W4SG Conversations: Building Meaningful Relationships

A conversation with Jaleh Taheri about bringing people together.

It’s funny

… how something so simple as bringing people together in a meaningful way can be so powerful. Yet, it is a critical missing link on so many levels for female leaders.


The first step

for me when starting W4SG was to have a lot of conversations… hundreds actually – with people from all sectors and both regions.  I kept hearing over and over again the frustration of not being able to connect with people.  The knowledge was there, the potential was there but the connection was not.


So the question became

how do we bring people together in a meaningful way?  Especially when we know that we share concerns and purposes.  How do we build the long lasting relationships that are so desperately needed?  For us, the solution was to host meetings in a different way.

We saw that

we needed to treat people like a family – focus on the long term. We had to go into their homes, share life stories and care for them as if they were our own personal family guests.  To bring heart and understanding into our meetings made all the difference.


we face a variety of complex global problems that require engagement across sectors and regions.  The difficult conversations that we need to have must start on a foundation of trust, respect and friendship.  We have to address the tough stuff without loosing our humanity.

Today, W4SG has many powerful relationships

that have been built within our community upon these principles.

These relationships have allowed W4SG to become the only grass roots, bi-lateral non-profit organization between the Nordic and Gulf regions.


We want to do more of this...

inviting each other into our homes – sharing traditions, family stories and food.  People in our network should feel like they have an extended family.  So when they travel to Dubai or Stockholm they can call someone up and have dinner to discuss both business and family.

We will know that we have succeeded

when these types of meetings become more frequent and regular. It is the only way for us to find the solutions to our problems. We had to trust each other enough to take new action, innovate and risk something for the creation of something better.

I’m excited because I can already see this happening now within our network. The seeds that we have planted and cared for together will create new realities for future women leaders.

W4SG Stories

Conversations no. 1

This project has been financed as part of a pilot project titled W4SG Stories. The focus is to have conversations with people at the core of W4SG about issues that really matter to them.
This project is supported by The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket) within the program “Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship” under the project “The Golden Rules of Leadership“.