Welcome back to part 2 of this little blog series called: “Know Your Levels!” Earlier this week I asked you to picture a house… Then we use the analogy that the house is essentially your life. There are people we get to move in and out of our lives on a daily basis. Where we run into trouble is letting certain people have a “say” in our lives when they have no business sharing at that level. Likewise there are some people we don’t have at the right level who desperately need to be there. Our job is to discern and move people to the correct level of sharing. Our life and leadership will thrive because of this.
There’s FOUR levels of sharing in our life: master bedroom, living room, front porch, and sidewalk. They range from the most intimate (master bedroom) to least intimate (sidewalk). Thursday we covered those “inside” our house. Those who have the most intimate levels of sharing. Today, let’s cover those who still share but not at such a deeper level.
Front Porch – Level 2
I love front porches. The reason why is you can be friendly with people as you get to know them. Also, it’s a lot less awkward to just go inside after you’re done sharing vs asking them to “get out!” And, if the conversation ever gets uncomfortable you can always just step indoors. It’s a “safe zone” that’s friendly but not overly intimate.
In our lives, there’s some people we have moved from the font porch to the living room very prematurely. And there’s people who we really need inside that we leave on the porch. Front porch people are the ones we need a “safe zone” with. This is the level where we are vetting out someone’s character to see if they are actually 100% for us or not. Not everybody needs to be moved from the front porch to the living room either. We all need front porch people, as we learn to have fun with them and build community with them. For me, these are the casual friends that I may have tried to be closer to but the feelings are not reciprocated. So, we just hang out and stay shallow which is totally fine.
Sidewalk – Level 1
Everybody has those who stand on the sidelines of your life and throw rocks at you. Let me be clear with this level, they have ZERO authority in your life. Their opinion can contain nuggets of truth to learn from but you have not invited them inside the intimate parts of your life. Why? Because they are not 100% “for” you. These are the friends who always seem to take, take, take and never give. These are the people who are quick to complain and point out your weakness but never offer help.
The most catastrophic thing to your life and leadership are to allow those sidewalk people to have influence and a say in your life. While there may be truth peppered within criticism, we must not let them into the house. Take the nuggets of truth from their criticism and know that is NOT who you are.
Coming full circle
And finally we come full circle. We have our four levels of sharing. The hard work of evaluation must now begin. Who are you allowing to share into your life that should not be there? Who are you not allowing to share into your life that needs to be there? Will you do the discerning work of evaluating? Your life and leadership are depending on who you get to build into you at the appropriate level.
I once heard it said, “The only difference between the leader you are now and the leader you are next year at this time are: the books you read and who you allow to share in your life.” That really resonates with me and I hope it does you as well! So go and do the work of evaluating your levels of sharing!