Fast Company

12 Reasons to Have Lunch With the Competition

Twelve dynamic women speakers gathered together this week at an upscale Houston restaurant to share in the holiday season, swap gifts and check each other out. Invited to this soiree, I didn't know quite what to expect except that it would be loud and I wondered how we would even begin to have a conversation since each of us is used to having center stage all to ourselves.

12 Women SpeakersThe women speakers began to arrive one by one. Smiles, hellos, hugs and handshakes were exchanged, again with all eyes checking the new arrival and sizing up the competition as in "Is this who's up for that corporate speech against me?"

As food and stories were passed around and the gift exchange began, I realized that these eleven women weren't competition after all; they were the best support network a girl could ask for.

So, I highly recommend lunch with the competition, especially if it's friendly competition. Get together, compare notes and see where it takes you.

Here are the twelve reasons I will do it again:

  1. New friends
  2. Motivation to improve
  3. Good food
  4. Excellent conversation
  5. People who actually understand what I do for a living
  6. Kind words
  7. New ways to solve old problems
  8. Tried and true ways to solve new problems
  9. Books to read
  10. Events to attend
  11. Other speakers I should be listening to
  12. And, an amazing network to call on in the future

That and I walked away with a bottle of Chardonnay in the gift exchange. Now that's a great lunch!

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