What makes us want to "be there" for each other?


What does it take to make people willing to share their weak spots, to make themselves vulnerable? Is it a common bond? Do business people have to get to know each other in social situations in order to develop that feeling? The Chicago NAWBO (National Assn. of Women Business Owners) has put together an Affiliates coalition aimed at bringing together women who work in nonprofits to get to know each other and hopefully share resources. Here’s their latest post on “women in business coalescing.” It’s got to be harder in business to get people to cooperate, especially when some members may share pieces of the target audience. Competitiveness and territoriality are huge factors for many people.

If we think of groups–as in Yahoo! groups and others–we think of people writing and sharing ideas with each other around a particular topic. The topic can be very narrow, say, grandmothers of 2-year-olds sharing stories. Or it can be broad, such as, single working women. In our case, we have members who are divorced women (some of them mothers), single mothers by choice, never-married single women, widows, and every variation possible–some in business for themselves and many working for others. Women in each segment may have different specific issues at different times, while members of all these groups must deal with the realities of being single in a society that’s profoundly focused on couples.

SWWAN is a member of the Affiliates Coalition. We hope to be able to share ideas and learn from other nonprofits as we move forward in creating The SWWAN Foundation, dedicated to empowering and encouraging single working women.

What do you think might encourage women to share and be vulnerable in a business setting?