Where Are All Your Balcony People?

I hope everyone had a GREAT Christmas – or if you’re not a believer – had some time to pause and reflect. For me, it was a trip to Madison to be with family and friends, reliving and reinventing the Brinkman traditions over a long weekend. 

On Thursday, my Dad (you know, one of the OWM) reintroduced me to Balcony People, a classic book by Joyce Landorf Heatherley. In it she talks about two types of people. First there are the “Basement People” – those folks who are constantly evaluating the people around them and helping them to see the “right” way of doing things. Usually, that manifests itself in “helpful” suggestions on how you can change in order to get on the right track.  

Then there are the “Balcony People” who meet you where you are. These are the people in your lives who are constantly seeing the best in you, listening to you, and supporting you in everything you do. Heatherley visualizes them as raving fans in the balcony, chanting and cheering wildly for you, just waiting and knowing great things are about to happen. It’s a terrific picture – especially during difficult times.  

 We all have a core group of raving fans. These people who want the best for us, believe in our abilities, and want to be there to support and care for us. They possess an energy and spirit that seems endless and knows exactly how to help and where to jump in to make the biggest impact. Again, Heatherly calls this listening to what’s not being said. 

Unfortunately, we often shut our Balcony People down before they have a chance to perform their magic. They want to cheer and shout, but we quiet them down – either by not taking time to hear or appreciate; or worse yet, by telling them that they really want to cheer for someone else. It’s tragic. 

It’s been one of this year’s great revelations to me that I have some raving fans: Balcony People who are constantly rooting for me to do well. It’s a relatively small group, but they are constantly around and showing themselves in various ways. The friend who looks into your heart, sees an empty spot, and provides the missing piece. The acquaintance that always spots you across the room and brings a hug and a smile to share. The former boss or coworker who tells you how much they appreciated your impact.  

Acknowledging the Balcony People

Are you investing the time to appreciate the Balcony People in your life? Look around. They’re there! Go have lunch or a cup of coffee with them and let them recharge your batteries. You will come away with a new appreciation for all the people rooting for you and new surge of enthusiasm that only a balcony full of raving, waving, cheering fans can provide!

These are all ways that Balcony People make themselves known. It’s amazing how full our balconies are and how fervent these people can be, once we take the time to stop, turn around, and acknowledge those cheers and chants.  


4 Responses to “Where Are All Your Balcony People?”

  1. December 29, 2010 at 11:26 pm


    Wonderful post. I like two think of people Multi-dementionial and yet post like your provide great insight not only to ask ourselves how we are showing up for other but how to let those in who care deeply for us to be fully part of our life and appreciate them. Thank you for making a difference in my life.

  2. December 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    What an insightful post and reminder of what we too often overlook. Here’s to a new year of focusing on the positives, and listening to what those Balcony People are saying. It will make a difference.

  3. January 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm


    You are such an encourager! Wishing your New Year to be filled to the max with Balcony People!

    Thanks for the introduction to the book & author. I may use with the work that I do. I find that often an entire company gets a Basement Culture. Innovation calls for a Balcony Culture.

    Danita Bye

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to "Change for the Better!" and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 11 other followers

December 2010
« Nov   Jan »

%d bloggers like this: