Women Connections Make Us Strong And Successful

Women’s connections are a powerful asset that we as females should learn to hold onto. Women naturally have strong hearts, souls, and intuitions and our connections stem deeper than we think. Have you ever felt the need to connect with a female you know? But she might not be somebody you’ve seen or connected with for a long time. Well, for us girls it doesn’t have to be because we are all born connected. At least that’s what I believe.

In fact, studies are saying that this connection in women can make us stronger and more successful in many aspects of our lives. Instead of competing against each other, we can help build one another. There’s so much power in it and when one does it, another will follow – just like the butterfly effect. Even a simple phone call with somebody you might’ve worked with previously, or a friend you once knew, can do absolute wonders for your life.

Women’s connections lead to great things and in a world like this, we need to hone in on its incredible powers.

Women’s Connections Change The Game

Back in the day, competition between women became more prominent because things were fewer and harder to come by. These things included jobs, money, security, quality of life, husbands, and even friends. As a result, women began to compete in an effort to stand out, when they should have been rooting for each other all along. Thankfully, we’ve realized this power and the world of women is starting to become more compact.

It is so silly that women would feel the need to compete because it’s pretty obvious that this method doesn’t get you anywhere. Instead, there’s extreme power in building each other up and learning to collaborate. I think the old stereotype of women up against one another must fall away. These days, our sisterhood is too strong for that. We are meant to collaborate because this is a sustainable strategy that in turn benefits us all.

It’s kind of like a club where we all have a safe place and feel like we belong. The funny thing that you realize when working closely together with other ladies is just how much stronger it makes you feel.

Strength in Connections

Sometimes the road to life can go haywire. When this happens, things can get lonely and seem very dark very quickly. Don’t let yourself enter this place. Remember that you are not alone and no matter how far away you are from each other, in your hearts, you’ve got so much company. You see, once women’s connections are made, they tend to last.

Recent research in the Harvard Business Review found that men and women both benefit from having a network of well-connected peers across different groups. That makes sense. Interestingly, these women with an inner circle of close female contacts happen to hold executive positions with greater authority and higher pay. But when the study looked at men, it didn’t find a link between connections and men’s success. It’s really amazing because it just proves that there could be some kind of spiritual power behind womanhood. If we all believed this, imagine the power we could have.

There are a few reasons why women’s connections are so powerful. However, a lot of it is due to something called unconscious bias. We place this on ourselves without even realizing it. If you’ve got a group of women to support you, then you forget about that negative self-talk and get on with it.

These perceptions are quite a lot for women to overcome, and we’re born into it. That’s the trickiest part. Hopefully, the more we stick together the easier it will become to get rid of such bias.  And because of this, we feel the need to connect with other women and share our experiences with each other. It’s sort of like a ‘been there, done that’ kind of thing. We must all know our worth and own it by bringing our unique abilities to the table and support systems can help us do this.

Build Your Circle

I know that nothing gives me more confidence than knowing I’ve got my girls and that they have my back. And vice versa. This alone is strong and can carry through the most troublesome times.

We should create this support structure and implement it into our personal lives, as well as our business endeavors. Because your female connections are not only your friends, they’re your mentors and even sponsors.

Any successful female leader should have a wide circle of closely connected women to spur her on. Besides, talking comes naturally to women. Well, it does for me! It’s an amazing asset right there because you are designed to connect. Get out there and embrace those skills to talk! Share your interests and passions. You never know when it might bring you good fortune. Remember, people want to work with people that they like and aspire to be alike – so don’t be afraid to state your goals, either.

Networking Is Natural for Us

Sometimes when I hear that word, it scares me. This is because it feels like work as soon as you say it. However, women’s connections are built-in us, and we can create them naturally. We can enjoy making them instead of stressing about speaking to people.  If anything, don’t be afraid to reach out and put yourself out there. What have you got to lose? It is your time to establish forever relationships with meaning, integrity, and strength.

I think the most important aspect is to remember that establishing any kind of connection isn’t just a one-time thing. You must take the time to follow up and leave your mark. Imprint on the other person’s life if you must. Because they are going to imprint on you too. Reach out to those that inspire you and ask them for advice. You never know, they might be looking to share their experience with you too.

