You cannot be all things to all people and you cannot expect to achieve balance, much less outperform, exceed and transcend, without help from trusted friends, family and colleagues. It does indeed take a village.
When you focus on helping others, the most important lessons you want to learn will emerge. Your helping voice will echo back to help you. Similarly, by allowing yourself to receive help, you give others the opportunity to learn. But it takes courage and authenticity to open yourself up to give and receive help and feedback. It also takes a village whose members you trust.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine who is in and who is out of your village.
Your answers will guide you to determine if someone has the most important criterion of all for membership in your village: they embrace your authentic self.
The keys to developing your village at work are finding a sponsor and/or mentor, building your board of trusted advisors and above all networking and connecting. Strategically align yourself with individuals inside and outside the organization who meet the criteria for village membership. These are people who will tell you what is really going on, people with whom you can comfortably…and authentically…share risky thoughts and ideas that may challenge corporate norms.
In order for the village you have developed to thrive, you must cultivate two essential skills:
Listening: Listen to every person in your village who talks to you. Listen with intention and vulnerability
Building Trust: Be consistent with your words and behaviors. Be available, even when you may not have time