If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s this: Never underestimate the power of connections. As women, building close relationships with one another can be incredibly valuable for us – both in our careers and our personal lives.
Why is this the case? It’s probably because women face similar challenges, and we deal with those challenges and triumphs differently than men. We think differently. The last time you had a bad day, did you reach out to a man to talk about it? Likely not. Instead, most of us probably called our mom, our sister, or our girlfriend.
As women, we relate to and understand one another. We look up to one another as role models. And we have the unique ability to support one another. Whether you realize it or not, female solidarity a powerful thing, and it can be a major source of happiness and fulfillment in your life.
So, how do you make meaningful connections with women?
You can let your relationships evolve naturally, but sometimes a little push won’t hurt. When you meet someone who is particularly inspiring to you, don’t be afraid to express how you feel and ask questions. Tell her you’re interested in learning from her. Most women will graciously accept the role of mentor!
By the same token, don’t be shy about taking someone under your wing. Take every opportunity to teach and inspire others who look up to you. Offer support and friendship whenever you can.
This advice holds true in your personal life as much as it does in business. And often, these two worlds aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m sure you’re good friends with former (or current) co-workers. I know I am!
One of my favorite examples of women connecting with women is a “mastermind group,” or peer-to-peer mentoring. As Chic CEO describes it, “A group of smart people meet weekly, monthly, daily even if it makes sense, to tackle challenges and problems together. They lean on each other, give advice, share connections and do business with each other when appropriate.”
In my experience, joining a mastermind group gives you the best of both worlds. You reap the rewards of collaboration and advisement while also making meaningful friendships. A mastermind can give you huge boosts in your profession and your personal life. You’ll learn, make connections, and find solutions.
These groups are typically small and invitation only. They don’t have to be exclusive to women, but I love the idea of all-female groups. Meetings are usually structured, with participants taking turns sharing their goals and experiences. The major benefit of this is that it keeps you accountable. You’re much more likely to achieve your goals if you’re talking about them in front of people on a weekly or monthly basis.
How do you find a mastermind group? According to Smart Passive Income, “It never hurts to ask someone in your niche if they know of any that you could participate in. You might be surprised.”
If word of mouth doesn’t work for you, start your own group! Ask a few like-minded women with common interests to join you. In turn, they’ll probably have their own connections you can reach out to, and your group will take off. Let the networking begin!
Have you joined a mastermind group or had a particularly valuable experience connecting with women? I’d love to hear about it!