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women and supportDr. Elaine Yarbrough was the featured speaker this past Monday evening at the Entrepreneur Networking Event presented by the Charleston Center for Women

Elaine’s career includes over 25 years experience training, consulting, mediating as well as researching, speaking about and promoting women and their power.

I had the privilege of participating in one of Elaine’s training sessions several years ago and still use what I learned.  She has the unique gift of presenting challenging information in an engaging and low-key humorous way. 

(When a taxi driver told her that men were meant to lead since they were the hunters and women were the gatherers, Elaine told him she couldn’t recall the last time her husband shot a woolly mammoth for dinner!)

3 ways for women to support one another

Some priceless nuggets from her riveting presentation for women everywhere to ponder, promote…and do:

Replace cat fights with support. 

As Elaine pointed out, the cat fights for which women are infamous are “rooted in being chronically low-powered.”  Without the power to fight those with more power, attacks are aimed at one another. Elaine asked the audience to consider their own behavior: Do you make catty comments about what another woman said or wore or did?  Do you join in the office cat fights?  Claim your personal power by supporting other women.  Do business with them. Reinforce their comments in meetings.  Know each other’s stories.  Have each other’s backs.

Be motivated by accomplishment, not approval. 

Elaine sited what happens in early education as part of how women are socialized to seek approval.  When a little girl correctly answers a question, the teacher responds with “good girl!”  When a little boy responds correctly, the teacher asks additional probing questions to expand his thought processes.  What a telling difference. So, find your affirmation in working issues through to a positive conclusion instead of seeking approval for having behaved as a “good girl.”

Pushback when gender slurs come your way. 

Elaine shared results from a political study showing that female candidate’s approval ratings went up when they challenged gender slurs directed at them.  Approval ratings dropped for female candidates who didn’t pushback.  As Elaine said, “start putting yourself up, not down.”

Ready to start supporting one another as we step into our power?

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