No one does it alone.
We all rely on a support network to help us navigate through both personal and professional challenges. Our individual success is often supported by others who prop us up, mentor us, and push us to be our best self.
There’s something we can learn from everyone, and each individual has something unique to offer. Ideally, your support network will include individuals from a variety of backgrounds with different perspectives, personalities and life experiences.
As we grow and evolve as individuals, it’s important that we reevaluate our support network along the way. When goals change or as our idea of what ‘success’ means to us evolves, we must take the time to ensure our support network is still supporting us in a way that is pushing us forward and identify any areas that require new ideas, new perspectives or new personalities.
Who should be in your network?
- People who want to see you succeed
When you surround yourself with people who want the best for you, you can trust that their advice, opinions and guidance will help you be your best self.
- People who’ve been where you are
When you surround yourself with people who’ve been in your same position – or are currently going through something you’re also going through, you can help guide each other through similar terrain and share lessons along the way.
- People from diverse backgrounds
Your support network should also provide you with a diverse set of people from different backgrounds and industries with different skill sets and upbringings. It’s helpful to have outsiders who can look at situations from a different point of view.
- Leaders in your field
A mentor can be an invaluable asset in a support network. They can provide guidance and growth assistance as you move forward in your journey toward success. In many cases, they’ve walked through the same struggles you may be facing and can provide encouragement and direction.
- People who aren’t afraid to give an honest opinion
Your support network should be about giving you encouragement and cheering you on. But, it must also include people who are willing to give an honest opinion for your own good – even if it can be hard to hear.
Who should not be in your support network?
Knowing who to avoid is just as important as knowing who you should include in your network.
Here are some people who don’t belong in a strong support network:
- Individuals who consistently bring others down
Avoid people who make a point of consistently ridiculing, demeaning and excluding others.
- People you know you can’t trust
Have you heard the latest workplace gossip from someone? Chances are good that if they’re telling you someone else’s inside information, they’ll share your story with others as well.
Creating a support network is essential to success. Filling your network with individuals who will build you up can ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit from your network. Who can you invite into your network? Who might you need to remove?
And remember, it’s important that you give as well as receive. If you’re a part of someone else’s support network, make sure you’re contributing positively and honestly.
Interested in learning more about creating a strong support network? Check out our blog, where we explore new topics regularly.