Why Drill Sergeant Accountability Doesn’t Work… And What to do About It

Holding your client ‘accountable’ sounds like holding them ‘hostage’.

It sounds like convicting someone of a crime and punishing them with a prison sentence.

I know, I’m a coach.

And when I first started my coaching business, I was a hard driving accountability coach.

And I helped a lot of people make a lot of money…

…because they got stuff done.

Or else the ‘hammer’ would come down…

What would I say to get them to take action?




How would you feel if your coach got ‘in your face’ that intensely?

Some people loved it…

Others hated it and quit.

Until I took the Accountability Immersion Training (Just giving credit where it’s due.).

Shortly after I got my Accountability Certification, I tried out my newly found skills with a client who wasn’t following through…
















And at that moment she transformed.


She went from making $50k…

to $120k…

…in 3 months.

What did I learn that made the difference for this client?

The Accountability Immersion Training taught me that there are 2 types of accountability:

  1. DRILL SERGEANT ACCOUNTABILITY: Become their hard-driving, in your face, take no prisoners coach.
  2. DEEP-DIVE ACCOUNTABILITY: Identify what stopped your client from doing what they committed to, then create a new possibility for the future based on a more empowering set of beliefs.
There are 2 types (styles) of accountability coaching.
There are 2 types (styles) of accountability coaching.


…often breaks rapport

…and creates resistance.

And while some clients thrive with this style of coaching (Hard driving achievers won’t respect you if you’re too soft)…

…other clients fail to make progress.

Why don’t clients do well with Drill Sergeant Accountability Coaching?

They have already beat themselves up for not taking action.

Harsh coaching just makes them feel worse…

And when you feel crappy, what type of action do you take?

Well… It’s not good.

DEEP-DIVE ACCOUNTABILITY requires you to identify what really stopped your client…

…not a story, but the real cause.

Your client needs to dive beneath their surface reasons

…and identify what’s really stopping them.

Underneath surface stories and excuses are the real causes of lack of follow-through.
Underneath surface stories and excuses are the real causes of lack of follow-through.

What’s really stopping them is usually about..

Lack of commitment…



Or a belief that they’re not worthy….

As long as your client has a lack of power with their commitments…

…Coaching will be like trying to anchor their boat on a sandy bottom.

Without something solid, the anchor shifts with the tide.

And your coaching conversations will be the same way…

…drifting any which way the tide flows…

…so their life spirals out of control… into chaos.

Deep-Dive Accountability helps clients identify their blocks, move past them, and take action.

What type of action results from Deep-Dive Accountability?

Let’s just call it “Priceless”.

Yes, it’s a lot more work to play Sherlock Holmes and help your clients discover the real culprit that is holding them back from success…

But I love a challenge…

And it’s amazing when you’re able to support clients by holding them to their word…

…and helping them see what is really stopping them from achieving their goals.

That type of breakthrough creates raving fans.

So next time you’re coaching a client that needs some good old accountability…

Don’t hesitate to ‘let them have it’…

You don’t have to be a b*tch…

Colette “Deep Accountability” Coiner

Dr. Colette Coiner, PCC, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT

Associate Dean, Master Coach University

Master Coach University is a global school of 81,746 coaches, leaders, authors, speakers, trainers, consultants, and change-makers.