I regularly spend time with a great group of women at our credit union. Women from all over the organization… service area managers, frontline workers, senior leaders, marketing professionals, educators and even a scrum master.
At the end of 2021, we got together at one of the senior leaders’ homes for an informal/formal evening. We spent the first few hours mingling… having deep and funny conversations with the women we knew well while making connections with the ones we didn’t. We spent the final hour planning for 2022. How will we help women across Ent Credit Union advocate for themselves and others? What education tools can we provide? You get the idea. We make up the majority of our 1,400 team members after all.
This was a productive and fun evening but – honestly – the biggest takeaway didn’t come from any of these female colleagues of mine (sorry ladies). The biggest lesson came from a couple of future leaders who haven’t hit puberty.
Several of my coworkers’ daughters were there. They had never met but became fast friends. In the time we spent downstairs, they created an entire show upstairs. They passed out tickets and we all watched to end the night.
The show was fabulous. The 8-year-olds did tricks from a beam on the floor and they took turns narrating for each other. They received rave reviews and applause from the crowd of women (no it wasn’t the wine). But what was so stunning to me is that these two little girls – who again had never met each other – were brave enough to put on a show together in front of us. There was no fear; only acceptance and trust of each other.
When was the last time we did that at our places of work… at our credit unions? Why can’t we, as adults, meet someone and immediately say: “Hey, I like you and trust you. Let’s create something amazing together!” Sure, sometimes it happens, but it’s not the norm.
I’m lucky enough to be around women that lift each other up but some don’t. Some operate out of fear. Fear of someone looking more competent than them. Fear of someone else getting the promotion. Fear of doing something stupid. Even women who pride themselves in supporting other women fail.
Maybe it’s from a specific event that’s happened to us or maybe we just lost sight of the possibilities we had as children. Out of the mouths of babes, I was reminded that night of the possibilities. All of these questions we were asking at the beginning of the night were solved in a matter of hours by these sweet and talented girls.
In the spirit of this month and as we look ahead to Women’s History Month, I saw a post on Instagram that said: “You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you.” What a wonderful thought.
You still haven’t met all the coworkers you are going to love and create something with. They still haven’t met you.
Stop the fear and think like a kid. Trust each other. Maybe even create a show.