How can you begin creating a shift for you and the women around you?
How can we do a better job of taking care of ourselves and supporting other women in our lives?
In my recent blog “Why Aren’t Women Supporting Women at Work?” there was a big response. Many women reported having had experiences with women that were not positive and uplifting and some were even damaging.
So, what do we want to do about this? How can we women collectively shift the energy so that we open ourselves and other women to new possibilities in the way we relate, collaborate, celebrate and support one another?
We begin with ourselves.
I’ve been thinking about this question of “how to get started”. As an Organizational Development person, I know from experience that cultural change can feel like such a big undertaking.
I’ve also learned that we often need just one meaningful first step to get started. Once we allow this first step to permeate our being, we begin to see shift happening. And SHIFT is what leads to change.
So, here’s my first step. I thought let’s get a list of ideas going.
Let’s brainstorm some ways that we can begin to create a shift within ourselves.
Below is a starter list of my brainstorm– simple, some easy, some not-so-easy steps - ways to support ourselves “put on your own oxygen mask first” and other women in our lives.
Let’s collectively grow this list – not just me throwing out ideas that may or may not work for you.
Share what’s worked for you? What does support feel like and what would you like to receive? Let’s see if we can grow this list to 100 together.
OK, I’ll get us started with the first 25….
- “See” the other person before jumping into a conversation.
- Acknowledge when someone is going through a difficulty.
- Accept others for who they are. Stop trying to change or fix people.
- Change yourself.
- When you disagree with someone, try to see the conversation from their point of view first before building your case.
- Do one random act of kindness each day.
- Be appreciative for what you have.
- Show appreciation when someone helps you.
- Put flowers on your desk.
- Send flowers to someone who is down.
- Walk in nature.
- Meditate or do yoga.
- Express yourself creatively.
- Play with children.
- Cook a meal with your friends. Cook a meal with your family.
- Rally around another woman’s idea just because you can!
- Celebrate another woman’s milestone – no matter the size.
- Give kudos to a woman you don’t usually interact with.
- Invite a woman you don’t know for coffee.
- Start a book club about creating cultural change in your company with a group of women.
- Start a mastermind group at work to discuss, support, and brainstorm women’s roles and how to stay sane!
- Identify a champion for women’s programs at your company and get to know them.
- Set up a shared site for women at your work and curate articles and best practices for women’s issues.
- Set up a women’s network in your company and invite women leaders to host jam sessions.
- Know your limits and take breaks when you need to.
- Nourish yourself with good food.
I’M BRAINSTORMING AND IT’S STILL FLOWING…
- Get in 10,000 steps a day.
- Invite other women to walk with you at lunch time so they can also get in their steps.
- Sleep when your body is tired.
- Listen to your body’s cues for rest and recovery and take action.
- Bring beauty into your work space.
- Ask and invite rather than direct and command.
- Notice your language and tone of voice. Is it charging and directive or does it engage others?
- Take intentional breaks during the day where you don’t look at your email.
- Create regular “me” time. Allocate time for a hobby, an interest, developing a talent, going on retreat, getting a massage, etc. whether it’s once a week, once a month, once a quarter, or once a year.
- Pursue a dream. Don’t wait until there’s more time, more money. Put a plan in place TODAY to begin moving towards your dream.
- Find out who you are. Get a coach and learn about what motivates you and the limiting beliefs that hold you back.
- Mentor another woman.
- Walk your talk.
- Take a nourishing vacation (rather than the kind of vacation you need to recover from!)
- Go on a spiritual quest.
- Read books by women that have nothing to do with work.
- Be a conscious parent. Become aware of the attitudes and beliefs you’re passing on to your children.
- Be a conscious leader. Know your growth edge and work on it.
- Be conscious.
- Monitor your self-talk and take steps to transform negative talk.
- Put reminders with inspirational quotes on your phone.
- Transform one bad habit.
- Heal your addiction.
- Heal your co-dependency.
- Offer your expertise and wisdom.
- Write and share your life story.
YOUR CALLS TO ACTION!
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Let’s grow the list of ways women can support themselves and other women.
BUT WAIT…IT’S NOT ABOUT JUST GROWING THE LIST. THE PURPOSE OF THE LIST IS TO GENERATE IDEAS FOR YOUR OWN ONE NEXT STEP.
What one step will you take to create a shift FOR YOU AND THE WOMEN AROUND today?
Terri Altschul is the CEO and founder of WomenConnected.net.