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How the WLA helps female leaders with authentic networking

How the WLA helps female leaders with authentic networking

Many female leaders (including those at the very top) tell me how they dislike networking with a passion. It creates images of either transactional, time wasting and boring conversations or it’s an energy draining full on ‘wear your armour’ event that is exhausting. Today’s article is focused on how do you become skilled at authentic networking and start to enjoy it?

Most women will only put themselves through such an ordeal when they absolutely have to. Yes, there are always a few that love meeting people and will jump at the opportunity to go network. But the reality is that the higher up an organisation you go, the more you are expected to network. Think about the Conferences you need to attend or speak at. The dinners where you are meeting colleagues or worse, mixing with leaders from other companies. Expos, professional development seminars, leadership events you must show up at too. The list goes on and on.

And it can be so overwhelming. Too many women enter into the world of network avoidance and it doesn’t actually help matters at all and makes the ones you have to show up at a whole load worse.

Our WLA Members are encouraged to network with one another. But we do it authentically. So much so that our members start to love it. I hear the following comments over and over ‘I could be myself”, “I felt truly part of an inspiring group of women”, “I found my TRIBE!”, “I felt so welcomed and so happy to be me”.

The key question has to be how. How do you fall in love with networking and how do you become an authentic networker?

The answer lies in having an attitude ofgiving before receiving. Shifting our mindset away from ourselves (what am I going to say, who is going to be there, how long have I got to put myself through this and on and on) and focusing our attention on the other person. Being curious about them. Showing a genuine interest in who they are, what they get up to and what’s important to them. When you walk into a room and think to yourself, this is not about me, it’s completely liberating. You can walk into a room wondering: ‘I wonder who am I going to meet today and how might I be able to help them?”

It’s about letting go of our chains of anxiety about whether we ‘should’ be in the room or whether we have anything of any substance to say. Shift your perspective 180 degrees onto the other person.

Have you ever had a really good listening to? When did you last give someone the space to open up and be genuinely interested in them? I promise when you do, magic starts to happen. And people have such incredible stories. Every day I have this attitude to seek first (taking one of Steven Covey’s mantras: Seek first to understand and then be understood. Learning is great for the soul!

Networking offers you so many learning opportunities.  A different perspective, a resource to read, a new person to connect with, an inspirational direction to consider. Why would you avoid the very thing that can light you up, inspire you and make you feel better and stronger about yourself?

Don’t get me wrong, there are many boring networks out there. And that’s because the rules of the road have not been full made clear.

The WLA’s Network

The WLA provides a wonderful community of like-minded women. It’s the values that we share amongst us that makes our network feel so authentic. We don’t allow anyone into the club! We want women who want to give first. Women who care about others. Women who are prepared to offer up advice, counsel and inspiration to others. Women who want to see each other succeed.

Time and time again, we have amazing stories of women who have broken through their glass ceilings. Women whose confidence goes through the roof; women who land amazing promotions; women who land dream roles; women who start to create magic in their workplaces. It’s because we care. And authentic networking is all about caring.

So, the next time you feel that gut wrenching oh not another network, stop and ask yourself:

“What if I show up with the goal of only helping other people I meet?” “What if I showed up as a leader and gave something of value to every person I interact with?”

Try it. You may be amazed at the results.

If you are curious about joining the WLA, why not sign up for a complimentary chemistry call or come along to one of our events. (www.thewla.com) We’d love to meet you.

Chemistry Call Booking: Book Your Call Here

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