The Power of Conversation
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Are You Harnessing the Power of Conversation in Your Business?
Have you ever wondered what would happen when we stop fighting and bickering and start collaborating? How could you and your business evolve and grow when you embrace the power of conversation, especially with other women in business?
myCEO.ca recently hosted 2 women’s networking events:
- Breaking Stereotypes: Women Who Lead: in partnership with Locelle and Hervana co-working space,
- Be You, Bravely: with three motivational speakers: Efe Fruci, Laura Sukorokoff and Nuria Sefchovich.
At both events we had some amazingly open and honest discussions that all seemed to circle back to five main themes:
The Power of Community
While you can always try, doing business in a silo rarely works. People, and often women in particular, are social creatures who crave interaction with others. According to a 2018 study by Cigna, over half of Americans feel alone and isolated. Running a business especially can be lonely if you’re head down in your work and you’re not actively engaging with others regularly.
One of the best ways to beat loneliness is to build a community around you with whom you can interact face-to-face or through online channels. A community of friends, family, colleagues, and even people in your specific niche.
When you collaborate with your community, you get different points of view, and the support to grow your business when you need it. We’re better and more productive when we focus on our strengths and passions. Once we’ve built the right community around us we can more easily seek help in the areas we need it.
What does the power of community mean for you as a business owner? It means you should be creating and leveraging your community (maybe join a mastermind or networking group) to support you and help your business grow.
The Power of Storytelling
Have you ever noticed that when someone starts telling a story, your ears perk up a little? But, when someone starts spewing facts and figures your mind becomes less interested and engaged?
The human brain is wired for storytelling so we’re more receptive to receiving, digesting, and understanding information via this format. People will remember your stories and be more engaged listening to you share it.
We’re grateful to our speakers and our participants for openly sharing their stories of breaking stereotypes, overcoming personal circumstances, of resilience and growth. Through hearing their stories we were able to connect more strongly with our own stories, to see ourselves through a different lens, giving ourselves the opportunity to connect and grow.
How can you use the power of storytelling in your business? Start a list of stories you can tell that match your brand message, show you expertise and experience, and the stories you think your clients/customers and colleagues might enjoy listening to.
The Power of Open Conversation
What is an open conversation? An open conversation is a discussion where everyone is free to discuss and ask open-ended questions without fear of being criticized or judged. All participants are encouraged to actively listen, engage, and be inspired.
You may often hear this referred to as entering a conversation with an “open mind, ”without any preconceived notions or decisions about the outcome or the process. Just be open to hearing different points of view and other possibilities.
The world is a place where often we are judged based on the lenses of others, a place of right-ness and wrong-ness with little middle ground. All you have to do is turn on the radio or news and you’ll probably hear people sharing their opinions of others, and arguing over their own points of view. An open conversation is not an argument, and no one needs to defend their point of view. You can get further by collaborating, than debating.
We all need a safe place where we can share our ideas and collaborate with others.Having a truly open conversation, listening to the views and experiences of others can be so powerful, and refreshing for women entrepreneurs in a world filled with such criticism.
The Power of Vulnerability
Before you can have a genuinely open conversation with someone you need to establish an understanding of trust. Because vulnerability often comes into play in these types of conversations, you want to know you’re in a safe place so you can truly see the power of this type of conversation.
When you enter the conversation one-on-one or in a group setting, leave all judgement at the door and focus on having a criticism-free conversation. Be accepting of all the information gathered during your discussion, then choose which pieces to act on later.
Even though people are engaging in an open conversation, you may hear some radical opinions that seem counter to your beliefs. When this happens, accept the information and move past it. You choose what you get out of the open conversation.
And speaking of radical truths…
The Power of Radical Truth
Do people tell you that you have no internal filter when you speak? Are you someone who tells it like it is, even if the truth is hard to hear? You might be a radical truth teller… and that is not a negative thing.
Telling the radical truth, when it comes from a place of honesty and integrity, is a powerful thing for both the teller and the recipient. The teller can often feel less stressed because they’re not bottling up an emotion or viewpoint. And the recipient gets a totally honest third party opinion that they can choose to act upon or not.
For example, when a colleague says “The way you’re marketing your business makes you look like a fake,” you may feel immediately offended and want to stomp off. OR you could take their opinion, seek collaborating opinions from others, and give real consideration to whether a change is needed. You can ask more colleagues about the authenticity of your marketing. Based on their corroborated “radical truths” you can now choose an action and change your marketing plan.
Changing our Vocabulary and Flipping Perspective
In a similar scenario, myCEO.ca sought out the radical truth from other women at our Breaking Stereotypes event. We asked them what they think of when they hear the word “Women Leader” and they responded with: “bitchy,” “aggressive,” “emotional,” “shrill”… etc.
For these women, their radical truth is that the phrase “Women leaders” has quite a negative connotation for them. Together we dissected why we feel this way and connected through shared experiences. We discussed why we have feelings of shame, regret, and fear of failure. Our co-speaker, Humaira Ahmed, expanded on her own fears and said that as a Pakastani woman, she’s lived life with many fears, but the one that’s pushed her forward in her career, is her fear of regret. She never wants to question “what if”.
After a powerfully raw event, our attendees are going out into the world to see how they can dispel this “myth” that women leaders are “bitches”, instead choosing to identify with all that makes us powerful leaders.
That choice is up to each of us, you can choose to brush it off or use it to learn and grow like the women from our events.
Harnessing the Power of Conversation For You
We love seeing the power of conversation that unfolds at our events and between women in our community. Being part of a community where you can engage in conversations with others (especially women), share and listen to stories (and even the radical truths), helps us accomplish so much more than living in silos.
If you are interested in building your community in which to have powerful conversations with, consider the benefits of partnering with our team of business coaches who can help you create your own conversations and to grow your business. Here is a sample of our business coaching packages and we’re always happy to design a custom program for you. Just ask!