Personal Support Networks: 4 Ways to Assess and Grow


Personal Support Network Enabler Colored Page

Creating a personal support system, that enables and nurtures growth, is a key aspect of personal identity construction and leadership development. Networks are characterized by components that bond or bridge relationships to serve a specific purpose. Within a personal support network these components may offer advice, aid in development (coaching), pitch in to accomplish tasks, and/or simply provide moral support.

Leaders must be agents of change and willing to challenge assumptions. Events that change the perceptions we have of our selves are developmentally valuable when they occur within a trusted or dependable network. A staunch support network offers structure that aids in identifying the positive characteristics and goals to focus on, rather than the detrimental influences.

The four categories of my personal support network are listed below. I’ve included references to CliftonStrengths talent themes based on experience and the feedback of my clients on this topic.

  1. Self-Knowledge – The foundation of my network is self-knowledge. What do I know about me? How will what I know help or hinder me in this situation? Personal accomplishments, talents/strengths, vicarious experience, and emotional responses combine to create coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms allow you to hold course in the face of adversity and offer guidance during times of change. Self-knowledge may remain constant or it may shift as you develop additional capabilities or gain perspective from the rest of the network.