Girl Goodwill

12 Steps to Success & Equality
(for growing girls and grown women)
Girl Goodwill on Facebook

“As women, we should complete each other, not compete with each other.”
Marie Osmond

See more Girl Goodwill examples on the Facebook page.

The Merriam-Webster definition of “goodwill” is:

“a kindly feeling of approval and support : benevolent interest or concern”

Girl Goodwill is the determination to approach all encounters involving other girls and women
with sincere approval and support for their positive words and actions.

Every goodwill relationship with another woman is a step closer to success and equality.

Starting with the 4 Steps To Networking Success, Paula M. Kramer created these steps to success and equality.

The words highlighted in purple indicate Girl Gems, sincere positive words supporting girls and women by spotlighting their skills and accomplishments. If you want men to speak sincere positive words about you, make a point of putting sincere positive words about other women into their ears.


Girl Goodwill Step #1

Look other girls and women in the eye and say hello.


Girl Goodwill Step #2

Focus on what you have in common with other girls and women.


Girl Goodwill Step #3

Create connections between girls and women to help them recognize what they have in common.


Girl Goodwill Step #4

Ask questions to understand differences when you must consider them.


Girl Goodwill Step #5

Avoid judging other girls and women.


Girl Goodwill Step #6

Avoid making assumptions by asking questions to understand intentions.


Girl Goodwill Step #7

Listen to any other side of the story.


Girl Goodwill Step #8

Ask other girls and women for help, but avoid expecting more than they can give.


Girl Goodwill Step #9

Speak words to give other girls and women confidence.


Girl Goodwill Step #10

Take action to help other girls and women shine.


Girl Goodwill Step #11

Make room for other girls and women to share in success.


Girl Goodwill Step #12

Speak what you want to hear because boys and men will deny equality to girls and women as long as girls and women deny equality to each other.


To ask the right people for help in particular situations, download these files:




Lucille Ball & Girl Goodwill

Lucille Ball went out of her way to help at least three other women. Before you read about Lucille Ball’s girl goodwill words and actions, let’s consider just how successful Lucille Ball was, even after her death.

Lucille Ball succeeded as a comedienne, an actress in films, on television, on stage, and on radio. She starred in four landmark sitcoms (I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy.) Ball was a favorite of American audiences and enjoyed one of the longest careers in Hollywood. Ball was nominated for 13 Emmy awards and received four of them. In 1989, the Golden Globes honored her with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1986 the Kennedy Center Honors gave her a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1989, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored her with the Governors Award. In 1996, TV Guide voted Lucille Ball the Greatest TV Star of All Time. In 2000, Time magazine included Ball in its list of the 100 Most Important People of the Century. In 2012, the television show Funniest Women on TV named Ball as “the funniest woman in television history.” Later in 2012, the television news magazine 20/20 aired its “Best in TV” special edition, revealing the results of an ABC News and People magazine survey. Viewers voted I Love Lucy as the best television show of all time. And Ball appeared on more TV Guide covers than anyone else. Lucille Ball’s successes and honors should be enough to convince other women to follow her examples of Girl Goodwill.

Lucille Ball treated Mary Tyler Moore, Barbara Eden, and Carol Burnett as equally deserving of success and did what she could to help them achieve success.


Lucille Ball & Mary Tyler Moore

Speaking words to give Moore confidence

Lucille Ball sneaked into rehearsals for The Dick Van Dyke Show to secretly watch Mary Tyler Moore rehearse. The cast and crew realized Ball was watching only after she once laughed out loud from catwalks above the set. Lucille Ball told Mary Tyler Moore, “You’re very good.”


Lucille Ball & Barbara Eden

Taking action to help Eden shine

When newcomer Barbara Eden guest starred on Ball’s show, Ball went out of her way to help Eden shine on camera. Ball went through her own dresses, insisting that Eden choose the one she liked best. Then Ball and her assistant added “shiny grommets” to the dress to give the dress “oomph”.

It is important to note the background of Lucille Ball taking action to help Barbara Eden shine. While Lucille Ball was doing her best to make sure Barbara Eden’s guest appearance would lead to greater success, Ball’s husband Ricky Riccardo was chasing Eden around the set. In an interview for Pioneers of Television on PBS, Eden said she spent a lot of time hiding. Lucille Ball knew early in her marriage that Ricky chased women. She probably knew that Ricky was chasing Barbara Eden. Ball could have punished Eden by insisting she wear something unflattering. She could have taken away anything that made Eden look good. But instead of punishing Eden by toning down her guest appearance, Lucille Ball did everything she could to play up Eden’s appearance, both her physical appearance and her guest star appearance. The show with Barbara Eden turned out to be Ball’s favorite for that season.


Lucille Ball & Carol Burnett

Making room for Burnett to share in success

Lucille Ball saw Carol Burnett in the off-Broadway musical, Once Upon a Mattress. Ball went backstage to meet Burnett and told her, “Kid, if you ever need me for anything, you call me.” When CBS offered Burnett a musical comedy special a year later as long as she could get a big star, Burnett called Ball. Before Burnett could complete the sentence explaining what she needed, Ball asked, “So when do you want me?” Lucille Ball also reportedly offered Carol Burnett her own sitcom. Burnett turned her down because she wanted to do a variety show.


