I was just in the Washington DC area attending a wonderful conference for business women (American Business Women Association – ABWA, www.abwa.org) and the energy was contagious. This organization knows how to bond women together into shared goals; experiences and concerns, making it a sisterhood of business women helping each other grow both professionally and personally.
When you have a tight bond, whether it be a “sisterhood” (or brotherhood) or consider your associates “like family” something extraordinary happens. People start to care, blossom, and in doing so become part of something bigger than themselves. When this happens, not only the people but the group increase their energy level and create amazing results. You feel that you and those around you can not only achieve what you set out to achieve but overcome any challenges knowing that your sisters have your back. The sisterhood is helping and mentoring each other and not just looking out for themselves. The collective power of the “we” is so much stronger than that of the “I”.
Why is this type of bond so effective and what can you do to help create that same type of feeling with your group, team, family members, or whomever you want to bring together? Here are 4 key elements in creating this bond.
- You need a compelling vision, one that everyone is aligned to and in support of. With ABWA, our mission is to help one woman at a time to learn and grow both professionally and personally. The vision must not only be clear but “speak to” those involved and have “buy in” from all the members of the group to be effective. It must be something that everyone not only supports but embodies and professes. What compelling vision have you created with your group, team, association, or family? Is everyone aligned and supporting this vision? When everyone is rowing in the same direction, it makes for a winning team!
- You need not just the thoughts and actions, but the heart (or values) behind those thoughts and actions. These values must be shared by all members and displayed as part of the group. Those thoughts and actions must align with your own (and those in the groups) thoughts and actions. The ABWA values are reflected in the ABWA Proud Code of Conduct and include the values of honesty, respect, fairness, integrity, responsibility, kindness, and in good faith. What values does your group embody? Are they evident in the actions of the group? Does everyone know what they are? Can they look the members and see these values? Are you “living by them” as part of your team?
- The group as a whole (shared goals) must be more important than the parts (individual goals). As the definition of sisterhood points out, you must have a bond that creates a shared set of goals, experiences and concerns. ABWA has become the place to be for women who want to connect, learn and grow. The goals of the group create a strong bond that brings these women together (and brings your group together) which is much more important that anyone individual goals (to help each other grow and collectively support the growth of business women both personally & professionally). As we like to say, ABWA is creating a “safe place” to allow you to mentor others and grow your skills. So ask yourself, what are my team goals and are they shared by the members? Do the members believe that the goal is more important than their own individual goals? If not, how might you start incorporating these values and shared goals into the everyday workings of your group?
- Last but certainly not least, the results or follow through of those in the group must reinforce the vision, values, and shared goals of the group. You can’t have one person saying they support the vision and values and then going off and doing something which doesn’t align with the vision and values. You need to be sure that the actions of the groups (whether you are rolling out new processes, campaigns, or other activities) reinforce and are aligned with the vision, values and goals of the group. Are you and those in your group walking the talk? Are the actions that are taking place aligning with the vision and values of the group? Don’t sway from this collective vision. Don’t waiver and dilute your vision and values. Sometimes this alignment can be hard, but continue to bring the group back to the vision, values and goals of the group. Let go of actions and activities that do not align with the vision, values and goals. If some people or activity falls off the path and doesn’t rejoin, that’s ok. The sisterhood is still there and ready at any time for the individual or aligned actions to rejoin. Keep feeding the power of the group with the energy of the collective vision, values and goals. This alignment will become unstoppable and the group as a whole will do any correcting actions.
Whether you have a sisterhood of caring, bold, and empowered women (like ABWA) or an inspiring work team (or close knit family) united with common goals, vision and values, your group will only get stronger and more powerful by focusing on these basic tenants. Be bold and hold fast to this process. You may need to tweak your vision to continue to make it clear and relevant to your team, but don’t waiver from the importance of having a clear vision, shared values that you are living by, and goals that bring everyone together. Your powerful momentum (or sisterhood) will be the fuel that keeps your team members energized and your business soaring!
Be a Woman Warrior! Be a Leader in Your Life. To learn more or if you need help with this issue or other business challenges, feel free to check out my 90 Day Business Challenge, Leadership Development or Laser Coaching sessions. I’d love to help you develop your customer focused servant mindset and see the impact this has on your business. Visit me at: https://exotericliving.com/expert-profile/1108/.