DOVC – #022 – Tailoring Your Support: How to Understand Emotional Support vs Tactical Support

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Tailoring Your Support: How to Understand Emotional Support vs Tactical Support

As entrepreneurs, having a strong support system is crucial to success. 

But in trying to help others, giving the wrong kind of support is common, resulting in conflict and rejection of our well-intended help. 

I recently experienced this firsthand and gained deep insight into tailoring my approach.

In this article, I’ll cover:

  • Different support needs like tactical vs emotional
  • Identifying someone’s unique requirements
  • Providing the right support for each person
  • Avoiding unnecessary conflict from mismatches
  • How to evolve your style for greater connection

Let’s dive in to become more versatile, empathetic allies.

Tactical Support vs Emotional Support Needs

I tried helping my girlfriend build her jewelry brand by providing logical, tactical advice based on my own business experience. 

However, she really needed more emotional encouragement and motivation along the way.

I gave plenty of practical guidance on concrete steps to take but didn’t recognize her need for reassurance and validation during challenges. 

This caused her to feel unsupported and sparked conflict.

It became abundantly clear we have differing support needs:

  • Tactical support gives practical, step-by-step guidance focused on strategy over emotions. It’s solution-driven.
  • Emotional support provides encouragement, reassurance, and motivation through difficult challenges. It emphasizes psychology and morale.

Both types of support are crucial, but the style must be properly matched to the individual recipient. 

Misalignment causes major issues.


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Recognizing Someone’s Unique Support Needs

To avoid delivering mismatched support, you must actively identify someone’s specific requirements. 

Don’t assume they’ll respond as you would.

Some key factors to understand include:

  • Inner vs outer validation – is their primary drive and motivation internal or external?
  • Independence vs guidance – do they need directing or autonomy?
  • Logic vs emotion – are they motivated purely by reason or more by psychology and morale?
  • Communication styles – do they prefer directness or subtlety?

Ask yourself what kind of support would be most helpful and inspiring specifically to them. 

Let that guide your approach.

Providing the Right Support Style

Once you deeply understand someone's support motivations and style preferences, you can provide perfectly tailored assistance:

  • If they need more tactical guidance, share your expertise but focus advice on actionable steps.
  • If they need more emotional support, provide ample encouragement, reassurance and motivation.
  • Leverage their preferred mode and frequency of communication to convey support.
  • Check-in regularly to confirm the support resonates. Be willing to quickly adjust if needed


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Avoiding Conflict Due to Support Mismatches

Even with the best intentions, misaligned support types will likely backfire, causing unnecessary conflict and preventing us from helping others effectively.

If your attempts to support someone aren't being well received:

  • Have an open, non-judgmental conversation to clarify their specific needs better. Avoid making assumptions that they’ll appreciate the same style you do.
  • Explain you’re trying your best to help in good faith, you just need to better adapt your style and approach to suit them.
  • Actively listen to their frustrations without defensiveness. Seek to truly understand.
  • Work cooperatively together to find the optimal support types and style that will work. Let them guide you.

Evolving Your Emotional Support vs Tactical Support Approach

With the right constructive feedback and self-awareness, you can evolve your support approach to resonate with different personalities and situations.

Through this recent conflict, I’m learning to balance logical tactical guidance based on my expertise with the critical emotional reassurance and validation my girlfriend needs during scary uncertainty.

While providing emotional support doesn’t come as naturally to me, showing this extra sensitivity and adapting my style is well worth the effort to help her succeed.

Truly understanding others' diverse support motivations takes deep empathy, compassion and listening. 

But consistently refining your style ultimately breeds greater interpersonal unity, trust and collective success.

Key Takeaways: Becoming a More Versatile Ally

Let’s recap the key tips on adapting your support approach:

  • People need different support types and styles. Take time to identify which resonates for each person.
  • It’s crucial to tailor your support based on their unique motivations rather than relying solely on your own preferences.
  • Mismatching support types or styles often backfires, causing conflict and rejection of well-intended help.
  • Routinely get constructive feedback from them on how your support lands. Be willing to fluidly adapt.
  • Evolving your support style takes effort and Self-awareness but builds more powerful connections.

The more your communication style resonates with someone, the greater the results you’ll achieve together. 

Are you ready to become a more versatile, empathetic ally and multiplier of others' success? 

Let's connect and keep improving!

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