by Tamara Jacobs
It’s human nature to assume a specific role within a group environment. At home we are a sister, daughter, son, brother, father or mother; at work we are a director, manager, executive or assistant; and in our friend groups we tend to be either a leader or a follower.
For some people, leading comes naturally. They have an ability to influence people, motivate them and build hype around ideas and social activities. Moreover, they are people who like to take initiative. They don’t leave life or happiness to chance or the organisation of others, but instead take it into their own hands. They’ll source the restaurant, make the reservation and gather the troops.
Other people prefer to follow. It’s not to say that they don’t have personalities or tastes of their own, it’s just that they know their strengths and organising social events is not one of them. They’d rather receive the invite, free their schedule for that night and show up feeling unstressed and ready to have a good time.
The good news is every social circle requires both leaders and followers. Where a problem can sometimes occur, is when the planners of the group are unable to relinquish control.
Directors must remember that even followers like to occasionally speak up and make suggestions, and when they do, it’s best to let them. For starters, their ideas are worth sharing as much as yours. And secondly, they want to return the favour of always being invited to things, so give them the chance to.
By relinquishing social control, your group of friends will get to experience new types of activities and barriers of latent resentment will collapse. Moreover, while everyone likes a person who takes the initiative to get things done, nobody likes a diva. Throwing fits and huffing and puffing when you don’t get your way is far from charming. So directors, remember to occasionally step out of the light, not every party is yours to throw.