If you watched the early days of Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll know that Meredith and Christina always referred to each other as “their person.” They were the Plus One who provided a support system that ensured they weren’t going through life alone.

In the coaching work that I do, I feel like “the person” for most of my calls. It isn’t that I have an abundance of brilliant insights, rather that I’m there for someone to talk through their issues and have someone to reflect back what they are hearing. Work challenges can be lonely, as they often involve colleagues or supervisors making it awkward to process things with them, so it’s much more helpful to have a neutral “person” to serve in that sounding board role.

I believe that everyone is better with “a person.” Hopefully, you’re fortunate enough to have someone in that role for life issues: a sibling, partner or BFF. Make sure you have that capacity for work issues, too. Maybe it’s someone else in your industry, a colleague from your past employment or volunteer work, or a coaching relationship – but we all need someone in our corner to listen, prod, push and to create a safe space to process the hard stuff.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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