“If you can give back as a woman to other women,
that’s one of the greatest things you can do!”
There is nothing like that feeling when you help someone. Think about it…when you are able to help someone accomplish something that is important to him or her, you are making a difference in the world; in his or her world, and in yours.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t agree that women should hire more women or that women should promote more women just because they are women. I believe that women should be hired and promoted if they are the best candidates for the job.
What I am referring too more specifically is women ‘helping’ other women. Women who make an effort to support, mentor, and encourage other women to do great things. How many times have you seen women tearing each other apart? We do have a caddy way of picking apart women who are trying to make a difference. I say, “You go girl! And congratulations for being brave enough to try something that others might not try!”
I heard a story a few months ago at the eWomenNetwork conference that really made me stop in my tracks. Our speaker, the lovely Lisa Larter, was sharing a story about an event that she was a part of in Ottawa, Canada where she lives. Oprah was coming to town and they were putting together an event called, ‘Oprah in Ottawa’. Lisa was so excited and she distinctly remembers getting feedback from a woman who advised her that she couldn’t be using Oprah’s name and picture. She would get sued. Long story short, Lisa reached out to Harpo and got the permissions she needed to run the event, but she still remembers how she felt when she got the message.
While we might not have agreed with the way she reached out, Lisa says, “There are two types of people. Those who just need to be tapped with a feather, and those who need to be hit with a brick. Sometimes I need a brick.” Lisa is glad she got the feedback but I have to ask how different this scenario might have turned out if the woman had been more supportive and mentoring?
Why do we do that to each other? This woman had some great advice for Lisa and Lisa admitted that it was a learning experience for her, she says she, “took the good from it and moved on.”
I started an experiment a long time ago and it came from traveling a lot and being in places where I didn’t know anyone. I always make a point to smile at people when I pass them. Whether I am in the mall, in an office building, or simply at the playground with my granddaughter. It is important to me to make a connection with people, even if it’s only with a smile. I am always amazed at how many women will not smile back. I know that people have things going on, their minds are consumed with other things, or they are having a bad day. I only hope that they saw my smile and it made them feel better inside. This has become routine for me and I do it all the time now.
I started with something basic as a smile, but this goes much deeper. I remember a training class many years back. There were three women sitting outside my office waiting for our trainer to come pick them up and take them to the training room. I was struck by the fact that none of the women spoke to each other. They never introduced themselves to each other, nor did they even look up at each other and smile.
I got up from desk and walked over to the coffee pot in my office. At this point I could see all three of the women and they could see me. They glanced up and again never said a word. They chose to not even acknowledge that I was there. So I walked to the door and offered them a cup of coffee. None of them took me up on my offer so I walked out towards them and extended my hand to the first woman and introduced myself as ‘Elizabeth’. She gave me her name and then I moved to the next woman, and then the next. Once I introduced myself I asked them where they were from and where they had worked before. I sat down and talked to them for a few minutes before the trainer came to collect them. I told them to have a nice day and I said to them, “Going through training this morning will be much easier if you work together. There is a lot to remember and I think you can build a great support system with each other.”
I am not sure if they worked together in training or not, but I wanted to them to know that if they worked together they could accomplish more.
Whether you are afraid of the competition, the risk, or you are still trying to prove yourself you should know that supporting other women will enhance your life more than you will ever knew. The next time you go out, make sure you smile…it’s a start!
Blog Post: http://mentoringformeaning.com/fostering-success-for-you/
Elizabeth loves working with women and helping them achieve their dreams. She is a highly productive coach and mentor who take great pride in holding them accountable to success. For more on Elizabeth: www.mentoringformeaning.com
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