January 13, 2010

How to Move Forward When You’re Stuck

By Heather Baldwin

Are you where you want to be in your life, at the top of your game feeling like you’re fulfilling your purpose in life? Or do you feel stuck, not sure how to move forward? For most people, it’s the latter. And the secret to busting out of that place is to forge close relationships with an inner circle of advisors. Three is ideal, says Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, and a widely renowned expert on relationships.

The kind of peer-to-peer support and feedback you’ll get from building the right relationships with the right people is "the often unacknowledged key behind the achievements of so many of the high-performing people I come in contact with every day," writes Ferrazzi in his book, Who’s Got Your Back. So how do you get from here to there? You start with four "core mindsets" which will lay the foundation for creating "lifeline relationships," as Ferrazzi calls these connections with a select few who will never let you fail. These mindsets are also a great foundation for building lasting customer relationships:

Generosity. The base of the four mindsets, generosity is "the promise to help others succeed by whatever means you can muster," explains Ferrazzi. It’s about helping others first – genuinely and to the full extent of your abilities, not with the intent or expectation of getting anything out of it but with the goal of seeing others succeed. Generosity is a powerful mindset because it jolts us out of our "traditional transactional do-for-me-and-I’ll-do-for-you" relationships.

Vulnerability. This is a tough one for most people. We walk around with our walls up so no one will see our weaknesses and judge us negatively for them. Rather than serving to make us appear stronger, though, these walls only weaken us because they keep others out. To set the stage for forging lifeline relationships, you must "let your guard down so mutual understanding can occur," says Ferrazzi. When you take risks and make yourself vulnerable, others will respond by being more open and thus will be able to connect with you more deeply.

Candor. This mindset is about total honesty with those in whom you confide. Candor allows you to grapple with issues constructively because you’re dealing with the reality of your fears, your problems, your hopes, and your goals rather than with the half-truths and sugar coatings most of us use to conceal our weaknesses.

Accountability. Accountability is about following through on the promises you make to others. "It’s about giving and receiving the feet-to-the-fire tough love through which real change is sustained," says Ferrazzi.

These four mindsets are iterative, says Ferrazzi, in that the more you give, the deeper you get. But they’re not easy to achieve. Though they sound simple, they take a lot of practice to master. Still, they’re worth the effort because the lifeline relationships that will bloom in their wake are "the secret behind each one of us achieving our full potential in our careers, our businesses, and our personal lives," says Ferrazzi.

For more information, visit www.FerrazziGreenlight.com.