In a partnership with the UEnjoyClub, we’ve successfully kicked off the first cohort of a 3-month program designed for bright, motivated women committed to having impact in their lives. The UEnjoy Club is a not-for-profit organization for professional women in the U. S. and China who strive to succeed in business while maintaining a healthy and fulfilling personal and family life.
This program has come directly from a strong and persistent demand from professional women who don’t work at companies that would be likely candidates for the work LEAP is doing (the company I run that partners with companies to empower women within their organization), but who are looking to go deeper than women’s event-based and networking platforms can go. In our first information session to let people know about the program, we expected ~30 people and had over 150 inquiries. Over 30 women applied for our first cohort. Every applicant was interviewed to ensure we selected women who are willing to share, open to feedback, eager to learn and willing to take action in their lives. In the end we selected 13 fabulous women (we planned to have 12 but were so delighted with 13 candidates that we decided to make an exception)!
A different experience
In a society where rote learning and memorization are key pillars of the education system, we can see that this program is very different. While there are key topics, resources and tools, there is no lecture, and certainly no one way to interpret the materials and no one way to take action in your life.
Some will think that in a low trust and high context culture like China– this kind of program will have a limited impact as it cannot be expected that people will actively share their real feelings and vulnerabilities. But that is absolutely not what we’re observing. We’re seeing women share about their biggest insecurities, some major challenges they have faced, and starting to celebrate very honestly what they truly love about themselves. And that’s awesome.
Over six sessions, while focusing on different key topic areas that are all important in finding fulfillment in your life, it is peer coaching that makes this program particularly unique. For each topic and both at in between each session, women share experiences, both successes and challenges, get questions they have on the table, and support each other in achieving action plans – to make change.
For many of the women in this program, this is the very first time they are exposed to an experiential, supportive and learner driven learning environment. As a facilitator, I am there to provide the frame, set the context and share practical tools around the topic of the day, but the real magic happens in the peer coaching, where participants are learning from each other and supporting each other to bring the tools into fruition in their lives.
Here is what some of the women are saying:
“It’s great to see something so effective to inspire and help promising Chinese women realize their growth potential.”
“I have had an extraordinary experience. I feel empowered to reshape my future life path with clearer life goals, confidence and courage. “
“I have been searching for something like this after my life had a big change. I’ve started the journey and know I am on the way. So far I feel a lot more trust in myself that I can make the most out of my life.”
“The peer coaching is really something new. It not only is comforting but also inspiring to find out that others are facing similar issues as I am, and came out with different and brilliant solutions.”
“I have changed my mindset. I am able to face up to more challenges, not discouraged by setbacks but taking them as opportunities to learn and progress."