I’m thrilled to have my first guest blogger post today. Lia Bandola is Founder of Power of Women Exchange. If you are looking for counselling, coaching, workshops, or networking support for you or your business, check out both Lia‘s company and the POWE website.
Being the founder of a women’s networking organization, I often get asked why it’s necessary to have a group that is for women only. I usually answer “because women are different.” Not better, not worse – just different than men. We have different needs, different energy, different emotional responses, different roles and so on. So what exactly makes us so different and why do we have unique needs in our business lives?
It comes down to the very basic need for safety. This need goes way back in our ancestry and is embedded in our DNA. This is what drives our natural tendencies towards being nurturers. For most women it is an unconscious deep trait that they are not even aware of. It is threaded into the very fabric of their being.
Because women tend to operate with that underlying need to feel safe, typically we take less risks than men. When it comes to doing business, we need to feel that we are not being taken advantage of and that what we are being offered or are offering will be what’s best for all concerned.
When seeking effective networking and support in business, the number one factor for women is that they feel they are in a safe environment. They need to feel that they can be free to express their needs and not be criticized or judged. They need to feel that they are able to “safely” take risks and stretch and grow. Women need to feel they are part of a community and that someone is there to help them to achieve whatever it is they need to in order to feel successful.
For most women, managing personal and professional responsibilities is very different than it is for men. Most women are just trying to master a juggling act – keeping all the balls in the air as best they can. Each ball represents an area of their life and the more roles they have, the more balls they’re juggling. And what happens when one of those balls gets dropped? Well sometimes they can keep the other balls in the air and just let the dropped ball be for a while. But often all the balls come tumbling down and they may have to just pick up one ball and focus on giving that the attention it needs. Then they can gradually pick up some of the other balls and start the juggling over again.
The real trick is to be in control of all the roles/balls you need to juggle and to know when to rest and put all the balls down for a time while you re-charge and get our energy back. Only then will you feel like you have some sense of balance in your work and personal life!
To read more wisdom from Lia, follow her on Twitter.