Create Your Team And Own It

The most important quality of women’s connections is building each other’s confidence and acting as a constant booster.

Start thinking of the kind of ladies you want to attract in your life and the kinds of ones you admire. Start connecting with them and learn from what they are doing to help you with your journey. Don’t struggle through life alone, because there is power in this.

This is an incredible way to bounce ideas off of each other, seek advice, or get a boost. Not only can you improve your career, but you will boost your mental well-being too! By seeking support, you are also building long-lasting connections and creating limitless opportunities for yourself. And as soon as you get an idea, you know the first place you can go and share it! There’s no better feeling than being part of a women’s group that wants nothing else other than for you to be your best and succeed.

Everything falls into place when we start working together.

Source: longevitylive.com ~ By: Skye Mallon ~ Image: Canva Pro

Make Connections With Other Women That Matter

Women are finally realizing that connection and collaboration, not competition, are what’s important. We’re saying ‘no’ to the scam of contention and yes to the sisterhood of women out there who are passionate, full of purpose, and driven to change the world. Making meaningful connections with other women can be life-changing, but I’ve found in many conversations that many women don’t know how—or where—to do it.

Connecting with other women to share ideas, work together on projects, and offer support is key, but most of us are so busy and overwhelmed that we just don’t make new connections a priority. It’s not always natural or easy, so we really have to be deliberately purposeful about it. It’s important to remember the benefits of connecting with other women so we owe it to ourselves—and each other—to make it happen.

To get started it’s a good idea to aim for a mix of online and face-to-face connections. Sure, it’s easy to send an email message or follow someone on social media, but it’s no substitute for real-world human interaction. If you’re burning up social media, consider taking an online contact offline, and if you’re proudly ‘old school’ and are neglecting your social media presence, dive in because you really need a foot in both worlds.

It’s also a great idea to join a group that interests you and makes it a priority because it’s important to get together with other women who share a common interest. And speaking of interests, look for ways to get involved in a philanthropic cause that speaks to your heart. Throughout history, women’s organized efforts have developed hospitals, schools, museums, libraries, and social supports that enrich the civilized life of our communities. Women who care enough about others to volunteer their time, talents, and treasure are the kinds of women you want to meet. They tend to be “other-oriented” and want to make new connections, too. So whether your “cause” is homeless animals, kids with cancer, adult literacy, or clean oceans, get involved.

It’s also a good idea to think about what you need to learn and seek out mentors who can help you. You might reach out to someone who plans conferences and offer to trade services in exchange for the chance to learn and get a foot in the door. It’s also a good idea to give back to women who need your expertise. In other words, don’t just seek out mentors, be a mentor to women who needs your knowledge and experience. It can pay off in unexpected ways. Both the mentor and the mentee benefit from open sharing during the exchange.

And last but not least, if you’re invited, go! When someone invites you to an event or gathering—whether it’s an industry trade show, a party, or a hiking trip—go if you can. Yes, even if you’re tired, out-of-sorts, and feeling blah. Sure, there are always reasons to say no and some of them are good reasons. But overall, life rewards action. Life rewards yes. The more times you say yes, the more connections you will make. The more connections you make, the richer and more creative your life will be.

Remember, connections matter, and making our voices heard, and claiming and using our power is something we can do together. It is through a foundation of strong connections that we can gain the confidence and skills we need to overcome barriers and reach our goals. When women reach out and connect with each other it not only changes their lives, it can help us collectively change the world.

Source: drnancyoreilly.com ~ By:  Dr.  Nancy O’Reilly ~ Image: Canva Pro

You know you need human connection. Here’s how to achieve it.

We need real human connection now more than ever.

I remember, maybe 9 months ago, just crying. I felt so lonely (did I mention that I live with my husband and 2 sons?) — there’s nothing quite like feeling lonely when you aren’t actually alone.

For me, I missed girlfriends and casual acquaintances I’d come to depend on, at the gym, the break room, and my team at work. People who knew me (or didn’t), who shared interests or cared in ways that were different from my family asking (with love) about the next meal.

