There is danger in carelessly inviting people to speak into your life. Everyone has something to contribute, but it may not be qualified by time and experience. Some people, in fact, will do more harm than good. The key is to pick the right person so you can learn while you lead.
I’ve read several different lists that identify the different roles people play in our lives. I want to help you understand the different ways people can invest and contribute to your life. This is my version and my twist on the most common types of people you want at your table of influence:
- Clarifier. Someone who asks helpful and difficult questions. It’s easy for us to assume everyone knows what we’re talking about. Clarifiers make sure that happens.
- Specialist. Someone who provides precision focus. These people keep the conversation moving toward the intended target.
- Challenger. Someone who implores you to act boldly. We might be tempted to leave these people out of the mix, but they bring a lot of energy and direction to the conversation. These are the people who will help us see the viability of a solution by encouraging action.
- Creator. Someone who brings an idea into existence. A creator will help craft workable plans of action from a conversation that might have included few actionable points.
- Connector. Someone who leads you to other people. We all need connectors in our lives. Connectors have the ability to size up a situation and identify others who might be able to make a contribution.
- Wise Elder. Someone who lends learned experience. It’s easy to overlook these people, but they make an incredible contribution to the conversation and provide a viewpoint others don’t have.
- Friend. Someone who shares life’s journey without judgment. These are the people who love you without regard for your accomplishments or position. This person knows you deeply and accepts you freely. They stick with you.
- Strategist. Someone who maps out steps for your vision. Strategists are able to create step-by-step simplicity from complex data and conversations. They will help make sure the project has a path to success.
- Dreamer. Someone who motivates you to dream without fear. There’s a little dreamer in all of us; but these people have a unique ability to see the future and motivate others to go there.
- Coach. Someone who builds out your strengths. Coaches correct us when we’re performing incorrectly and encourage us when we are losing energy.
- Pastor. Someone who can provide spiritual guidance through life. A pastor or spiritual mentor is able to provide insight from a unique perspective.
- Write down the names of the people you thought of as you read through this list.
- Which types identified above are missing from your life?