Building the capacity for support

Building the capacity for support

One of the most significant contributors to my personal growth and the growth I have observed in my clients is an ability and willingness to be supported.

I remember early in my coaching journey being asked who could support me in a practice and I came up blank… and through that came the realisation that it was support itself that needed attention.

I was limiting my progress by thinking I could do it alone.

Receiving support

When I was in my early twenties a close friend pointed out that I was a great support to him but that I was slow to ask for help and lean on his support. I came to realise that in being unwilling to receive, I was blocking someone else’s ability to give and this was also creating an imbalance in the relationship.

This showed up again when I was a new manager. I wanted to be involved in everything… Learning to say no, to delegate well and allow others to take responsibility was a skill I learned. And when I did, I found I had more balanced, trusting relationships with my colleagues and staff and the freedom to choose what I wanted to do and to contribute where I felt I could add the most value.

Being able to receive and be supported is a skill; a capacity that can be built.

It is no wonder that it is one of the 3 elements I refer to as being essential for an effective practice.

Aligning support to your needs and objectives

The type of support you require will depend on what you need. Support can come in different forms and over time you may need different things.

Building the capacity for support does not mean just growing your support base ever larger, but also means leaning into what you need at different times.

And this may mean moving away from something that supported you up to a point to create space for a different type of support, better aligned to your next step or specific objectives.

I am currently leaning into a number of different groups and relationships that are supporting different areas of growth in my business and more generally in my life. Some of these areas feel very “embryonic” – an exploratory, exciting and unknown space – others feel more mature, like I am engaging deeper layers of areas I have worked with before. Each of these spaces require a different kind of support.

Support comes in many forms

What I have spoken about above points to support in the form of human interactions and relationships. Of course, there are other forms of support, such as setting an extra alarm to wake you up in time to catch your flight or going to your local coffee shop which has a backup generator so you can keep working during load-shedding.

And what would we do without Google and YouTube? I have become my own tech support due to the abundance of online tutorials and forums available on the internet.


Plug into the abundance of support that is available to you and watch how it inspires and accelerates your progress. No matter what your objectives or needs, if you don’t yet have the support you need, you can build it, and if you do have it, learn to lean in and see what it can do for you.

What are your thoughts?