Find Support In a Success Team!
“No one is an island.” I’m sure you’ve heard this expression. And, it’s true. Sometimes you really do need to gather people and work together to make something happen. When you’re feeling as though you’re stuck and can’t move forward, a success team is a group of people who gather for positive reinforcement, support, and suggestions to make their journey to a goal, easier.
Success teams are for winners, people who want to reach their goals more quickly and easily. They aren’t group therapy or gripe sessions. Members meet regularly and share their experiences, focusing on action and results. They are powerful motivating tools that can do a lot to inspire and empower anyone looking to reach a challenging goal.
Who is this for?
A success team works really well if you’re job hunting, trying to start a new venture, you want to lose weight, get healthy, or maybe you’re just looking for love in all the wrong places. The popularity of these groups is growing among intelligent adults.
Here is one real story, about a dating success team and Walter’s search for love:
Walter’s Looking for Love Again:
Walter said: “I’m divorced and have custody of my two kids, But I am in my late 30’s and don’t have the same opportunities to hang out that I used to have. So when I was ready to look for love again I needed some impartial advice and support to get started.
I saw an ad in the paper for a dating success team and was pretty nervous about calling. However, Patty, the organizer was so nice and friendly, I forgot to stay nervous.
Patty was a non-profit manager and also a single parent looking for a partner. At the first meeting, six of us showed up a local coffee shop. We agreed to a one-hour meeting each week. *after we got to know each other and felt comfortable, we took turns hosting the meetings in our homes.
At first, I thought: “these people must be losers.” But each person was impressive in their own way. We had a financial analyst, a computer programmer, a secretary, a lawyer, a non-profit manager, and a construction worker, ranging in age from 25 to 55.
Our differences were actually a plus and made for some eye-opening discussions. We did spend some time griping. Mostly, we tried to focus on our stated goals and support and motivate each other to reach them.
Staying on Track:
If I told the group I was going to compose a personal ad, I’d think twice before not doing it because I’d have to report on my progress to the group at the next session.
Their feedback about my personal ads and social media really helped me, too.
Welcome New Members:
Over time, I became good friends with some group members, but some dropped out as they reached their goals, Others joined and took their places so the group remained strong.
Several times, group members offered to babysit for me so I could go out and not worry about the evening getting too late. I actually met my wife Kathy through a friend of one of the group members. “
Starting Your Own Dating Success Team:
This is going to get a bit detailed, but it’s your road map to participating in and/or creating a successful team. So here goes…..
Does Walter’s story inspire you? There are so many more!
Everyone listens, everyone participates. One member of the group is timekeeper and group leader for that session.
Forms Of Help:
Each member gets equal time to report to the group on his or her progress and/or to ask for specific types of help. There are 3 basic types:
Brainstorming, or asking the group for as many ideas as possible pertaining to a specific need or problem.
Barn Raising, or asking the group to help solve a problem or to help obtain needed information.
Role-Playing, using the group as a test audience to rehearse a verbal presentation, provide feedback on written materials, or walk through a particular problem or situation.
Sympathy, asking the group to help relieve stress and be a sympathetic “ear.”
The basics are simple:
You may find advertisements for success teams in local publications or on social media. If you can’t find an already established success team looking for new members, consider starting your own. Here are the basics:
1. Get a group of adults (6-10 is ideal). It’s up to your group to decide whether or not you want to be specific in terms of age, but everyone should be looking towards a common goal.
In a dating success team, for example, some may be seeking marriage, others just a soul mate or special friend. The important thing is that they must be actively searching for someone for an identifiable romantic goal.
2. A group leader (preferably someone who is experienced in facilitating groups and handling group dynamics: someone mature, objective, and nonjudgmental) to get the group “started.”
3. A regularly scheduled time and place to meet (usually an hour every other week). The group can meet anywhere as long as it’s quiet and fairly private. You don’t want to be interrupted every ten minutes by a waiter asking you: “Is everything all right?”).
Some Important Caveats:
Once you are in the success team group, you are integral to the success of the group.The group may eject any participant who becomes abusive and destructive to the group process.
You may use your time any way you wish, within the time allowed. If you’re late, you join the group in progress. There is no backtracking for latecomers, and you may lose your personal time.
Because the members of the group will come to rely on each other, it is important that each participant understands their individual responsibilities. They are:
1. To propose a focus for his or her consultation with the other participants.
2. To agree to interact honestly and freely with the other members in the group.
3. To tap the collective experience, expertise, and brain-power of the team to solve specific problems/pursue goals.
4. Listen, participate, network, give and get support.
What Does The Team Leader Do?
1. Be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the focus of the success team process.
2. Be responsible for making sure the sessions begin and end on time; contact all participants if there is a change in the session location, time, or date.
3. Ensure everyone gets “equal time” by dividing the amount of time available by the number of participants at the session (usually, five minutes is subtracted for “overrun” or “special issues”)
4. Provide a “two-and one-minute warning” to alert each participant that s/he is nearing the end of his or her time (however, the group as a whole can elect to give someone additional time)
5. Be impartial and nonjudgmental. In a small group, it is possible for all participants to take turns being the group leader, but only if each member feels comfortable with this arrangement.
There Can Be A Theme:
By mutual consent of the group members, an entire session can be devoted to a theme, or in learning more about a particular topic or focusing on one person if s/he is in crisis.
There are no “right” or “wrong” answers. But more importantly, participants also come into the group with the understanding that maintaining confidentiality is paramount. No one discusses personal details or the particulars of the session with anyone outside of the group.
The Key To Success:
The success of a dating success team rises and falls on its members’ active listening and participation. You should be candid, but not deliberately hurtful or rude. Furthermore, you have the right to decline offers of unwanted assistance, or what you view as unreasonable requests for help from others in the group.
It’s also wise to make it clear at the outset that the success team isn’t designed for (and does not take the place of) private mental health professional counseling, group therapy, crisis counseling, or other intensive, personal counseling.
When It’s Your Turn:
Don’t be afraid to speak up. This is a safe and supportive place. State briefly the goals and issues you want to focus on at the session. and tell the group what steps you are going to take to reach that goal.
If you have trouble describing what you want to get out of the session, the group should might ask:: “What can we do to help you? What do you need that we can help provide?“
Report your progress to the group on your progress from the previous session.
Good Luck With YOur Success Team! If you found this feature helpful, or you are already part of such a group please leave a comment, we would appreciate the feedback.
Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from Chapter 8: Adjusting Your Recruitment Strategy of the “must-have” book for adult singles: RECRUITING LOVE: USING BUSINESS SKILLS YOU HAVE TO FIND THE LOVE YOU WANT by Alison Blackman Dunham and Jessica Blackman Freedman “The Advice Sisters”