The World Needs More Balcony People

A few years ago, as I was beginning to take the mental steps towards stepping out on my own and starting Unbridled Talent LLC, a mentor* encouraged me by expressing belief in my skills and talents, as well as my ability to make the right choices for my future.

He said, “Just know that whichever path you choose, I will always be your Balcony Person. I’m here for you and I want you to succeed.”

At that time, the mental image of looking up and seeing someone in the balcony cheering me on really resonated with me. And the statement and sentiment meant a lot to me then, as it still does almost four years later.

It’s a powerful thing to know that someone wants you to succeed and believes in you.

It’s even more powerful when that person cares enough to provide honest coaching and feedback, as well as support – even when you screw up. Especially when you screw up.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how I can become a Balcony Person for more people in my life. As a result, here are some action steps that I plan to take:

1. Be intentional about encouragement.

For me, if it’s going to get done, it needs to on my calendar or logged into my To Do list. I don’t want this important activity to get lost in the “nice-to-do” pile.

2. Listen more and better.

We all want to be heard. I plan to work harder at being a better listener.

 “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”  ~Ralph Nichols

3. Solve fewer problems and facilitate more victories.

As a problem-solver, my tendency is to listen to people and attempt to offer solutions to their problems. Instead, I want to listen to them and ask how I can support them in creating the best solutions.

4. Have the courage to share constructive feedback – even if it’s difficult.

I’ve found that the people who care about my success the most are the people in my life who are willing to deliver constructive criticism when I need it. They are also the people who help me the most to improve and continue to grow.

5. Recognize and thank the Balcony People in my own life.

I want to show more appreciation for those that are an encouragement to me by sending an unexpected card, email, text or gift just to say thanks. The first victim? My mom. She’s the original, all-time best example on the planet of a Balcony Person. Thanks Peggy.

If you have a Balcony Person (or People) in your own life, consider yourself blessed!

Now, I encourage you to multiply that blessing by being intentional about being one for someone else. Who will it be?

* Thank you to Mike Sipple, Sr. for being a genuine and wonderful example to me and so many others of what a Balcony Person should be.

Question: Who are the Balcony People in your life? Give them a shout out or encouragement in the comments section!

Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of leadership development, executive communication skills and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.