In a previous blog post I talked about the importance of having a personal board for work+life decisions. But not all of the most well-meaning people in your personal and business lives are the right fit for your board.
When you’re deciding if someone should be on your call list when you need a sounding board for big work+life decisions, consider if they have these characteristics:
- A POSITIVE, CAN-DO ATTITUDE. Steer clear of the overly protective advisors who start out with negative questions such as: “Are you sure…”, “That seems too difficult…”, “I’ve heard that usually doesn’t work…”, or “I just want you to be careful…”
- A REASONABLE RISK-TAKER. Choose advisors who will get you off the sidelines and into an opportunity that safely balances potential risks and rewards.
- A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. Advisors can be more effective if they know the ins and outs of your career over a long period of time.
- A HOLISTIC VIEW OF YOUR WORK AND LIFE. Decisions about big opportunities can’t be made in a vacuum—make sure your advisors have an understanding of how moving forward could impact both your career and your personal life.
- A BALANCED VIEW OF YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. An advisor who does nothing but tell you you’re a star is not truly weighing the pros and cons of your fit for a particular opportunity.
- A LISTENER MORE THAN A TALKER. The best advisors let you talk through all your thoughts on an opportunity before injecting their personal opinions.
- A SLOWER JUDGE OF CHARACTER. Though many advisors want to run to your side and be supportive, the wisest see both sides of an issue and aren’t quick to judge people or situations they don’t know.
- A PURVEYOR OF ADVICE, NOT EDICTS. In the end, it’s your decision to act on a new opportunity—or not. Good advisors help you see many possible ways to approach a situation, not direct you to the only one they think is best.
- A WORK-BOTH-WAYS ATTITUDE. Though many people want what’s best for you, good advisors know that sustainable opportunities need to be win-wins for two parties.
- FOLLOW-THROUGH TO THE END. The mark of a great advisor is one who checks in as you continue to deliberate, offers more counsel and gives you a supportive nod when your final decision is made. —KAS
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