|Women help each other succeed in business|
|Working together to combat challenges|
|Published Tuesday, August 13, 2013 1:00 pm|
|PHOTO/IGOR MOJZES FOTOLIA.COM|
|Forget the stereotypes that women just can't get along. A new networking trend shows moer women are working together to get ahead.|
Forget the old stereotypes that women need to be cutthroat and catty to successfully compete. A new networking trend shows that friendly cooperation is proving to be a great way to combat the challenges women face in business.
“Formidable ladies across industries are collaborating with each other to achieve clout and success,” said author Pamela Ryckman. “They are forming salons, dinner groups and networking circles at unprecedented rates.”
Ryckman’s latest book, “The Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business,” examines the emerging culture of women’s networking groups.
“Groups have the power to make us big, bold and brave,” she said.
Ryckman said big dreams can be realized by mining a group’s collective intelligence. She advises women looking to collaborate or form their own collectives for inspiration and action to start now.
“When women unite early in their careers, they’re more likely to steer each other toward promotions and opportunities,” said Ryckman. “Counsel each other through difficulties, and ultimately become powerful together.”
For the best result from your efforts, she also recommends diversifying your inner circle. Don’t just network exclusively with best buddies. The most effective groups draw women with diverse skills from a variety of industries, introducing women who might not otherwise meet.
As your group grows, continue to build relationships and filter for shared experiences.
“To gel as a group and quickly build bonds of trust and loyalty, look for shared common touch points, be they age, level of expertise or values and ethics,” said Ryckman.
She adds that you don’t necessarily need an agenda or specific goal to get started.
“If you get dynamic ladies talking or walking or drinking, exciting things will happen,” she said. “Believe in the magic.”
Ryckman said it is also important to strike a balance between personal and professional needs. Address the career building needs of the members of your group, but remember to retain the fun. To achieve the right mix, consider appointing a different woman to lead each meeting or bring in guest speakers.
Above all, Ryckman said remember that to be successful, you don’t need to be a one-woman band. By teaming with friends and business contacts, you can launch your career and be a part of a growing movement that is changing the face of business. Building a winning team also means being a valuable team player. Ryckman offers the following suggestions to help you be the best:
• Have courage, give courage: Push members to pursue their passions. Help each other script difficult conversations, encourage each other to take risks, and don’t be afraid to disagree.
• Be a mentor: Have you already achieved great things? Consider mentoring a promising younger woman. You may find that you can learn a thing or two from the partnership.
• Be a cheerleader: It’s okay to be critical. Everyone needs to hear the hard truths sometimes. But remember to always be lifting your friends and pushing them forward. Ensure each woman gets what she needs -- be it information, an introduction or a partnership.
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