Even though it seems we’re always connected thanks to social media and our smartphones, that notion couldn’t be further from the truth. A recent survey revealed that over 3 in 5 Americans are lonely. To make matters worse, this feeling of isolation has substantially increased since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Loneliness occurs when there’s a lack of genuine human connection to other people. But what does human connection mean, really?

Let’s consider the human connection definition, why the power of human connection is important in our lives, and how to build meaningful relationships with others.

What is human connection?

Human connection is a deep bond that’s formed between people when they feel seen and valued. During an authentic human connection, people exchange positive energy with one another and build trust.

Human connection makes you feel heard and understood and gives you a sense of belonging.

Why is human connection so important?

Human beings are social species, wired to connect.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, besides food, water, and safety, love and belonging are the most important needs we must fulfill. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships, intimacy, to connect with others, and to be integrated into a group. When these needs are met, our overall well-being improves, and we live a more fulfilled life.

The 2021 World Happiness Report found that people who experienced an increase in connectedness with others during the pandemic had:

      1. Greater life satisfaction
      2. More resilience
      3. Better mental health

Having a strong support system helps people overcome challenges more easily and maintain a state of mental well-being.

The human connection also decreases health risks and improves physical well-being and longevity. Strong social connections strengthen the immune system and increase your chances of a longer life by 50%.

What is loneliness, and what does it feel like?

Loneliness doesn’t necessarily mean being alone.

Loneliness is a state of mind that occurs when there’s a disconnect between one’s desire for human connection and their actual level of connection. In other words, it’s when our longing for human relationships is unfulfilled.

Loneliness can be found anywhere. Someone can have many social interactions but feel lonely because they lack a real connection with those around them. Others have close relationships with friends and family but long for an intimate connection with a partner.

While everyone can experience loneliness differently, it often manifests as social isolation, feeling left out, unheard, or not belonging. If left unchecked, it can also have serious effects on your emotional well-being and physical health.

According to psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD, your level of cortisol, a stress hormone, goes up when you’re lonelyChronic stress can lead to many health issues, including heart disease and cancer. Because of its many health risks, recent studies compare loneliness to smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

How to cope with loneliness

Dealing with loneliness isn’t easy. For one thing, it builds on itself. Loneliness accumulates and we convince ourselves that it is huge and insurmountable. It makes you feel strange and off, even to yourself. It can feel embarrassing, as an otherwise functioning adult, to admit, even to yourself, that you are lonely. In our empowered, hustle, made-for-IG world, admitting to loneliness feels like a failure.

It can feel hard, almost impossible to break out of the state of loneliness, but it’s a state that can be overcome, surprisingly easily. Loneliness is highly susceptible to action. Here are some ways to combat loneliness and strengthen your connection to society.

Talk to someone

The stigma surrounding asking for support has reduced since the onset of the pandemic. This is thanks to increased awareness of mental health. Seeking help is one of the bravest and most helpful steps you can take to overcome loneliness and the feelings that come with it.

A mental health counselor can offer helpful advice and guide and support you to build healthy relationships and meet new people. Speaking to a professional also equips you with the coping strategies you need to navigate and overcome feelings of chronic loneliness.

Take initiative

It might sound obvious, but loneliness thrives in solitude. Loneliness can make you feel unwanted and isolated from those around you. To break out of this negative mindset, you have to take the initiative and put yourself out there.

Be proactive and reconnect with friends and family, or build new relationships. Call an old friend, join a club, or take your colleagues out for a drink. Make your well-being a priority and try new activities to build fulfilling human connections.

Give back to others

Volunteering is a meaningful way to connect with others, make friends, and feel a sense of purpose in your life. Giving back to those in need also amplifies your sense of gratitude and well-being.

In a recent UK survey of more than 10,000 people, 2 out of 3 said volunteering helped them feel less isolated. Volunteering opportunities introduce you to a new set of people with similar goals and values. It also gives you a sense of meaning that’s often lost when you lack human connections.

