"You're in a dental conference meeting room, excited and ready to learn. The facilitator asks you to introduce yourselves and share one interesting fact. You instantly, begin to slowly drop into your chair hoping that maybe they will miss your cringing face."
Yeah, that's me! At least what I feel on the inside. You’re probably thinking: what's the big deal? Aren't you an educator? It should come natural. Yes, I am an educator and absolutely love it! However, I am also a natural introvert. Speaking publicly or meeting new individuals requires effort, practice and skill building. Have you found yourself in the same position? No worries! You can join me in the journey of mastering that skill.
What does networking have to do with being tribal? Read on and you will find out.
Networking often requires you to push beyond your comfort zone. Networking can provide you the opportunity to acquire guidance from a seasoned professional. Perhaps you're interested in academia and would like to network with other professionals who are educators. Their resources can provide the assistance you need in navigating your professional journey to achieving your goal. However, there is an added bonus that is often overlooked with networking. Networking can provide the opportunity to discover members of your tribe. One of our ADHA leaders encouraged me to find my tribe. What is a tribe? Merriam-Webster defines it as "a group of people that includes many families and relatives who have the same language, customs, and beliefs" or "a large family." I was encouraged to find my tribe because as a hygienist that seeks to think beyond the prophy it is necessary to find colleagues that share the same passion as you, who believe in you, who can push you, who resonate with you, and who inspire you to always work towards your goals. Once I became open to it I found friends for LIFE.
Finding a tribe is likened to finding your sense of belonging, but it goes deeper than that. Finding your tribe can nurture your personal and professional growth. We all need an avenue where we can find nourishment and connection with others. We need a safe space without fear of judgement. Where can you begin? Your professional organization is a great start! Start on a component level or attend a conference such as the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Center for Lifelong Learning in Pittsburgh this June. Try to meet at least one person at each event. To acquire a level of confidence in your ability to network you must push “your norm”, feel uncomfortable, and with more practice it will become second nature to you.
I'm slowly finding my tribe and they have proven to be a powerful force in my life. I look for supportive, empowering and positive leaders who look to help others while they are reaching their goals. We seek to create an environment where one could build on creatively without fear of judgement. We also welcome a few laugh-so-hard-you-snort laughs in between!
I have some remarkable people in my life. I am thankful for them. Be open to meeting others and find your tribe!
ADHA CLL is hosting Networking & Hot Topic Groups for FREE, FREE, FREE!!! Saturday, June 11, 2016, 2 pm- 3pm.
I am facilitating the group: Diversity in Dental Hygiene
My colleague and friend Shavonne is facilitating: New Professionals
Come and mingle with us and discuss these hot topics! Let's connect with one another and assist one another as we look to impact our profession one "prophy" at a time!
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