In the previous episode, we talked about the importance of having a support system in your life.
And how it can impact your life positively in avoiding pitfalls, getting support, and reaching your goals.
We also talked about the attributes of people within your support system.
For example, having the right people who listen to you, understand your situation, and share your life wisdom strengthens your support system.
In part two, we will talk about categories of people within your support system and how to manage the relationship.
With that, let’s jump on our today episode:
What are the types of members you may have within your support group?
One note before I start mentioning the types, you may have a person in your life taking more than one role of these types. That’s ok as long as this is working for you.
So what they are:
First Type: Supporter
This person could be a friend, colleague, or coach, or mentor. Someone who you can share with what you usually don’t share with others when you are frustrated and want to vent. They listen to you and can get you back on track with your goal to move forward.
This type is necessary because, as humans, we need to express ourselves and feel safe with people who we trust, who listen to us, and who will not judge us.
This type doesn’t necessarily agree with you in everything. Still, people within this category understand you. They can feel what you are going through and offer feedback on dealing with the situation and moving forward.
Second Type: Networker
This type is the one who is social and can open opportunities for you to connect with others.
They invite you to attend events or social gatherings that can grow your career, business or improve your social skills.
They are genuinely looking to support you in whatever you aspire to by introducing you to others.
They know many people, and they know what is happening around them regarding gathering or networking opportunities.
Third type: Peer
This type is the one who is in the same business as you or have a similar career. It could be a colleague or someone you work with if you work in a company. Or someone who has a similar business to you if you are a business owner.
This type will validate your work and share with you their experiences. They can also support you in accelerating your learning by highlighting shortcuts. They also point out mistakes they have been through to avoid them.
This person is critical in supporting you to make progress. And making you feel that you are not alone in what you do. Even as a business owner is always helpful to have someone who is perusing something similar to share knowledge, support each other or create collaboration opportunities.
Fourth type: mentor
This type is similar to a father figure. They are older than you, and they offer you perspective in life, relationships, career, and other aspects.
These type of people is successful in things they do. They don’t necessarily have to be very high in the management hierarchy or famous.
They are people who are mature enough to be able to foster a positive relationship with everyone. Although they are senior, they are humble and willing to support others in whatever way possible. They make an impact by simply their presence.
Having this type is really a gem because it can make you mature faster. And allowing you to see where your pitfalls could be.
They are the best at expanding your perspective because of their life experiences and age. They may challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and build your life.They could be a previous boss, professor, or someone in your family.
Fifth type: I call it Different
This type is the kind of person who is different than you. They could be from another culture, profession, point of view, interest, personality, etc. They are the kind of people who approaches things differently from you.
It’s essential to have such people in your life because they offer you a new perspective on looking at situations and expanding your horizon.
We all have our view, assumptions, and beliefs some of which could be unhelpful. Having such people can help you break those assumptions and see things differently.
For example, someone likes to connect with someone from a different culture to know how they approach things to learn new things.
Sixth type: Coach
A coach acts like your mirror, which helps you clarify your mind and be open to yourself. Coach support you make sounding decisions, move forward and achieve what you want through powerful questioning.
The importance of having a coach lies in making you aware of yourself and the actions you take and their impacts. And finally, holding you accountable.
Seventh type: Sponsor
They are the people who have influence, are high in the management hierarchy. This type could be an investor who you look for their investment in your business. Or a manager in a company you want to join. Their contribution can make a difference in your life.
Some people consider a sponsor the most crucial type because they can pave the way to achieve everything or get a job.
However, it’s not easy to make Sponsors believe in you because someone in their position will have many people come to them for support.
You need to work on yourself more and apply what we discussed in the opportunity article to reach such people.
One tip here, show up yourself so the sponsor can recognize you and your work.
Other types you may consider based on your needs:
Finance: Someone who has expertise in finance and supports you in understanding finance.
Thinker: Someone who helps you brainstorm new ideas.
Health: Someone keeps you with your health.
Legal: Someone supports you with understanding laws and regulations.
Relationships: Someone supports you in managing your relationships.
Entertainment: Someone who you like to have fun with or do different activities. And so, on.
A final note here, some of us have one type only out of all of these categories. This can hinder our growth because we will need various people for development.
Who do you need to be to have such supports system?
In building the support system, we will have to work on ourselves to establish honest relationships and make people want to connect with us.
I will mention some of the qualities that we should work on:
First: To be humble
To accept that we don’t know everything and learn every day. Admitting that sometimes we may need support, where things can get complicated. And not let our ego or our pride get in the way.
Second: to listen
It’s essential to be a good listener because people within your support system also have challenges and need others to listen to them. Being a good listener is one of the ways to connect with people.
Third: to have something to offer others
It’s nice to offer something in the relationship and not only take in the relationship without giving. This can be done by knowing a subject or a skill that others may need support with.
For example, I know different development organizations so that when someone asks me, I can offer value in this area.
Fourth: Seek to understand others.
You need to understand how to deal with different types of people and how to approach others. Suppose someone doesn’t like particular things. You will have to communicate with that person based on that.
Also, try to understand the other person’s likes or topics they are interested in talking about.
Having a genuine curiosity to understand and know more about the other person will make them feel valued and want to build a relationship with you.
Fifth: to have empathy
It means being able to understand what other people go Through, and respond to their situation in what fit them.
Please understand that empathy is not similar to sympathy or compassion, which implies pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. People may don’t like someone to view them that wayor make them feel weak.
Therefore, always seek to understand how others prefer you to relate to their situation.
How to govern this relationship?
First: To have good intentions to be interested in the person
As mentioned, this is not a transactional relationship as people may feel that you take advantage of them.
Second: to give as much as you take
To always look for ways to benefit the other person and support in any way possible.This will make the relationship equal.
Third: to be honest, genuine, and to be you.
It is best to be you in the relationship so the other person will view you based on who you are and not who you are trying to be for them. With that, your relationship with them will be sustainable and built on solid ground.
Forth: to be curious in looking to learn from whatever the person shares with you.
Curiosity is a critical skill in building relationships. Suppose the other people feel your curiosity about what they are sharing. In that case, they will appreciate the relationship more because they feel your interest in what they will say.
Fifth: To respect other person boundaries and what they like and don’t like.
Knowing what the other person prefers will make them trust you more and build the relationship in mutual respect rather than uncontrolled boundaries.
In the end, the people you need in your support system are the people you meet in life. You will need closer attention and compare them with the types I mentioned to see where they fit.
Your support system should form naturally with people you meet along your life journey.
Also, remember that you always have something to offer others. It could be simply your presence, so don’t feel unconfident building relationships with others.
And this is the end of our article. I hope this article gave you an idea of how to form your support system group.