You’ve probably heard the saying; you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
We love this saying because it reminds us how influential the people we spend time with are. Our environment plays a huge role in the person we are, the characteristics we portray, and the way we behave.
Have you noticed how you act energetically around Gill while, when you’re with Pete, you have a more relaxed vibe? That’s the power of people. While these changes might be subtle, they’re there.
Think about the five people you spend most of your waking hours with. It’s probably a partner, a colleague or two, a sibling, a best friend and maybe kids. These five are your sounding board – the people who you go to for advice, to share your wins, to make you happy.
How do Tick’s birds come into play?
Alright, so let’s say you’re asking your husband for advice and he’s an Owl. You run a training company and are thinking about hiring a new employee. You’re not sure whether you’re ready, though.
Your husband, being an Owl, will probably tell you to focus on your numbers. Can you afford a new employee? What’s your cash flow like? Will you generate more income by freeing up this time?
Owls are motivated by facts, whereas if you were talking to your best friend, who’s a Peacock, maybe she’ll tell you to “go for it.” That you get to be a boss (and satisfy that desire for applause and popularity in the Peacock’s personality).
Work out which bird type each of your five closest people are. It’s useful to know this and how it influences their actions, behaviours and interactions.
Do this exercise.
If you haven’t done this, consider what your environment looks like. No, not your home or physical space, but who’s in it.
Now, rate them from one to 10. Think about the level of influence these people have on your life. Be honest – 10 is the most positive. Do they push you? If so, why? Write it down.
Perhaps every individual in your five offers a very different perspective to help you maintain an objective, fair standpoint on things that’ll come up in your life. This is important. Too many of the same worldviews won’t help you – as your thinking simply becomes institutionalised by what all your five are saying.
If someone is on the lower end and, as a whole, you’re not getting pushed forward in life through the people near you, it doesn’t mean you have to shut them out. All we’re saying is be conscious of who you’re spending your time with. If something’s missing, make forging new connections a conscious effort of yours – so you can ‘fill your cup’, so to speak.
Also, remember the reverse. You’re affecting other people’s lives, too. Who would you be in the top five for? And how are you making their lives better?
Learn about your personality, so you can see how it affects the way you influence other people. To help you do this (and work out others), try a sample of our complementary personality profile test.