How to Support Other Women by Playing the Reverse Gossip Game

Four women's hands interlink in a show of solidarity and support.

Support other women by playing the reverse gossip game
[Photo Credit: Claire Gillo Photography]

Being a woman in business is incredibly challenging. We have a number of distinct barriers and obstacles that make it extremely difficult for us to start and grow businesses at the same rate as men. Studies have shown that entrepreneurs as a group are more susceptible to mental health problems. This risk actually increases for female entrepreneurs.

Female Entrepreneurs Are More Prone to Mental Health Problems

A study by the Canadian Mental Health Association in 2019 found that 54% of female entrepreneurs suffer from depression and 41% have “Burnout”. It indicated that there are two main causes of this. Firstly, business pressure such as the responsibility for the survival, success and sustainability of the business. Secondly, the psychological impact of the difficulties balancing work and family and struggle with time management.

The resulting stress can lead to fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbance, emotional disturbances, muscle aches and eventually depression and burnout.

Women Have More Risk Factors & Less Support

A report entitled The State of Female Entrepreneur Mental Health by Resurgo in 2020 stated that not only do women have more risk factors when it comes to mental health, we also have less protective factors than the average population. Add to this the fact that the support mechanisms to support women as we start and grow our businesses are woefully inadequate and it is easy to see why we are so vulnerable to mental health issues.

Be The Support For Other Women

With this in mind it is even more important that we support one another in business. Having that support network of other women who can lift you up, help you mitigate the risk factors, look out for your mental health and generally be a cheerleader for you is more important than ever if we are to thrive in business.

My own mental health would be in the toilet right now if I didn’t have an amazing support network. Many of the women in my network share their knowledge and experience around mental health with me.

Watch How You Interact With Other Women in Business

I would urge you all to think about how you interact with women in business and female entrepreneurs. We are operating in a system that is not designed for us. It is certainly not designed for us to thrive. We have so many obstacles already and so much societal conditioning to deal with. The last thing we need is other women exacerbating the problems, putting more pressure on us and bringing us down.

Play The Reverse Gossip Game

I saw an Instagram post by author Bob Burg the other day that talked about the reverse gossip game. I love this idea. Essentially, this game means saying something kind, encouraging, edifying and complimentary about someone behind their back.  

This is exactly the kind of behaviour that I promote and support at The Tribe anyway. The Tribe is the kind of community where women mention each other’s name in a room full of opportunities. We shine a light on the skills, talent and achievements of other women. We celebrate their successes and we encourage them to show up and share their gifts with the world. We focus on the positives and we aim to spread light and warmth. Afterall, we need more of this in the world right now.

So today, I invite you to play the reverse gossip game. Can you say something positive about another woman and her business behind her back. Who can you recommend her to, what can you say about her, how can you sing her praises?

Suggestions For The Reverse Gossip Game

Maybe you can share her products or services on Instagram without tagging her? Maybe you can promote her in your newsletter without telling her? Maybe you can make a point of telling people about her awesome achievements when it’s relevant to conversations? Maybe you can nominate her for an award? Whatever it is, do it for her with no expectation of anything in return.

The Payback of the Reverse Gossip Game

No sooner than you have played the reverse gossip game, will you have an amazing feel-good feeling. If word gets back to her that you have been saying kind things about her she will feel good too. And you both will probably go up in the estimations of the person you tell! It’s a win-win-win situation!!!

Let me know how you will play the Reverse Gossip Game today.

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