Everyone needs a personal board of directors (PBOD) to act as a sounding board, advise you and provide feedback on your life decisions, opportunities and challenges. This informal group comprises six to eight people who can help with your professional development. Your PBOD may consist of mentors, close friends, trusted colleagues or wise family members. These are the first people you call when evaluating a new opportunity or faced with a painstaking life decision. PBOD are most valuable when they provide honest, unfiltered feedback that helps you move you closer to your goals. Yet, too many times our PBOD consist only of our biggest cheerleaders and not enough people willing to challenge our thinking or flat out tell us when we are wrong.
Be honest, when is the last time you asked sought out advice from someone you already knew would not agree with you? We usually don’t, instead we often ask for advice from people who think like us and are likely to applaud without question, which can create a resounding echo-chamber.
Echo chambers allow us to hide from our flaws and stifle our leadership potential. The best leaders have 3 types of people on their PBOD: fans, mentors and critics. It may sound strange to add “haters” to your PBOD but these people can be the most valuable to your growth, they will not hesitate to challenge you.
Ultimately, if you desire leadership growth it is your responsibility to fight against the feedback echo-chamber. Here are a few tips:
- Seek out people who care enough about you to speak truth – these people will care less about your feelings and more about your well-being, ultimately, they want to see you win!
- Invite disconfirming opinions: Set expectations at the start of a conversation that make it clear you are looking for someone to hold you accountable or challenge your own assumptions.
- Evaluate your Social Media: Social media can provide a false reality that inadvertently reinforces our view of the world. Regularly consuming news outlets and blogs that share varying perspectives will push you to think more critically about your own opinions.
- Hire a Professional Coach: The world’s most elite athletes rely on coaches because they provide training and strategy to add to the athlete’s natural abilities. If you want to be elite in your own profession a coach can help boost your self-awareness and leadership abilities. Ellavate Solutions can help. Let’s Ellavate!