February is a great month to recognize the importance of female friendships and why NAWBO can do so much to further these alliances. Female friendships in the workplace, for instance, reduce conflict and add to creativity according to a new study provided by the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences. NAWBO creates an atmosphere that helps these friendships flourish.
These friendships increase emotional well-being, bring more satisfaction on the job, increase trust, decrease workplace stress, develop loyalty, add productivity, provide a strong support system, become a source of candid feedback, offer a sounding board and create a sense of contribution. In other words, these friendships make us more productive and puts us in a better mood. This is the essence of NAWBO.
There are so many ways to tap into this phenomenon and get the most out of this organization. Here are some tips to make the most out of your relationships within NAWBO:
- Show up to the monthly business programs Make the monthly business programs a priority and get to them at 11 a.m. so that you have plenty of time to network before the official program begins. Ask someone you know for an introduction. Sit at a table of women you don’t know so that you can meet new people. Participate in the table conversations following the speakers. Read the NAWBO spotlight for a snapshot of a member and introduce yourself to her. If there is someone you want to meet, ask me or any member of the Board. We are here to serve.
- Go to the conferences. One of the biggest advantages of NAWBO is its national presence. Women converge at these conferences to share their experiences, and hear inspirational speakers like Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat Pray Love.” These conferences are life changing. The networking is unbelievable. And it’s amazing how open everyone is. There are no awkward silences or unwelcome approaches. Everyone wants to meet new people and connect. The next one is in Jacksonville, Florida October 13 – 15 and features Lisa Ling, a talk show host and journalist of international fame.
- Join a committee. Often I am asked, “How can I make the most of networking in NAWBO”? My advice is to show your worth by working on a committee. It will create a reason for your fellow NAWBO members to refer you. It is a great way to show off your talents. For instance, we have a need for marketers to join the marketing committee. So many don’t want to spend the time but you will find common bonds and create a new source of business if you put the time into it.
- Take advantage of the variety of our events. We have Neighborhood NAWBO events where you can learn from a variety of speakers in a more intimate setting. And we have NAWBO Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in DC on June 4. Advocacy Day provides you with an opportunity to learn about the issues impacting our businesses while tapping into potential female relationships from those around the country.
- Get to know all our programs for what fits in your life. We have programs for businesswomen, no matter what the size of your organization. This helps you find common ground whether you are a solopreneur or a CEO of a 200-person business. We have Neighborhood NAWBO and we have The Circle, for higher revenue businesses.
At NAWBO, you will find friendships that last a lifetime. See you at the next lunch!