The Five People You Need On Your Team

Do you keep the right company?

In business, learning to keep the right people around you is critical.

You need to minimise the effect of the ‘energy sappers’ and spend time with people who ‘fill you up’. It can make the difference between success or failure, confidence and positivity or the lack of it.

This principle works whether you work alone or employ people.

If you employ a team you can hand pick the people you want around you to perform vital tasks.

And if you’re a sole trader who works alone, your network is more likely to be an informal gathering of people who provide support for you in different ways.

Now in an ideal world, you’d build a strong team of key people to play the role of mentor, supporter, a critical friend and so on. In fact, having a ‘team’ of people like this around you is vital to maintain your confidence, particularly when you hit a tough patch.

However, life being what it is, sometimes there are members of your team that simply put in an appearance, whether you want them or not. They can be annoying, make you feel cross, wear you down and hold you back. In fact your initial reaction may be you don’t need them.

But perhaps you do.

Let me explain…

The fortune teller

The fortune teller utters the words ‘It’ll never work…’

They’ll pour cold water on your ideas and can think of a million and one reasons why now is not the right time to start your own business, take that risk or make that decision. They’ll forecast all kinds of doom and gloom and are certain they can see the outcome…and it’s not going to be a good one.

Why are they useful?

The fortune teller can act as a reminder to take a reality check on your plans. They’ll prompt you to be realistic, flexible, prepared for the unexpected and thorough in your research. They can remind you to ensure you make careful plans grounded in reality. They can also inspire you to find examples of cases where other people have successfully done just what you want to do – your own brand of fortune telling!

The copycat

The copycat can be a business colleague who is always one step behind you.

They suddenly begin to specialise in the area you are, they begin to attend the same networking meetings you do, they offer similar products, write similar blog posts and their business model begins to look spookily (and rather annoyingly) like yours.

Why are they useful?

The copycat is a sure fire indicator that you are heading in the right direction! Take their appearance in your life as an indicator that you are doing the right things, and that your success is inspiring them. Be flattered and keep up the good work!

The nitpicker

The nitpicker will question every decision that you make and pull apart everything that you produce. They’ll look at issues under a microscopic gaze. Meetings may take hours as every single action you take will be drilled down into. They’ll also interrogate you on your choices.

Why are they useful?

The nitpicker can help you to ensure what you’re doing does bear muster, and that all your decisions are sound. Their rigorous approach can be seen as a gauge of how effective and realistic your plans are. So value their input, as once you’ve convinced them, your plans will stand up to anybody’s scrutiny.

The interrupter

The interrupter doesn’t really listen. Instead they simply wait to ‘pounce’ at the earliest opportunity. They’ve been there, done that and will take every opportunity to tell you so. They’ll re-direct the conversation back towards themselves, and regale you with tales of their own experience, and what you could learn from it.

Why are they useful?

A lot of learning can come from these people. They are a perfect example of how not to be. Observe them and vow never to treat your clients or customers in this way. You know how it feels – use their example to improve your own listening skills.

The why-don’t-you?

The why-don’t-you will constantly offer their opinion and advice and get frustrated when you don’t listen. They’ll pour scorn on the way you do things and in common with the interrupter, will see themselves as a font of all wisdom and knowledge.

Why are they useful?

Another viewpoint can always be useful, and on occasions their advice may actually be helpful. They can also serve as a barometer by which to measure what you do. Why are you taking one course of action rather than another? Their ‘advice’ may serve a purpose in helping you to think through a particular course of action and examine all your opportunities.

Have you got any of these team members? Or have you found others? Which one are you? Tell me in the comments below.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Take a close, hard look at the people in your informal network. Do they fill you up or deplete you? If you find you’re not surrounded by people who will help you grow, identify 3 new avenues to meet these people and schedule in time to make it happen.

Susan Ritchie

Sue Ritchie is a confidence and business coach at You Time Coaching. She delivers “Motivational Masterclasses” for business & the “Strategies for Being Brilliant” coaching programme for individuals. Sue is a professional speaker as well as a regular guest blogger at Virgin where she writes about powerful motivational strategies to help you be brilliant in your career.

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  1. Print this out and pin it on your wall!

    Stop being a nice girl/boy and only spend your chosen interaction time with people who you feel good with. It makes such a difference.

    The day I said, ‘no, no more’ I found energy I never knew I had.
    Rosie Slosek recently posted..One Man Band Accounting new website launching in September!My Profile

  2. Hi Rosie,
    That’s brilliant – so often we tolerate the energy sappers. Making the decision that ‘enough is enough’ can be so liberating 🙂
    Susan Ritchie recently posted..Comment on 5 Tips for Getting What You Want by coachsueMy Profile

  3. Hi Sue, this is a great post 🙂 I love the “positive spin” you’ve put on the – shall we say irritating – characters that we all come across, and heaven forbid perhaps even act in those roles ourselves at times!

    For me this post is very well timed. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the people I need to surround myself with in order to achieve my business goals. Success and inspiration breed success and inspiration so if you can wrap yourselves with people who makes things happen, it can totally transform your own outlook and success 🙂
    Georgina El Morshdy recently posted..How Modern Technology And Communication Tools Can Grow Your Micro BusinessMy Profile

  4. Thanks Georgina,
    Inspiration is so important isn’t it? And choosing your company wisely, wow, what a difference that makes!
    susan ritchie recently posted..Comment on 5 Tips for Getting What You Want by coachsueMy Profile

  5. Hi Sue,
    I moved cross-country a month ago and knew that I would have to work to find myself new people to ‘fill me up’ as oppose to drain me. I’m finding that there are some people in my life that perhaps aren’t congruent with my new-found goals and it can be really hard to acknowledge this. However, surrounding myself with new people who encourage me to move forward makes it much easier to spot those who perhaps aren’t doing this so much. I agree with Georgina that this is a great article with a fantastic spin on turning what we may say as negative people into a useful and positive perception and this couldn’t have arrived in my inbox at a better time. Thank you! Annette
    Annette recently posted..Random No. 5 – AuthenticologyMy Profile

  6. Hi Annette,
    I’m so glad you’ve found this useful – moving and re-establishing a network can be a challenge, so I’m pleased that this article has helped!
    Susan Ritchie recently posted..Comment on 5 Tips for Getting What You Want by coachsueMy Profile

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