Great Things Happen with Collaboration and Support
My career requires other people, it's just that simple. I often say I'm in a helping profession, because my work is about me helping other people do all kinds of things—get the word out, clarify what they're saying, connect with the right audience, become better writers, get comfortable in interviews. That’s why I chose my business name: It’s not about the helium; it’s about the balloon. Even when I'm doing my own writing, it's in the hopes that it will affect the people who read it.
The best work of my career has often involved a whole network of people working together to make things happen. I've been involved with multi-day conferences that tackle big issues, connected people around Saskatchewan to help them understand big changes coming their way, and sat in intimate groups talking about what scares us and what inspires us. When people work together toward a common goal, large or small, the air is electric. I love it.
It's also taught me that all aspects of our life include relationships with other people. The term relationship often makes us think immediately (and maybe exclusively) of romantic relationships, but I mean it in the much wider sense. You're in a relationship with every person you meet, work with, talk to, or need help from. Some relationships are more important or long term than others, but they're all relationships: business or personal, romantic or platonic.
When we shift our perspective to one focused on relationship, it shifts the way we communicate and interact with people—and it's usually a positive shift. It can open our eyes to the things we have in common and drive us to work together. When we find that common ground, it helps cement that relationship and start a cycle of honesty and trust.
I've always been a big believer in the power of the collective, and my career has only reinforced that belief. I learned about how economies of scale can help public employees save more for their retirement. I watched hundreds of elected officials come together to make better communities. I sit with other female entrepreneurs and discuss how we can get out of our own way, make a bigger impact, and get a seat at the table with decision makers. Over and over, I see people sharing their knowledge and talents to help one another, and it feels way better than when I see folks putting up their guard in an attempt to protect themselves.
My work reminds me every day that we need other people to make our own aspirations into reality, and that it's a two-way street. The whole process works better and smoother once we lean into the idea of helping each other and working in relationship. We are all in this together, so we might as well make the most of it.
As always, thanks for sharing your eyeballs and brain with me here at Blurbs on Words. If there's anything you think I can help you with (writing, editing, media training…words in general), let me know. First coffee is on me.