Looking for a new way to improve your team’s skills?

Want a deeper understanding and deeper relationships with other women in your company?

Want to improve your business skills or your attitudes about success and money?

Start a business book club.

The benefits to you and your team for starting a book club include:

Great training- Pick the right book, and everyone will learn new ways to grow their business.

Deeper understanding of its contents- You’ve read it more carefully (in your preparation) and you’ve discussed with others. You improve your understanding by “teaching” it to others and by learning a different perspective back from them. You’ve internalized it!

Learn more about each other- The conversations you have will help you understand your colleagues in more depth: their concerns, their interests, their commitment.

How to Make It Happen

Choose who to invite. Take a moment to think strategically about this. You’ll be spending time regularly with your fellow members, so make sure that time is well spent. The choices depend on your situation and your goals.

If you’re a team leader who wants to improve your team’s skills, how about inviting a mix of highly motivated consultants and consultants who haven’t quite lived up to their potential? Being around high-performers often helps everyone raise the level of their game.

If you want to network with other women in your company, run through the list of women you’ve met whom you’d like to know better. They may be other team leaders or in your up line.

If you want to learn from experiences beyond direct sales, you can also start a book club with women from a variety of backgrounds. In my second book club, I followed this route. I announced the formation of the club at a networking event and anyone who was interested could join.

Once you’ve determined your initial invitees, send out an invitation email, describing WHAT this is, WHY you’re doing it, HOW they’ll benefit, and WHEN it happens.

In that initial email, you’ll also want to provide guidelines about the conversations. One important guideline is the expectation of confidentiality. Some conversations will bring up sensitive information, particularly around money, and people need to be certain that none of their personal information will be shared outside the book club.

One chapter at a time is critical to success. If you read and then discuss an entire book at one sitting, you’ll end up with a more superficial reading and a more superficial conversation about it.

Schedule a regular call at the same day and time to discuss. Once a week is great. Once every other week can also work well. Any longer than that and people won’t stay on track with the reading and they’ll tend to forget what they read.

Call To Action

Select a book. I find the books with practical application and exercises are the easiest to discuss.

Pick a facilitator and an organizer. These are the two main roles – both are simple. The most important is the facilitator, who leads off the discussion and helps keep it on track. It’s critical to start and end each meeting on time and the facilitator makes this happen. The facilitation also ensures that everyone has an opportunity to speak.

The second important role is the organizer, who schedules meetings, reminds people of the meetings, and keeps track of the group’s membership.

Software makes it easier to organize. The organizer can automate reminders with tools like Yahoo or Google Groups, or Google calendar, or even schedule messages in advance through your email software.

If you’re looking to promote team cohesion, increase skills, and help YOURSELF to deeply understand the great material in a book, try a business club. It’s a fun, easy and rewarding way to build your business!

Author's Bio: 

Marcy Stahl’s passion is helping women direct sellers and solopreneurs achieve the successful lifestyle they want. She knows that the top entrepreneurs have the top mindsets. Her mission is to help every entrepreneur develop a profitable and abundant mindset.

Marcy is a serial entrepreneur. Previously, she co-founded and managed a government contracting firm that earned over $1M in annual revenues. She holds a B.S. with honors and M.S. in Computer Science from George Mason University. Prior to coaching, she spent 21 years in the corporate world in technology.

She is the co-author of Direct Selling Power. Marcy is an Area Chapter Coordinator with the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance (DSWA) and a member of the Direct Selling Women’s Speaker Bureau. She’s currently in coaching school for direct sellers.