Your Gifts at Work: Brave Relationships Begin with You

December 17th, 2021
Filed Under: Foundation

Special thanks to Hannah Holmes, Iota Beta—Campbell University for contributing to this blog post.

Why did you join ADPi? For most of us, the answer to that question is resoundingly because of the people. Humans are wired to be connected to each other. It’s at the core of what we do and who we are as Alpha Delta Pi members.

This idea was also the core of a recent Be The First webinar: Brave Relationships. During the session, Lindsay Boccardo, a professional speaker and career strategist, shared her perspective on how to forge important connections within your personal and professional life. The webinar was sponsored by the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation and can be viewed in Pride Online.

The people around you impact your future success

We often think of strong women or leaders as people who have done the work themselves – alone and without the help of others. While it may be a common perception, Lindsay reminded us that it’s just plain wrong. Perhaps Malcolm Gladwell put it best: “No one-not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses-ever makes it alone.” Everyone who has achieved success has had support along the way.

Further, future success is not necessarily defined as financial. Lindsay works with many of her career coaching clients to help them understand that a career should be a personal expression of who you are and helping them learn how to express themselves within their work.

Hannah Holmes, Iota Beta—Campbell University, reflected on this idea:

This is an important message for college students especially because we are constantly being told to pursue a profession that will set us up for financial success. This is a lesson I had to learn recently when I decided to switch my career path. Growing up, I had always wanted to be a doctor, so it came as a shock to my family when I made the seemingly radical decision to be a librarian instead. After a lot of convincing for not only those around me, but also myself, I decided to walk away from a promised financially secure future and pursue what truly makes me happy, which is English Literature.

The ingredients of brave relationships

Lindsay went on to share the four ingredients of brave relationships: vulnerability, deep listening, non-judgment, and compassion.

Strong women sometimes forget that we need each other. In Lindsay’s words, “We only beat people up who we think are ahead of us.” Knowing who you are and accepting the things that make you you eliminates the need for comparisons because you are already secure in who you are and what you have. When you know where you stand, you help others. You don’t waste your energy tearing them down.

Lindsay advocated that it’s important to be the type of leader who chooses not to speak (and not gossip) when your inclination is to judge – don’t spend your energy sending more chaos out into the world.

Hannah shared:

This portion stuck with me for awhile, and I actually paused the video to think about this for a moment. I asked one of my sisters what kind of person she thought I was, and her answers were much more accurate and kind than the ones I would have given myself. We are almost always too hard on ourselves and need to take the time to learn and care for ourselves before we are able to make those brave connections.

As sisters, we are not competing. We are here to lift each other up, to celebrate our accomplishments, and to forge brave relationships by finding commonalities between ourselves.

Storytelling helps establish meaningful connection. Sharing stories with each other, especially stories from childhood inspires nostalgia. Asking questions about everyday experiences can help you find common ground and learn about the experiences that have shaped another person’s life.

Not only do the people around us need compassion, but also we need to be kind and compassionate to ourselves. If you cannot give yourself compassion, how can you give it to others? One practice that Lindsay suggested is telling yourself, “I am not perfect and I am not supposed to be.”

Hannah reflected:

As the former President of the Iota Beta chapter, my personal and professional lives intersected very often, making it very important for me to understand how to create and maintain brave relationships. As Lindsay pointed out in her presentation, you cannot fill the cups of others if your cup is not full, and I am very guilty of pouring into others more than I pour into myself. Brave relationships start with the most important one: the one you make with yourself. We could all use the reminder that we are never alone, we are surrounded by people who are going through similar situations and emotions, especially our sisters who we are most connected to in our everyday lives.

Watch Brave Relationships, or other Be The First webinar recordings, in Pride Online.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

– Maya Angelou


The Brave Relationships webinar is made available through the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation’s Annual Fund. For more information or to make a gift to the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation, please visit our website.