Square Squad

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I've been reminded of the importance of a tribe. When we find those people who you can connect with and 'get you' it's a great feeling. Those people that are there for you no matter what. Who will tell you straight and have your back. There is a saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with - what does your average look like?  I started thinking about this a few weeks ago when I shared this  with you. 

Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exits because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone. 
- Margaret Wheatley 


Brené Brown writes about how vulnerability and the fear of what others think can hold us back from being our authentic selves. When you are not your full self the world will be a little less bright, your world will be a little less bright! You are out there, trying your best with what you've got but so often fear can hold you back. Fear of what someone might say or think. It is hard to be brave or courageous when you are worried about what others think of you. Equally, and here is the line, you do have to care, you can't boldly march on without a care or thought for anyone.

Brené shares a tool in her book Daring Greatly and then again in her latest book Dare to Lead and you need a piece of paper and you can create your Square Squad. 

From Dare to Lead:

"Get a one inch piece by one inch piece of paper and write down the names of the people whose opinions matter to you. It needs to be small because it forces you to edit."

From the glossary of key language via Dare to Lead Hub: - 

Square Squad

  • Your square squad is the very short list of people whose opinions matter.

  • These are the people who care enough about you to be honest, rather than telling you what you want to hear. They should not be people who just blindly agree with you no matter what.

  • People on your list love you not despite your vulnerability and imperfections, but because of them.

  • They will point out when you are out of your integrity or when you have messed up, and they will support you to fix things.

  • The paper is small because it forces you to narrow the list to only those people who have earned the right to an opinion.

  • Don’t listen to criticism from people who aren’t on your square squad. It is hurtful and unproductive. 


Brené goes on in Dare to Lead to remind you, this is not your suck-up squad, they are not 'yes' people. This was my reminder this week and started me thinking about who I call on and what that looks like at the tough times. I need to be told with kindness, love and strength what I need to know and I need to know that they are in the arena with me. 

The piece of paper - turns out one inch by one inch is very small. I folded a normal square post it note into half, and then half again - still not quite small enough but that's what I'm going with.