Women In Business

Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the author of the book, Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last. The workbook focuses on the importance of building strong, lasting relationships that can help women both personally and professionally. In this brief article, she shares the premise of the book and shares insights on why it is important for women to connect to one another.

When I wrote the book, Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last, I wanted to write a book that helped women build stronger relationships by looking at their own stories in order to better connect with others. Our experiences often impact on our ability to develop high quality relationships. For many, it is a result of what we have seen or have been taught about women. Our mothers and early female role models (or lack of) are so important in forming our beliefs about trust, empathy, and building connections. If we’ve had negative experiences, this becomes a lens for how we process relationships until we recognize how our past has become a barrier.

Understand your narrative

Media can also play a significant role in the way women form relationships. Social media can be a wonderful place for connecting but often, it has become a place that highlights female aggression and hostility. We don’t spend enough time connecting authentically. There is power in the story and when we connect to others, the conversations will help us see the resilience, optimism, and hope that are a part of all our journeys. The truth is that women can build long lasting relationships but in order to do so, it is essential to understand your narrative. Listening to the narrative we tell about ourselves and our relationships could be responsible for the way we are connecting or not connecting to others in a way that is mutually beneficial.

Real networking

Building relationships are critical to not only our emotional well-being but can serve as an opportunity to meet others that can help both personally and professionally. Social mobility is not just about what you know but who you know can be helpful to your career and business. Having high quality connections can help a person achieve their goals on a number of levels and these are the types of relationships that last.

Many people view networking solely for transactional purposes and getting something right now. Sharing business cards is not about relationships. It is hoping that a person is in a position to make something happen. Although these relationships are a part of our lives and important, the goal is not to solely focus on transactional relationships. It is also important to create transformational relationships that make a difference in our lives.  This type of relationship is mutually beneficial. The goal is to make sure that we both walk away with something—even it means just connecting one another to someone else. Relationships take time—personal or professional—and we typically believe that networking results in immediate action. Real networking is so much more. It is connecting.

Understand yourself

As women, our identities are tied often to relationships. Many of us introduce ourselves by our titles or relationships to others. Yet, to have a better understanding of who we are, we must dig deeper to understand ourselves and attract the relationships we desire. When we remove the layers of work, family, and friends, we are challenged to really think about our stories and the journey. I’ve written the book to help women become reflective learners about their lives and see how their experiences informed the way they connect to others.

Some simple tips for women:

  1. Know your triggers. What are the things that inspire you? Cause anger? Create fear or need? Identifying these can help you understand what pushes your buttons and how they impact your relationships.
  1. Listen to the story you tell about yourself in relation to others. Does your story demonstrate a journey of a victor or a victim? An ending of resolution or rejection? A woman of substance or of sorrow?
  1. Identify your energy vampires. Who are the individuals that take away your energy and keep you from connecting to high quality connections? Paying attention to this could help you save time and energy that could be placed into relationships that are rewarding and fulfilling.

The book has 29 Rules of Engagement that will help women explore their social, identity, and psychological capital. Stay tuned for future articles on these topics and more!

 

About Dr Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew is a PhD graduate from Antioch University in Leadership and Change and the National Director of Community Engagement for World Vision, US Programs. She provides coaching and training for individuals and organizations on social capital, relational leadership and identifying one’s Immunity to Change. For more information about the book or to purchase, please visit www.austinbrotherspublishing.com

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