Here at Women in Leadership Empowered, we recently held our advanced seminar titled Networking: Love it or Hate it. As part of the training, we had attendees participate in two breakout sessions where they worked with three to four other women each time. We had great attendance and feedback over the two sessions that we ran. One of the points of feedback that surfaced as somewhat of a surprise to the participants was how quickly and deeply they were able to connect with the other women on the call. I would like to tell you why this came as no surprise to me.
Over the past many years, I have had the privilege of participating in more than one online program. Connection is a top value of mine and I love connecting with other people. In full transparency though I had my doubts about the likelihood of making the kind of deep, mutual, beneficial connections I was searching for. My experiences in the online world left me with a sense of distance and dis-connection. I believed the only way to make true connections was in person.
I signed up for these programs mainly for the training, and the 1-1 calls and support. The community aspect was completely secondary. But here’s the thing I didn’t know at the time. When you bring together like-minded, successful and driven women, magic happens.
People showed up as themselves and shared challenges, successes, and their hopes and dreams. In a way the online nature enabled this to happen as we all left our “roles” at the door. There was no awkward, “What do you do?” followed by small talk. Instead we shared real struggles in our lives and businesses, doubts we had about our capacity or ability to show up, questions as to whether we even had the expertise or knowledge to run our business at all. And time and time again, the response from the rest of the community was supportive, understanding and most importantly – it let us know we were not alone. They had been there too. They had doubted themselves. They had questioned their capacity. And we were able to begin the conversation of how they worked through this. And that peer connection was key to helping us move forward in our struggles. The bonds that were formed were incredible and lasted way beyond the program end date.
Grow your community
The participants in our seminar had a small taste of what this would be like in joining Women in Leadership Empowered. The women in our Beta group had similar connection and community. Our experience has shown us that women learn well in a supportive community. At WIL Empowered, we have developed a positive environment for like-minded women to grow professionally and personally through networking, mentorship, coaching, and skills training.
If you think WIL Empowered might be for you, I encourage you to read more about it here.
Hi, I’m Robyn Holloway, an executive coach in Calgary and the Director of Operations at Women in Leadership Empowered.
I work with women pursuing success in executive leadership roles and the presidents and CEOs who understand that strong businesses are built with strong, diverse leadership.
WIL Empowered is a year-long program where we use all four aspects of leadership development: Coaching, Networking, Peer to peer mentorship and skills development. Our mission is to help women develop the skills, motivation and accountability required to succeed in their business and personal lives.
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