led to discussions about life hacks – those tactics, tools, and resources for affecting our behavior toward activities such as time management, productivity, wellness, mindfulness, communications, etc.
Interactions (Relationships) – Simply sharing and respecting each other’s time, we have become unconditionally vested in one another’s accomplishments and failures, and we have customized our way of managing information and knowledge (e.g., our PKM approach). We engage in light forms of coaching and situational mentoring. Our 3-3 interactions also often have led to self-reflection of our own endeavors.
– and most importantly and unexpectedly, I have found a community of people to support and who support me and others.
Capture and Share What I Did and Will Do
The following is an overview of the 3-3-… process, e.g., objective, agenda, content. To some extent, it is part of my personal knowledge management (PKM).
OBJECTIVE: To share, support, and customize our (a) professional and personal life management tools, practices, philosophies, and (b) strategies intended to make our days and nights flow well.
AGENDA: Within five minutes, each person shares –
- up to 5 projects, activities, or tasks s/he accomplished,
- up to 5 projects s/he intending to do during the course of the upcoming week,
- a process(es) that has worked well (GTD related),
- a process(es) that has not worked well (GTD related), and
- one or two things s/he will continue doing or try new for the upcoming week.
ROUNDTABLE and SHARE: Each person shares his/her 3-3-… uninterrupted, unless someone is unclear about what is being described.
- Past accomplishment – When reporting the status of past week’s accomplishments, we simply say “yes” or “no”.
- Intended activity/accomplishment – When sharing about intended, upcoming work, only a brief description is needed – WHAT one is doing for WHOM by WHEN; the why and the how are not discussed.
- What went well – Share one or two tools, practices, philosophies, or strategies that worked during the week. As an example, a friend had success when he tried Pomodoro for time management.
- What has not worked well – Share one or two tools, practices, philosophies, or strategies that did not work during the week.
- 1-2 Process – Identify one or two things to continue doing or to try new for the upcoming week. It should be noted that if something did not work well, one may choose to continue trying it for the 1-2 process; sometimes, a little time is needed to settle in to a new process.
It’s that simple.
Who is your accountability buddy(ies)? What is your approach(es) to working with and supporting him/her/them? How have you developed community among your buddies?
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