Can We Talk? by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

As a leader or business owner, you may feel the need to be a bit of an island. It can seem important to be perceived as always knowing what to do and say. It might seem important to always look like you have it all together. But, everyone, at every level, needs someone to talk to.

Whether you choose to confide in your best friend, partner, colleague or a professional counselor isn’t what is important. It is much more important to have a sounding board that is comfortable for you. Here are some tips to help you choose your confidante, and to help you feel good about confiding in someone.

  • Choose someone you trust. Trust is critical because you need to know that your conversations won’t be shared with anyone else so that you can feel free to say whatever is on your mind.
  • Choose someone who can give good advice. Find a person that you respect and who you are willing to listen to. A sounding board who offers great suggestions is priceless.
  • Choose someone you can open up to. Some people find it much easier to talk to a professional counselor than a friend because they feel more comfortable baring their soul to someone who is not personally invested. If this is more comfortable for you, there’s no reason to feel that you must confide in a friend.
  • Choose someone you have regular access to. Your confidante isn’t helpful if they are never around. When you can talk to them regularly, things don’t have time to build up.
  • Choose someone you like. Even if you are talking to a professional counselor, it is important that you have a connection with them. You’re much more likely to take the time to talk to someone if that person is someone you enjoy spending time with.

Having a confidante can help you deal with the challenges you face in both your business and your personal life. This sounding board can help you to make better decisions, help you to work through problems and allow you to vent when needed. You may find that the simple act of having someone to talk to makes you a better leader, a happier person and a more productive business owner.