Choosing Friends and Colleagues
By Tanis Helliwell
“When you put 2 people together you either have more than 2 or less than 2” –Tanis Helliwell
Choosing friends and colleagues is one of the most important choices we make in life because who we associate with is who we become. Someone once said that we inherit our family but we choose our friends. Yet, too often we may coast with friends that may not be contributing to the betterment of our lives. We may do this because they’ve been a friend for a very long time so it’s a habit or because we feel insecure that the people we would really like to have as friends would not want us. In both cases we are not making positive choices about who we spend time with.
Emotional Bank Accounts
Steven Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about the emotional bank account we have with people we know, be these family, friends or work associates. If we keep our promises, do things that would please others we build up credits in their bank account. Then, if we need to ask a favour or change a date, we can withdraw on our balance without endangering our relationship. Have we been depositing credits into the accounts or our family, friends and work colleagues and have they been depositing into ours. Relationships work best when both parties do this. Then the relationships are filled with mutual trust and enjoyment.
Examining Your Present Support System
1. List your top five friends.
2. What do they give to you and what do they take from you i.e. humour, unconditional love, good ideas, great hugs.
3. Rate each friend on a scale from 1 to 10.
4. How would these friends rate you?
5. Are there any changes that you would make based on your findings? For example, you might choose to spend more time with a particularly good friend or decrease time with another. Also, you may discover in completing this exercise that there is an imbalance in what in your relationship(s). You may be either giving or taking too much and you may decide to make changes to your relationship(s) based on your discovery.
Now, do this exercise again substituting 5 professional colleagues. Do you find it harder to find work associates that are included in your support system? If so, perhaps you are not choosing colleagues as carefully as friends.
The 3 2 1 rule for Building a Support System
Barry Siskind, who wrote a book Making Contact, says that each of us has approximately 200 people in our network of friends and colleagues. He asks us to consider if we are choosing these people carefully and has developed a “3 – 2 – 1” rule to help us with this process.
3 Are achievers, people we need in our network who are willing to help us with our goals.
2 Are nurturers, people we want in our network who support us in our life in general.
1 Are interesting, people we like although they do not help us either to achieve our goals or to nurture us.
Siskind’s rule of thumb is that we need 3 achievers to every 2 nurturers to every 1 interesting person. I think it’s important to allow that some people in our network may be combinations of these qualities. While risking being labeled sexist, I’ve observed that often men may weight their support system toward achievers and women toward nurturers. However, the idea itself is important and if we are trying to build a support system to help us both in our career and personal life as well as adding some spice, this idea might help.
Also, some people in our network may be combinations of these qualities. We are doubly fortunate when we work with people who both help us to grow professionally while at the same time nurture us in our personal lives. The more our lives are integrated so that we are working in jobs where we can be fully who we are, the less separation there will be between us personally and professionally and the more friends we will have that overlap into several areas.
Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.
Tanis is the author of The High Beings of Hawaii, Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Hybrids: So You Think You Are Human and Decoding Your Destiny.
For information on Tanis’ courses, click here.