Build a Strong Support Network for Continued Success
A strong support network can broaden and deepen perspective, reach, and resilience - magnifying your results.
Perspective: What could your great ideas become if you had a trusted thought partner who could listen fully; ask great questions; engage in dialogue that identified new perspectives, opportunities, and/or potential unintended consequences; and helped you execute effectively?
Reach: When others are willing to support your ideas and speak of your credibility and accomplishments, your reach and impact can be expanded, enhancing your ability to achieve results.
Resilience: Leadership can be energizing and challenging. Having a strong support network, especially during times of change or crisis, can enable you to flex with the challenges and move more fluidly toward success.
Assess and Strengthen Your Support Network
When was the last time you took a strategic view of your support network? Try this 4-step approach.
1. Consider how you - as a leader, family member, and friend - 'show up' for others as a source of support. Think about specific people important to you.
How closely are your actions aligned with your intentions? What, if anything, do you want to do about that?
How does it feel to support others? We often gain satisfaction in supporting others but may hesitate to ask when we need support.
2. Think of a time when you needed support. What did you do about it?
What are your beliefs about support?
What did your family model regarding support look like?
How do your beliefs and your family model impact your approach to getting support for yourself?
3. Review the generic types of support in the list below and note who you can count on for support in each of the categories.
4. After completing #3 above, consider:
Which part of your support network is most developed? Least developed? Why might that be?
Which individuals, if any, show up in 3 or more categories? Do you consider yourself over- or under-reliant on any support people?
What are 2 ways you'd like to change the composition of your support network to strengthen it?
Generic Types of Support
(Note who you can count on in each category)
Model: People you admire, respect, see as competent, confident, and models. Challenge: People who help you stretch, see other perspectives, and help you challenge your assumptions. Connect: People who connect you to needed resources. Guide: People who provide advice and methods to achieve your goals and solve problems. Dependable: People who make it easy for you to ask for help and depend upon them for assistance. Respect: People who respect your competence, understand the difficulty and value of your work, recognize your skills, and affirm your self-worth. Relaxing: People with whom you feel a closeness and ease and are able to share your thoughts and feelings freely. Shared Experience: People 'in the same boat', striving for similar goals.
Source: The assessment approach (above) is based on the work of a wise and wonderful mentor, Edie Seashore.
Next Steps and Resources
What did you learn about yourself and about your support network?
What, if any, changes do you want to make in the way that you 'show up' to support others?
What actions do you want to take to strengthen your support network?