How do you make human connections? 6 ways to feel more connected

Making human connections sometimes requires being brave and taking chances. For example, striking up a conversation with someone new can be intimidating, especially if you’re shy. It requires you to step out of your comfort zone despite feeling nervous.

Ultimately, the rewarding feeling of building human connections far outweighs the initial fear you may feel when you put yourself out there. Let’s look at six simple ways you can integrate into society.

1. Surround yourself with people with shared interests

It’s easy to bond with people who share the same interests and hobbies as you.

If you love reading, joining a book club can be a great way to socialize and form new friendships with people that share your love of books.

Or, if you’re a runner who likes to stay active, joining a local running club could be an opportunity to meet new people.

2. Overcome your resistance

Building relationships is often intimidating because of a natural fear of rejection. But to make these connections, we have to overcome our resistance to change and embrace situations outside our comfort zone.

3. Smile (once in a while) and try out a positive attitude

First impressions count. Trying to have a generally positive demeanor and a genuine smile will naturally draw people to you. That doesn’t mean you have to be positive all the time or blindly optimistic. But it’s helpful to do a gratitude exercise and spend a few minutes noticing what is good in your life prior to spending time around others. Research shows people are more drawn to positive emotions than negative ones when it comes to forming social connections.

So if you want to maximize your chances of being a people magnet, put your best self forward.

4. Open up to others

If you want to make friends more easily, allow yourself to be more vulnerable with others. That doesn’t mean dropping all filters or boundaries. Too much, too soon can put others off and leave you feeling more alone. But you also don’t have to be a curated version of yourself.

People can sense whether someone is genuine or not, so let them see the most authentic version of you. Your vulnerability will also prompt them to feel comfortable around you and connect with you on a deeper level.

5. Don’t hide in your phone

It’s easy to retreat into our smartphones when we’re feeling uncomfortable in a social situation. But this can hinder our ability to make real-life connections.

For example, being on your phone during a party or while networking will make you seem less approachable. Whenever you’re out, focus on being present and engaging with the people around you.

6. Stay in touch

The human connection needs to be nurtured. For example, if you’ve made a new friend, keep in touch with them and grow your friendship. At the same time, work on maintaining your existing relationships with close friends, family, or team members.

Regular contact deepens your connections with others and ensures you don’t lose touch with those you value most.

How to build a lasting human connection

If you’ve ever felt lonely, you’re not alone. Many people experience or have experienced a lack of human connection at some point in their lives.

The key to overcoming loneliness and living a more fulfilling, happier life is to challenge yourself and look for opportunities to build genuine connections with those around you.

This can be anything from joining a club, reconnecting with an old friend, or volunteering for a cause you believe in.

Source: betterup.com ~ By: Maggie Wooll ~ Image: Canva Pro

Power Of The Pack: Women Who Support Women Are More Successful

I always say a woman alone has power; collectively we have an impact. Traditionally we have been taught to be competitive with one another because there was such a scarcity of jobs at the top. It’s so clear that strategy doesn’t work. The truth is that raising each other up and channeling the power of collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation—and have a lot more fun along the way.

There is a boys’ club where women never felt comfortable, so we decided to create a Girls’ Lounge more than six years ago where everyone feels like they belong. We discovered two things:

      1. There is power in the pack
      2. You realize your strengths make the table better.

Today we’ve connected more than 17,500 corporate women and female entrepreneurs and evolved the name to The FQ Lounge, where women are still the majority, but men feel welcome and comfortable.

We need to reverse the stereotype that women don’t support other women. There is research that shows women in particular benefit from the collaboration over competition.  Study after study shows women who support women are more successful in business.

New research in the Harvard Business Review finds that while both men and women benefit from having a network of well-connected peers across different groups, women who also have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay, while there was no link found for the success of men in terms of the gender composition of their inner circles.

The reason? Women trying to rise up into leadership face cultural and systemic hurdles that make it harder for them to advance, such as unconscious bias. The study suggests that a way to overcome some of these hurdles is to form close connections with other women, who can share experiences from women who have been there, and done that—from how to ask for what you’re worth to bring your unique talents to leadership.

