Last week, I had the chance to attend a fabulous meeting with a couple of speakers from Deloitte’s Women’s Network. One of the topics up for discussion was the concept of assembling a diverse group of people we can turn to and rely on for feedback.
This isn’t a revolutionary concept, of course, but it really got me thinking about whether or not I’ve let my network get too insular. Too comfortable. I thought back on the last three people I’ve spoken to for feedback, and not surprisingly, they were all people I’ve turned to for years.
I think it’s time for a shake up.
The point of building a personal board of directors is to get feedback and insight that you wouldn’t get on your own. Or even from a trusted friend.
So, who should be on the board?
Obviously, you need a representation from people you trust. You should always include those with whom you share a long history, those that might know you more than yourself some days. Their feedback is almost always right on, and they could be either a professional colleague or personal friend.
You also need representation from one ring outside the inner circle of friends and trust. This would include those whose opinions you value. They may be functional experts, or past colleagues, and are certainly well respected.
Lastly, and this is the group we often exclude, we need to have someone who really is outside of our personal comfort zone. This person may not see eye to eye with you on several past occasions, but they are someone who is respected, honest, and forthright.
Ideally, a personal board of directors would consist of 4-5 people in total. Small enough to be able to give you good feedback when you need it, but big enough to offer diversity of thought and perception.
I can’t even remember the last time I asked someone out of my comfort zone for feedback. Can you?
by Channon C.