“It’s surprising how many of us continue to hang around with people who actually don’t feed our positivity, our energy, our confidence etc.,” says Janine Garner, a Fortune 500 coach and founder of the LBD Group.
“The reality for most of us is, if we look closely at the people around us, there will be people in our world that are undermining our capability, that are judging us, that are putting us into boxes and that are stealing our dreams,” continues Garner.
“It’s the people who are telling you that you can’t do it, it’s the people who are eating away at your confidence and it’s the people who we see quite a lot in the corporate world, the bullies, who are trying to undermine you and belittle you – those are the people that you need to get rid of.”
Garner has helped coach execs from countless major firms, including Cisco, Ralph Lauren and HP – she says the negative influences often come as a result of leaders ascending through an organisation faster than their initial peers.
“Often the higher up the ladder you go, the lonelier it gets and sometimes if you’ve joined a company with a heap of graduates and you’re the one who is progressing through your career, that’s when these people can step out because they just don’t get your world anymore,” she tells HRD
“The successful people who I talk to, those who get control of their network, are the ones that have the courage and strength to step away from the people who aren’t serving them any purpose,” she continues.
However, Garner is quick to say aspirational professionals don’t have to cut friends off altogether just because they may not be supportive professionally.
“It’s actually about managing the conversations and the time you have with people so I have friends who I will sit and have a drink with and socialise with who don’t know anything about my world of work anymore because they just don’t get it,” she reveals.
“Then I have my network which is the group of people that totally get what I’m setting out to achieve and will support me and feed me with information and teach me and push me so they’re two very different things.”
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If your career has stalled and you’re not sure why, it may be time to rethink the people around you – that’s the advice from one leading business advisor who says it’s easy to let toxic colleagues sabotage your success.