“There’s a new girls’ club that we didn’t have before because the workplace was largely male-dominated,” says Jocelyn Greenky, an office culture and politics expert and CEO of Sider Road. “Now that so many more women are entering the workplace, we’re finding our voice. We’re also building circles of trust with one another because we may be experiencing similar hurdles, and have each other’s backs.”

Laura McGee, CEO of Diversio, which uses artificial intelligence to help companies overcome diversity challenges, agrees.  “Across all our companies in multiple sectors and countries, we see access to networks as one of the key barriers preventing women from advancing. We know that women are under-sponsored by senior men, and may need to compensate by developing strong professional relationships with other women. My hypothesis on the research findings is that these women are effectively acting as mentors and sponsors for one another.”

Here is advice from women leaders on how to find and cultivate a close network of female professionals.

Take the word “work” out of networking. There is power in relationships that extends beyond a generic introduction. When you create connections based on shared interests and goals, you’ll be more successful at your job, because people want to work with people they know and like. The Girls’ Lounge first started because I didn’t want to go to a male-dominated conference alone, so I invited some girlfriends to come along and asked them to invite their friends.

“The Girls’ Lounge has impacted me both personally and professionally.  Most industries are so siloed, but the lounge breaks down these barriers and lets you connect with women you would never even imagine,” says Gail Tifford, Chief Brand Officer of WW, formerly Weight Watchers. “And that’s when magic can happen.”

“My advice to women is to reframe what “networking” is,” says Tifford.  “The fact alone that the word has “work” in it creates pressure for women to feel like it’s something they have to do, and then I see women stress about how to do it.  Simply putting yourself in environments that give you the opportunity to meet with peers and get to know each other and share experiences can be a game changer. And chances are, if you make meaningful connections, they are ones that will last a lifetime.”

Prioritize relationship building. You don’t do business with a company, you do business with people you like and trust. I have always prioritized time with my girlfriends. “To make these connections, you first have to decide if it is important to you,” says Erica Keswin, author of Bring Your Human to Work and founder of the Spaghetti Project.  “Does your calendar reflect your values? A lot of time it doesn’t, not because we’re bad people, but because we have so much on our plates. Ask yourself, ‘Are relationships important and why?’ It could be because you want a new job, or to move up in your career. We’re not connecting when left to our own devices, so schedule time for it.”

Know that connection building isn’t a one-and-done. Networking is one and done: It’s where you shake someone’s hand and gives them a business card. Where does that leave you? With a stack of business cards on your desk. A relationship, on the other hand, touches your heart and creates an everlasting partnership. To keep connections alive, they must be nurtured.

“Seek out people who you admire. Ask for advice, and follow up. Participate wherever and however you can. In short, be a doer!” says Linda Yaccarino Chairman, Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal.

Amplify other women. I love the Shine Theory, which is the idea that when you help another woman rise, we all shine. “Build other women up! If you see your co-worker doing a great job, give them credit…tell your boss or other co-workers,” says Rebecca Wiser, cofounder, and director of communications at Womaze, an app centered around self-empowerment for women. “At first it may seem like you’re taking attention away from yourself, but you’re actually showing that you’re a supportive team player as well as an inspiring leader—and secure enough in yourself to praise others.”

Find your squad—and tap into them. Who would be your go-to group of girls if you had an emergency, needed honest advice, or wanted a key business introduction? When it comes to building relationships, you often get what you give.

Pam Kaufman, President of Viacom/Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, shares this advice that she once received: “Richelle Parham, the former CMO for eBay who sits on the board for Best Buy, once asked me, ‘Who is on your team?’ She didn’t mean people I managed, but who I had in my professional life that served as my support network. Taking Richelle’s advice, I began building my squad – people I could bounce ideas off of, go to for advice, and pick me up when I needed a boost. Today, my squad is so important for my career and my mental well-being. Not only do we support each other, but we act as connectors to people and opportunities. Whenever one of us comes across a great opportunity, we immediately send it to each other. It is amazing to be part of a group of women who want you to be your very best and actively help you to succeed.”

We’re better together. As Madeleine Albright said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” As we say from personal experience, “There is a special place in heaven for women who support other women.”

