One of the most powerful quotes to come out of our She Leads Change programme in April, was from a participant who shared: “I’d like to lead change for millions and I think I can do it – but not alone”
She Leads Change is a community built on peer-mentoring – it’s at the very heart of what we do. Guidance from experienced women, is an invaluable source of support for our participants, particularly from individuals outside their immediate remit, who’ve demonstrated resilience against a similar set of challenges.
It takes courage and vulnerability to open up to others, sharing where we are at, where we are going and our struggles along the way, yet by doing so, we are able to empower one another: either through stories of how we succeeded (or failed), suggest alternative perspectives, or offer access to resources and networks otherwise not available…
Brene Brown, says vulnerability is “our most accurate measurement of courage… and is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Peer mentoring a powerful exchange: being vulnerable and sharing with others not only paves new ways of thinking – by allowing us to better manage our internal narratives – it also strengthens our ability to actively listen, ask clarifying questions and present offers of solution or opportunities to change. We asked Becky – a current She Leads Change participant – to share her recent experience of peer mentorship:
“Sharing my challenge with the group was really useful. It made me realise that the questions I was framing in relation to changing jobs, were not the real obstacles at all.
Many of the ways forward suggested by the group were excellent, a good number of them I had already done; others I had thought about doing, but hadn’t got further – asking myself why, was insightful. They challenged me on the real nature of the problem. Was it fear holding me back rather than connections? Were the excuses a barrier, or a truth?
I realised practical issues about changing my career were not my obstacles, it was fear, and the feeling I was no longer good enough.
[My] real questions should have been “How can I build my confidence and have faith in my ability to cope with a more demanding career again?” and “What strategies can I use to know that I am good enough?”
The knowledge that I was going to be asked to “report back” on what I had taken forward, gave me a kick-start into “doing” something to change my circumstances. A really useful first step, was to use the question: “Who do I know right now, that I want to speak to about this?”
In the fortnight since the session, I’ve asked a friend in HR to check over my CV, arranged lunch with an acquaintance who has a job in an area I would like to work in and got back in touch with someone at an environmental NGO where I used to volunteer! They may be small steps but it’s a start on the path to change!”
Interested in finding our more about our She Leads Change programme? Join us for an open session on Monday 26th November at the Orient Capital Building in London from 5.30pm – 8.30pm – sign up here. Registration is imperative as spaces are limited!