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The Power of Community and Vulnerability To Create Connection


Although our most basic desires revolve around connection, it’s easy for technology and other societal advancements to overcomplicate this concept. How do we connect effectively — in a way that benefits us personally and professionally? The answer has nothing to do with technology or work, but everything to do with how we communicate.

By harnessing the power of community and vulnerability, you can create a lasting network that is better connected than ever before.

Communication Is Complicated: Why?

In 2018, collaboration and communication were among the biggest struggles of working from home. The world has changed dramatically since then, including an increase in the percentage of remote workers — from 3.2% of the U.S. workforce in 2018 to over 25% in 2021. This is due for celebration when it comes to flexibility, but it leaves more to be desired in connection.

With 85% of employees reportedly being disengaged at work, appreciation and communication should be paramount for employers. And the impacts of connection go far beyond the workplace — there is an association between lack of social connections and mortality.

Let’s discover how leveraging vulnerability and community can foster more purposeful connections — no matter the industry.

Connecting in a Disconnected World

With so much on your plate, it’s hard to think about devoting time to building your network, but there is a hard truth here. Your time investment is a drop in the bucket compared to the lifelong benefits of effective communication — the key to creating deep connections that help you visualize and actualize your purpose.

80% of working professionals find networking essential to their career success, and 46% report that having work friends boosts overall happiness that trickles outside of the workplace. Simply put, bonding with others can boost deep connections, productivity, and engagement — by almost twice as much.

It’s clear to see why successful leaders spend so much time growing their network and connecting with their team even outside of the workplace. Check out this issue’s featured women here, many of whom spoke about how connection and a strong surrounding community helped them pursue their callings.

The Power of Vulnerability and Community

Throughout COVID-19, many leaders have spoken about their own mortality, sharing vulnerable feelings and difficulties within their positions. This is a stark contrast to business communication of the past, where professionals were advised not to show weakness in order to be taken seriously as a leader. Doesn’t sound like someone who’s easy to connect with, does it?

COVID has shown us that we are all vulnerable, and that vulnerability does not equal weakness. When we’re vulnerable, we can connect with our networks on an intimate level while allowing people from all steps on the ladder to relate.

With vulnerability comes a heightened awareness of community — manifesting in the form of volunteering. A popular volunteer platform in France doubled registration numbers in 2020 compared to 2019. The same initiatives are seen here in the states, within the Red Cross, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Calling and community encourage us to find purpose beyond professions, and women are over 30% more likely than men to volunteer with religious organizations, education groups, and health-related organizations.

The motivational benefits of networking for women are exponential. Let’s get into just a few.

Building an Intimate Network That Strengthens With Time

Strengthening your position in your industry using bits and pieces from every connection is textbook entrepreneurial strategy. Bouncing ideas off one another, working through mutual problems, and celebrating mutual victories — these all help you work toward your purpose within your community and profession alike.

Creating Deeper Connections That Last

LinkedIn connections typically don’t delve beneath the surface. You know each other’s jobs, you see what each other shares online, and you may know what you’re working on, but where’s the substance? Communicating more effectively with purposeful contacts allows you to move beyond the basics, developing a thriving network that lifts everyone up in ways surface-level networking can’t.

Influencing and Serving the Community

Becoming an influential leader in your community is crucial to well-rounded success in and out of the workplace. From volunteering locally to creating initiatives in subjects you care about — your contributions will drive your purpose, and your community will find value in your accomplishments.

Aligning Your Purpose With Your Network

Purpose pathing is all about aligning your calling and your career. Combine your personal and networking growth strategies by creating lasting connections and developing a network that serves as your own community of like-minded leaders. Without a strong network, your purpose cannot be visualized.

With a curated purpose-driven network, you’ll become more than just a member of your community — you’ll be an influential voice of authority, one who motivates others and is motivated by doing so.

Networking Done Right Takes Creative Communication

It’s no secret by now — we benefit from strategically developed networks. Effective communication is done at the right intervals with the right people, and with vulnerability at the helm.

We provide network-building tools for women professionals who join the She-Suite community — our goal is to help you thrive and communicate. Check out the ninth episode of our podcast, titled Defining Your Social Legacy and Living With Authentic Purpose featuring Emily Chang, one of our highly successful and enlightened features from this issue. Join us as we break down finding purpose and connecting with communities through authentically defining your social legacy.

With the tools to create lasting and valuable connections under your belt, it’s time to reap the benefits as a purpose-driven leader. We are overdue to embrace vulnerability, break barriers, and realize that the most fashionable trend of the year isn’t flare leggings or powersuits — it’s wearing your heart on your sleeve for the world to see.