How many times have you been in a challenging or scary situation and pursued it on your own because you thought it was the right thing to do?
Yep, my hand went up too! The truth is we all need someone to turn to. It might not be the same person for every situation but that’s why it is so important to build a network of different characters. I know for certain that there are some people I would turn to if I wanted to be around high energy and they might not be the same people I would turn to if I had a business crisis and needed some advice.
My ‘someones’ looks something like this:
1. Raving Fans
2. Reality Checkers
3. Reflective Listeners
4. Real Friends
So who are these formidable people?
Raving Fan – These are the people who enthuse about you and lift you. You know that if you need a confident boost they’ll deliver every time! Love them for what they can do for you and be appreciative of their ability to focus on all things great about you. They may not be able to help you with an issue, they might not even be good listeners or your closest friends but you are guaranteed to feel a whole lot better when you’re around them.
Reality Checker – These are the people who will challenge your thoughts and possibly your feelings. They are not aggressive in their approach but they want to make sure you are seeing the whole picture and not just the bits you want to. They may not always appear empathetic but when you need to see beyond the boundaries you have set they can help you. They’ll ask you questions and maybe even share their experiences if they have relevant ones and when you need a non-emotional view, they will serve you well.
Reflective Listener – This person believes that you have the answers within. They will listen to what you have to say empathetically (non-judgemental, accurately & deeply) taking your feelings and thoughts into consideration. They will steer clear of advising, telling or agreeing with you and instead ask questions that allow you to explore your own thoughts & feelings more deeply. Their desire is for you to come to your own conclusion.
Real Friend – True to the title they love you, with all your faults and warts! They will listen to you, comfort you and allow you to ‘dump’ your feelings on the floor in front of them. Again, they may not have a solution for you but they will allow you to lean on them and willingly give you their time. Life without them would be a trial… I know that for a fact – my real friends are extended family.
So, as you look at your list of friends, associates, contacts, etc, think about their role in your life, where they sit and of course where you sit in theirs. This way, when
you are faced with a challenge you will be clearer on who you’d really like to have a conversation with or be with. If you’re feeling down in the dumps your raving fan will be a ray of sunshine, you’re reality checker will help you put a strategy in place, you’re reflective listener will encourage you to delve deeper into your own thoughts and feelings for an answer and your real friend… well, they’ll be there for you no matter what the circumstance.
We all need someone… who are your ‘go to’ family, friends and network?