Remarkable Women

The Art of Intentionally Building Relationships

roberto-nickson-430885I always meet the most fascinating women through my Remarkable Women podcast. These are people I admire, and they are excellent examples of how I want to live my life. One such person is Eileen Scully, a Remarkable Woman living on the beautiful and peaceful Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  

Eileen is the founder of The Rising Tides, a global consulting firm focused on making the workplace a better environment for women. She is also the publisher of 52feminists.com, which publishes inspiring first-hand narratives by feminists from around the world and all eras and walks of life.

In our interview for my podcast, I was particularly struck by how much Eileen has been able to nurture and build relationships with some of the smartest people she could ever hope to know. In fact, in her 20+ years working in and around the research and advisory field, she has worked with and beside some great leaders—and she was lucky enough to be mentored by many of these individuals.

One of my favorite parts of our interview was hearing Eileen share her thoughts on the difference between a mentor and an advocate. Most of us probably haven’t even thought about the nuances here, but as Eileen explained, “it’s an entirely different mind shift” from one to the other.

Advocates allow for a two-way conversation, whereas mentors are usually a one-way-street. That’s why Eileen recommends that all women seek out a team of advocates who they trust and respect, and who will be brutally honest and share helpful feedback. Advocates are likely the ones who will share new opportunities or connections before you’d hear otherwise.

The best place to find these advocates is actually outside your own workplace or field. It was this team of advocates that proved most valuable to Eileen as she launched The Rising Tides. She describes her team as a “personal board of directors,” and she urges everyone to purposefully seek out their own team and start building those important relationships. 

4 thoughts on “The Art of Intentionally Building Relationships”

  1. Interesting read; for me, it’s sometimes easy to forget to put thought and time in cultivating relationships. I’ve learnt, that there are times an active approach is needed. I agree with the distinction, but do you think advocates can be mentors too, and how would I approach a relationship like that?

      1. You already have by introducing yourself to me! I know for me it was about finding the type of relationships that I wanted in my life and I can tell you it was solely based off of keywords for me… inspiring, passionate, supportive, collaborative and authentic women and then making the intention to introduce myself to other women who defined those keywords. Make sure it is a mutally benefical relationship.

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