Source: forbes.com ~ By: Shelley Zalis ~ Image: Canva Pro

6 Ways To Communicate With More Authority

6 Ways To Communicate With More Authority

It takes courage to voice your ideas and stick up for them. These tips can help.

Hierarchy is disappearing in many companies, and that’s opening the door for employees at every level to contribute–and even lead. The trouble is, many of us haven’t picked up the skills we need to make our voices heard. These six tips can help you get comfortable with communicating with more authority across your entire organization and even outside it.

1. DECIDE ON YOUR CONVICTIONS

It takes some courage to share your ideas at work. Especially if the goal is to influence people outside your immediate team, including those you don’t have any power over—your boss, a senior executive, a prospective client, you name it—you might feel like you’re stepping out of line.

But consider this: The word “courage” includes the Latin root “cor,” meaning “heart.” Don’t share ideas or beliefs that aren’t heartfelt. You need to have a strong conviction in your ideas before asking others to consider them. But if you believe you have a contribution to make, go for it!

2. DON’T HEDGE

Once you’ve decided that the point you have to make is worthwhile, state it boldly, clearly, and confidently. Never lead with an apology (“I’m sorry if I’m saying something you already know”), introduce caveats (“I’m not sure about this, but let me give it a try”), insert tentative language (“It could be that . . . “; “My best guess is . . . ”), fill in the background information first.

Get right to your point. Clarity and directness give you power and authority, especially when you’re trying to communicate with higher-level leaders.

3. STAND YOUR GROUND

Defend your ideas if it turns out that you need to. It may be tough to stand up to dissenting views, particularly if the opposition comes from people more senior than you. But remember that the ideas most worth sharing are likely to be at least a little controversial. So when you say something new, expect to be challenged, then rise to the occasion by showing why you’ve taken your position.

When you do respond, be careful not to be defensive or aggressive–that will only make you look less confident and undermine your message. Instead, acknowledge the other person’s point of view, and succinctly, politely explain why you see things differently. Remember that every challenge gives you an opportunity to reaffirm your point. Welcome it as an opportunity.

4. BE WILLING TO CHALLENGE OTHERS

I’ve coached leaders at all levels, and often senior officers tell me that they value thoughtful input that sparks dialogue—they like it when people challenge each other and share contrary views. “That’s what we’re paying them for,” one CEO told me. “We want their best ideas.”

So when you bring critical thinking to the table, do it in a collaborative spirit. When you challenge a plan, don’t just say, “You’re wrong” or “I disagree.” Instead, say, “I understand where you’re coming from, but let’s take your logic one step further.” Or ask, “Could we achieve the same goal more cost-effectively, by . . .” That dialogue builds better solutions than either staying quiet or getting combative.

5. ALWAYS SHOW RESPECT

It takes courage to communicate in the same open, confident way to everyone. Most of us are conditioned to address people differently, according to their relative authority. So keep that in mind. Don’t talk to senior leaders sycophantically. Phrases like “with all due respect” or “to be honest” sound condescending. By the same token, don’t let executives take over the conversation or silence you. There’s always a temptation to defer to those who have more power than you. But they won’t respect you for that. Ultimately, the best way to show respect for upper-level managers is by sharing your best ideas with them.

And when you address those less senior to you, show an equal degree of respect. Listen to them carefully, acknowledge their views, and build on their ideas wherever you can. Communicating forcefully isn’t possible if it doesn’t come from a place of respect, no matter where it’s directed.

6. BE AUTHENTIC

Finally, it can take extraordinary courage simply to be yourself while you’re sharing your ideas, especially if you work in a company on a team where you aren’t necessarily seen as someone to voice your views.

Sometimes that isn’t always personal–it’s cultural. As you look around at your peers, you might feel there’s a normal way of dressing, speaking, looking, and acting. There’s no need to resist corporate culture in your effort to become a more powerful communicator.

But you also need to have the courage to preserve your spontaneity, creative energy, vitality, and sense of humor. Suppressing those qualities won’t serve you, your message, or your company.

Source: fastcompany.com ~ By: JUDITH HUMPHREY ~ Image: Canva Pro

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