By: Maya Missaghi
I have never been a great “group” person. In fact, groups kind of scare me. What about groupthink, what about cliques, what about the fact that I prefer to read books rather than socialize?
But as life continued and I found myself in groups from time to time, I realized that the right kind of group is better than a really good book. The right kind of group supports you like nothing else can, and in a way that working in isolation (no matter how effective you may be on your own) can never provide. The right kind of group makes you stronger than you are on your own.
I found that kind of group by joining an Ellevate Squad.
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I hemmed and hawed…Was this going to be worth the money? Would the women I got placed with be nice, actually supportive, and empathetic toward my insecurities and misgivings about myself? What if I was the ONLY ONE with insecurities and misgivings?
Right from the beginning, my Squad fit the bill better than I could have hoped for. In the first session, our Moderator set the tone by being incredibly honest and vulnerable about her worries and questions.
As our sessions continued, each member opened up about feeling insecure, stressed, and indecisive about where to put her energy and what to do next. Although we came from several different industries, it turned out we shared the very same issues and worries. It’s tough being a woman just about everywhere.
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Except for in your Squad! In your Squad, you can be nervous, you can be brave and brash (and talk about how that gets misunderstood at work), you can be vulnerable and work on your confidence in front of a group. And then provide that very same kind of safe space for your Squad Sisters.
I cannot recommend joining a Squad enough. I came into the Squad feeling isolated, alone, and unique in my fears and doubts. I ended my first session with a sense of belonging, bravery, and renewed purpose in terms of getting out there and being everything I can be as a working woman. I know I am not alone.
Women supporting women is truly an amazing feeling. I am so glad to have been introduced to Ellevate and am proud to be a part of an organization that promotes such a valuable practice.
Maya Missaghi’s passion is helping to build stronger, protected communities — building bridges between the legal and the local, preserving an individual’s rights while highlighting our common humanity.
Originally published at https://www.ellevatenetwork.com.