Why don’t we ask?
That has been a question that has been on my mind lately. I’m not talking about salary negotiation or a bigger office I’m simply referring to asking for opportunities to meet and connect with others. As a woman I know that my male counterparts tend to be much more skilled in this area and I am determined to make this a priority for me in 2011.
I was speaking to one of my mentors this week and I told her about a woman that I want to know more about—let’s call her “Barb.” She asked me why I didn’t contact “Barb” and ask her to coffee at the upcoming NASPA conference.
I paused. I didn’t know why, but that made me a little nervous. She is in an executive-level position at her institution and has held top leadership positions in national organizations. Would she want to meet with me? Did she even have the time to do so?
So at 3:03 p.m. I sent “Barb” an email indicating that I would like the opportunity to meet with her if she was interested, schedule permitting. Well, I thought to myself, at least I asked. The worst she could do is say “no thanks”—or not respond at all.
At 3:14 I received an email back from “Barb” saying that she would “love” to chat with me at NASPA and offered me some times that could work based on her schedule! This serves as yet another reminder that some people are willing to meet with others in our field, regardless of age or position. As @tbump reminds me: “We always win by asking!”
Who are you going to reach out to this year? With conference season approaching, make it a priority to stretch your comfort zone and meet others in our Student Affairs community!