Carol Burnett & The Cast Of The Carol Burnett Show

Making room for everyone to shine & share in success

In the “Carol Burnett & the Funny Ladies” episode of Pioneers of Television, narrator Ryan Seacrest reveals Burnett’s girl goodwill (and guy goodwill):


“Carol’s secret to 11 years of success was letting others shine.”

Vicki Lawrence:

“One of the most important things that I learned from Carol is that you are as good as the people that surround you. And she just was very much, “Fly baby fly”, you know, and very proud of you.”

Tim Conway:

“She accepted every contribution of a line or a thought or a thing from everybody.”

Tim Conway‘s improvised humor created a shine that Carol Burnett called “gold”. Conway’s gold created more shine for Burnett, as did all the successes of the other cast members.


Maya Angelou

Create connections between girls and women to help them recognize what they have in common.

Marcia Ann Gillespie, former editor-in-chief of ESSENCE and Ms. magazines, wrote that:

“I learned to be more gracious and less judgmental by watching and listening to Maya.”

Angelou was a poet whose influence came from both her poetry and her actions.

Take action to help other girls and women shine.

Maya Angelou said this to Rita Dove:

“Rita! It is shameful. Toni Morrison received the Nobel Prize half a year ago, but she’s yet to be celebrated properly. You have been poet laureate since last fall, and I have not noticed that this was addressed in the Black community. Toni and you need a party. I’ve decided to give you one.”

The party was black-tie with “ribs and okra, fried chicken and biscuits.” Angelou did most of the cooking herself.

Speak words to give other girls and women confidence.

When award winning poet Nikky Finney read poetry at a film festival as a warm-up act for Maya Angelou, Angelou invited Finney to join her for dinner. The first thing Angelou said to Finney was:

“Why don’t I know your work, young lady? I heard you reading from
my dressing room. Your voice brought me out.”

Imagine the confidence boost to have highly respected person say that your work made her stop and listen.

Make room for other girls and women to share in success.

When Maya Angelou met author and professor Pearl Cleage, she asked:

“How is your work going?”

Angelou showed Cleage “how to be a writer” through sharing conversations about the process of writing.


The Importance Of Goodwill Towards All

Lucille Ball was a complex person. Do a search on the Internet and you can find reports of Ball being nasty and rude to other women. With women she saw as equal or close to her equal in status, Ball is an excellent example of a woman who spoke and acted with girl goodwill.

Lucille Ball’s goodwill towards other women of similar status supports what Paula M. Kramer learned from Republican pollster Dr. Frank Luntz. In his book, Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, Luntz wrote on page 190 that women’s votes are most influenced by their family status and employment status. Paying attention to the influence of status, Paula M. Kramer has observed that women support and collaborate with other women they consider equal to them in status. Paula has observed women ignore and betray other women they consider beneath them in status. Since our success as individual women is linked to the success of all women, we need to express goodwill towards all women, regardless of status.

For instance, women of high income status did not have the right to vote until woman of middle and low income status had the right to vote. The right to vote came to women as segment of society, not to individual women. We need to see the success of other women as a step for each of us to become more successful. It may not be the kind of success we would prefer, but it still can be success. Women on boards of directors can influence corporate social responsibility. Not everyone woman in a company can be on the board of directors, but every woman in a company that has women on its board will enjoy more success as employees of a more socially responsible company.

Carol Burnett enjoyed more success because the successes of The Carol Burnett Show cast made her look better.


How Girl Goodwill Can Lead To Equality

When men hear and see women following the Lucille Ball model of girl goodwill, they will see advantages to working with and promoting women. Women who create success for each other work well together, making them assets to any business. Knowing that women are in the habit of creating success for their coworkers, men will feel that having women as coworkers would increase their own success. Seeing women with power redefine relationships by passing power to people with talent, men would be willing to work for women above them in leadership roles.


Protect Yourself While Acting With Girl Goodwill

Acting with girl goodwill increases your chances for success and equality. However, it is still important to protect yourself from women who betray and sabotage other women. Use the formula below to help you identify women you can trust:

Value = Voluntary Discomfort

Or as Oprah Winfrey has said:

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

The more valuable you are to another person, the more willing that person will be to experience physical, mental, or emotional discomfort in order to reduce your physical, mental, or emotional discomfort. That person will choose voluntary discomfort for the sake of your comfort.

The comfort created by riding the bus with you after the limo breaks down is the comfort of feeling valued.

Voluntary discomfort in relationships means making choices without pressure. Each person chooses discomfort in the amount they are willing and able to experience for the sake of the other person’s comfort. In a good relationship, both people choose voluntary discomfort for the sake of the other person’s comfort.


“100 Women: Do women on boards increase company profits?”
Reality Check
BBC News
October 2, 2017

“Carol Burnett & the Funny Ladies”
Pioneers of Television
Boettcher/Trinklein Productions

Oprah Winfrey

Remembering Maya Angelou
Marcia Ann Gillespie and Rita Do
ESSENCE Magazine
July 10, 2014

Pioneers of Television
Boettcher/Trinklein Productions

“Still Loving Lucy”
Carol Burnett
TV Guide
December 2, 2000, page 5


© Paula M. Kramer, 2012 to the present
All rights reserved.
Last updated January 9, 2023.