This past week I was honored to be surrounded by some outstanding women – from Rawlins to Sheridan, Jackson to Cheyenne. We all met in Casper for the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus’ Leap into Leadership.
We were all there for different reasons….
Some because they were thinking about setting themselves on the right path to run for elected office in the future, others because they are running in 2018 and still others – like myself – who were there because we want to help and support those that choose to run. But, in the end, we all understood one thing.
We understood that being together to educate ourselves, network and exchange ideas is a proven path to making changes.
Power of the Group
Those of you that worship as a group, workout as a group or witness history as a group understand this dynamic. Establishing trusting relationships can be easier within smaller groups of people. Individuals learn to be vulnerable with one another, and become accustomed to being uncomfortable. They can say things among themselves, without great drama, allowing for greater understanding of many different opinions. As a result, they sift through and evaluate more ideas in minutes and hours than larger groups.
I attend personal development conferences and workshops at least quarterly and the most productive and meaningful moments always are nestled within the small group setting. This is usually led by a moderator that reviews the content, gives instruction for the exercise, and then the small groups go to work on the task at hand.
It is within the intimacy of the small, trusting group, that the nourishing environment lives to promote self-awareness and allows for significant victories. When everyone in the group shares, you find there is always something to be learned from another individual’s unique experiences – thus promoting empathy and mutual support.
To see if a small group setting is right for you, attend one of my events! Click here to find one near you!
Courage of Numbers
While myself and about 40 women listened to speaker Sara Flitner (Jackson, WY) speak about making improvements in the current status of civil discourse, I noticed the room start to shift. By allowing space and grace to the women that wanted share their stories and experiences, the entire group benefited. There was some talk of left and right, but this was minor and short lived. We were there as a group of women – not as Democrats, Independents, Libertarians or Independents, but as women concerned about the future of Wyoming and our Country.
We were there because there have been some disturbing changes in the Wyoming
Legislature’s makeup after the 2016 election. We lost Rosie Berger, who was poised to be the first female Speaker of the House since the 1969. We also lost Mary Throne who was set to be the Minority Leader – making it the first time in Wyoming history that 2 women held the leadership seats – EVER.
But, we now are living a different reality. There are now only 9 women in our State Legislature – the lowest in the nation.
Regardless of this, and maybe as a result of, here we sat, exchanging ideas and discussing how we can stand united as women, despite our differences around policies . We discussed how to display courage to connect with people we disagree with first, then come up with solutions second. How courage to listen before we disagree would allow others the room to express their perspectives so we all might better understand – and serve – each other.
This courage is not always on full view in politics. But, starting with this small group of women in a small room in Casper, WY, we committed to making it the way we will move forward. We are hoping this courage becomes contagious.
To learn more about Leap into Leadership, visit the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus.
To consider other events that High Ground Coaching and Development is working on, visit us here.
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