5 qualities I look for in ground control:
1. Perception checkers. Tonya and Lisa are great sane makers as they both help remind me of what my responsibilities are and aren’t. They help me identify whether I am letting the ego do the driving or if the problem I think I see is really there.
2. Reliability. Reliability is the forerunner of reciprocity. Really it’s a quality I look for in all my friends.
3. Kindness. I can handle criticism. I can’t handle mean spirited criticism. Jill D. has a gift for pointing out when I’m wrong in just the right way.
4. Effort to understand. There are three guys in my poetry group that do this. It’s kind of amazing as I’m very used to men being acculturated to make no such effort whatsoever. Yet not only do they do this, they do it with greater skill than the women who attend usually do – and can still pass along valuable critique. Three of them. In one place. I may be idealizing but it’s been long enough that I don’t think that’s what’s going on here.
5. Support. For me, it’s in the form of “I tweeted this,” or “posted this” or “told my friend about your work.” I get so much of this in so many ways – Crystal talks me up, Star happily posts stuff, Jill D retweets even when she’s not in a given focus group. (She’s a mom so it’s more rare now but so appreciated in any case.)
That’s my ground control qualifiers – I have some seriously good people around me.