Being a woman in business is a struggle — that’s a fact. But we should always know that our fellow businesswomen have our backs. Taking the time to support one another right now goes a long way for future generations of women. Small acts of kindness are important and can make you feel empowered while doing it. Here are some simple ways you can support the important women in your life.
Listen to Understand
Listening is something that we all know how to do, but there is a difference between listening to respond and listening to understand what the other person is saying. As a woman, it may feel like others aren’t always truly listening to us. That’s why as a fellow woman, simply taking the time to practice active listening with other women is crucial. Ways that you can practice active listening include:
- Give your complete attention (set aside that phone)
- Show that you’re listening through body language (make eye contact or turn to face the person speaking)
- Provide helpful feedback based on what someone is saying (ask questions to get more information or clarity on tough situations)
- Respond to be helpful, not to be judgemental (be a compassionate listener, not someone keeping score)
Celebrate Her Successes
Through society, women have been accustomed to feeling jealous when other women are successful. It’s important that we break that barrier and begin celebrating and uplifting other women who are successful. Successes, both large and small, deserve recognition to make women feel empowered. When other women succeed, this creates a path for all of us as women to be successful as well. Next time, rather than feeling a moment of jealousy when your friend gets a promotion or has a notable success story to share, take it as a moment of celebration for this person. Ways that you can practice celebrating other women’s successful moments can start very simply:
- Be excited about her success and ask her questions
- Compliment her for what she has accomplished
- Plan a celebration to mark what she has accomplished
Compliment Each Other (and Mean It)
Complimenting someone on their outfit or career accomplishment can seem easy, but doing this task with intent and meaning behind it can be more difficult for some women. We all like to receive compliments that make us feel good about ourselves, but when they are received with bad intentions, sometimes they don’t mean anything. Empowering women through compliments can help boost their self confidence and also push them along on their journey to greatness. When you want to give a real compliment that lets the other person know you mean it, leave out the jealousy and just be genuine. A few examples of compliments you can give other women that are meaningful include the following:
- “You’re absolutely killing it with your new business idea, how can I support you?”
- “You know, you are courageous and vulnerable for taking the leap with your new job, but I know success is right around the corner for you.”
- “I’m proud to have your friendship in my life, you are incredibly talented and I’m lucky to know you as a person.”
Uplift Younger Generations
Women’s empowerment starts at a young age, with our daughters and younger colleagues. As a mother, you set the standard through your actions for how your daughter will feel about herself one day and treat others. If you want your daughter to know that she’s beautiful and loved, you have to start by loving that person in the mirror. When you tell yourself that you’re beautiful and loved in front of her, you’re setting her up for self-acceptance instead of self criticism. She will mimic what she sees coming from you as a woman. You can tell her to do all of these things as much as you want, but you have to follow through with the act of actually practicing these simple acts of self love. The younger generation of women will one day be the future leaders in the world. It’s up to us to uplift these women at a young age so that they are one day empowered role models.
Self care isn’t a new theme for Hope. She’s always been an advocate for supporting other women, especially women-led businesses. Take a tip from her and support all women in your life.