Whether you’re sending kids back to school, returning to school yourself or just transitioning to more focus on work, in September we all seem to get back to something.
With decades of returning to school in our youth, our brains are conditioned to transition when September rolls around. Even though the seasons don’t officially change until the fall equinox, we mentally seem to create the beginning of a new season on September 1st. In fact, some women have already put out the pumpkin spice candles and the fall décor. They are willing the cooler weather to arrive so pumpkin spice latte will need no apologies. Others of us, still drinking our iced coffee, are thoroughly enjoying the pool, but wondering if we should order the new deck furniture now so we can host an early pool party.
No matter which camp you’re in, here we all sit with our September mindset. Now that we have more uninterrupted time, we’re planning what we want to finish and what we want to start. This is the month of lists, re-organization and maybe assorted purchases for the needed supplies.
Dream on. We’ve got your back and that is a large collective “we.”
The Collective “We”
The members of W.I.S.H. are Women Inspiring, Supporting and Helping each other. That collective “we” also includes your own personal network of supporters.
There is no greater support system than successful, confident women cheering each other on. When we are comfortable with ourselves, we love to help others grow and succeed as well.
Want to know how we’ve got your back? We’ll use the same ways you can use to support someone else.
Support Each Other
When we tell a friend or associate, “I’ve got your back,” just what do we really mean? How do we know what is needed? How can we do that? How do we know when?
There are many tools and techniques for supporting other women, As a sample collection, we can:
• Celebrate her successes.
• Actively listen – quietly and without comments until asked for them.
• Ask open-ended questions to gain insight to areas where she may need support.
• Encourage the things she is excited about. When it’s right, encourage her to go for it!
• Help her be “heard.” Whenever we can, open a platform, repeat an idea she presented, repeat her comment, pause a meeting. If in a situation where we can help her, by all means, do so. We should pave the way whenever we can!
• Sincerely lift her up with honest, direct, specific and, by all means, tactful feedback.
• Provide input that can help her learn, grow and succeed.
• Share our vulnerability as well so both of us can be open, honest and effective in our support of each other.
• Support each other’s businesses when possible and logical.
• Share our networks and introduce her to other women she would enjoy or benefit from knowing.
• Find things to accomplish together as projects or fun. Not all support needs to be formal and professional. Casual fun times together go a long way, too. Just like our evening W.I.S.H. events.
• Give honest and meaningful compliments. Brighten her day.
• Have open discussions about prejudices whatever they might be. The world can be tough when you are in the minority based on ability, age, race, belief system, gender, economic background, education, etc.
• Increase the diversity of our own network to both share our support and gain a wider variety of support from diverse women with unique ideas.
• Be honest about our reality.
o Social media posts often highlight the fun, easy, great aspects of life. No one enjoys posting about their problems, but sharing, “Today was not one of my favorite days!” at least reveals our real life.
• In our more personal relationships, we should be transparent and discuss those things that women wonder or worry about. Don’t make them taboo. Support each other with discussions about money, health, family relationships, sex life, safety, and more. It takes a comfort level, but feel free to nudge the boundaries just a bit and open some doors to honesty and reality.
Don’t Expect Too Much
There is one note of caution. Whether you’re providing support or receiving it, be realistic. Recognize the crazy time schedules American women live with. If you’re giving support, stay in your realm of expertise or realize that time will be an additional factor. If you’re requesting some support, recognize that several sources with several niches of expertise will be a more realistic expectation.
Being realistic is also being more efficient and much more effective. Note the references related to that in the list above.
Take On The World
So, go ahead, take on the world or at least that new client, revised business plan or repainted wall. Seek a new job. Open a new venture. Adopt a new pet. Whatever you decided to get back to. Whatever that something is that has inspired your September re-focus. Charge ahead. Seek support from those with relevant experience and knowledge. Women have a wide, and often hidden range. Don’t be afraid to ask. We’ve got your back.