We all need encouragement. Especially women to women in the workplace. Every one of you are worthy of recognition, honor and support, no matter what job you are in. If no one has told you recently let these words etch their way into your mind and heart: You are brave. You are resilient. You are strong. You are a woman full of wonder and complexity. But you were never meant to be all these things alone. This month reserves a day to honor women, and while this is wonderful, we must remember to make it a habit, not just a day. We need to show each other, especially those of the next generation, how it is done and to do it well.
I am a firm believer that community is where we build strong character and a woman is stronger when she has a community that sees her and understands her. I am not naive in thinking there aren’t females who might very well be power hungry nut jobs. I have had my own share of experiences with these Tasmanian devils. I am however sharing that we as women have the power to overcome these experiences, chose not to let them jade us, and learn to become the thing we need most: community. One of the ways we can do this best is by creating deliberate connections with one another. Below are 5 ways we as women can be that encouraging community to one another:
1. Thanks Giving: Show appreciation to a woman within your network. Even in the small things. It might sound like this, “Jamie, I wanted to say ‘thank you’ for always being so efficient and positive in your response to my project questions.”
2. Praise: Ask yourself, “Who can I add value to today?” It might sound something like this: “Let me tell you what I see in you, a woman of kindness and integrity in your work and how you treat others.”
3. Random or Purposeful Acts of Kindness: Do something for other women in your community or professional network, even when they may not have asked for it or even deserve it. It is always easier to pop off a clever remark when we see other women fail, or not being their best, that is when we need to cover each other and show kindness all the more.
4. Peer Coaching: We are better together. Find someone either in your workplace or someone who is at your career level to help hold you accountable and to encourage you (and you, them) in your goals, and desire to grow. Ideally you want to connect at least twice a month for no more than an hour. Try ending with these questions for one another: “What are two things you think I am doing well and what is one thing you think I could do better?”
5. Mentoring: Be one, get one, or both. We all need to be sitting at the feet of another woman, so we can glean from her experiences. This may be done directly, by asking a mature woman of experience in your network to mentor you, or indirectly, when you may not have someone in your network, you can try gleaning from a woman of influence you admire. To be a mentor is very simple; it is connecting, listening, and sharing knowledge and experiences with other less seasoned women so that they may thrive and grow to be better wherever they are planted.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself: Are you in a season where you feel frustrated? Are you struggling to find someone to pour into you? Do you feel isolated or overwhelmed? It may be time to find community, to contribute to someone else that has a professional need and pour into them. We must learn the art of creating space for relationships again. We must connect with heart, collaborate to grow, and commit to developing others so that we ourselves become the thing that we once needed. You are so able. You are so needed. There is a woman out there just waiting to hear your words of encouragement, support, and gratitude, not unlike yourself. I believe you are the women who will build a better future for herself and other women through community. Better is possible together!
Always in Your Corner,
Whitney D. Schreck
Leadership Development Coach
Innovative Communications Trainer