Rule 3: Kindness
Speaking of building strengths, being kind to others is probably one of the easiest things to do and yet is so often overlooked in todays competitive business world.
Has your mother ever told you this saying: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar? Think about the pesky fly and how you want to stop him when you contemplate that saying.
No matter what treatment you receive from others, imagine first that it is not about you and always reply with kindness. You will begin to view unkind people with a different lens and the reputation you build of yourself will be a better lasting memory.
Rule 4: Listening and Learning
My Dad who was a professor used to always say, Listen, you might learn something.
This emphasis on learning helped me learn the fundamentals of how businesses run. I carried this knowledge to the small business I own today. I also learned that the best salesperson is a good listener. Listening helps you make a better sale because you know more about what the customer truly values.
If you are the only person in the room talking, you will convey a lot of information to others and give a lot of yourself, but what will you gain?
Rule 5: Give Back and Share
The expression pay it forward came from a movie and a novel of the same name.
In the movie a down-in-his-luck teacher challenges his seventh-grade class to think of an idea that will make the world a better place. One student presents the idea that if everyone who receives a favor does a good deed for several others it will create a branching tree of good deeds.
The communities where we work and live, now more than ever, need that branching tree.
Giving of your knowledge and experience in community service can be very beneficial. In doing so you connect with like-minded people from the business community. A women in business can expand their networks while helping your own community. It can build your reputation as a thoughtful community leader and as a businessperson.
I am sure other women leaders can add more lessons to this list.
These are the five that stand out for me. I know many great female business owners and the quality they all share is confidence. And they also intuitively know to ask for and receive help from those they have worked with and influenced along the way.