Why Your Personal Support Team is Crucial

Why Your Personal Support Team is Crucial

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Your personal support team is made up of a small number of colleagues that you trust to give you constructive unbiassed feedback and be a confidential sounding board.

Why It Works

In 2004, a study by Goldsmith and Morgan on the impact of leadership development programmes in eight different organisations concluded that the development of leaders is a contact sport. Leaders who discussed their improvement priorities with their co-workers, and then regularly followed up with these co-workers showed marked improvement. Leaders who did not have an ongoing dialogue with colleagues showed improvement that barely exceeded random chance.

Build Your Support Team

If you want to show leadership improvement that is better than random chance, enrol a few trusted colleagues into your support team.

Build your support team from people who –

  • You trust to be confidential.
  • Will give you honest feedback.
  • Can provide perspective.
  • You want to be around.

Think big here, who are the people who can help you bring your best. Remember when you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room.

Leveraging Your Support Team for Leadership Growth

Identify the ways you want to grow as a leader and ask your support team to help you. Ask them to –

  • Rate you now as a baseline.
  • Observe you in action.
  • Meet with you regularly so you can get their feedback on how you are improving.

An Example

As my career grew so did the audience at the internal events I spoke at. I wanted to improve both my speaking technique and content, so I asked one of my support team to come along, observe and feedback.

After a while, I stopped looking down, started projecting to the back of the room and delivered better interactive content. Overall, I became a better speaker, all thanks to the constant observation and reflection from my support team.

Leveraging Your Support Team As a Sounding Board

We all go through times when we need to vent, feeling like it’s all going wrong or don’t know what else to do. Individuals in our support team can help us put things into perspective, provide ideas, help us re-energise and make us laugh.

Take Action Now for the Leadership Edge

If you want the edge on your peers, I want you to take three actions away from this post –

  1. By the end of the week, invite two people to help you grow your career –
  2. Ask two people if you can help them grow theirs.
  3. Identify other ways your support team can help you and expand it if necessary.

As your career grows, so should the experience of your support team. Make sure you review and refresh when needed.

Till next time, your coach