There’s a cause or a group of people you feel passionate about. You want more than anything to stand up for them, do what is right, and defend them at all costs. You want the world to understand your perspective and to see the overwhelming value this cause or group of people hold. But here’s the thing if you decide to go in full-throttle…
Angry people are not capable of listening.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t speak up when you see injustice. I’m saying, think through your actions. There is a bigger picture here and if you go in with “guns a-blazin’ ” (as we say here in Texas), you’re much more likely to be met with resistance. Here are some things to consider:
💡 Talk in person- it’s too easy for words to be misinterpreted in emails.
💡 If you must email… wait a day and re-read before sending it. Better yet, have a friend read it and make sure it has the tone you’re going for.
💡 Sandwich it- people like their egos stroked. If you have something negative to bring up, sandwich it between two positives.
💡 Offer solutions- if you’re going to bring a piece of constructive criticism to your boss (or whomever), follow it immediately with a possible solution. Don’t just dump more work on them.
💡 Be understanding- it’s more than okay to let them know you’re working on being a better advocate. It will let them know you’re coming from a place of growth instead of judgment.
💡 Think “big picture” and choose your battles. Sometimes the problem is so big, we have to think strategically. What will make the most impact? What battle are you most likely to win?
💡 Bring the receipts- cite your sources and offer to send them more information if so desired.
💡 Remember that you cannot control their response. You can only control yours.
I hope at least some of these ideas can apply to your situation and I absolutely hope you remain a fierce advocate. I just want you to keep those bridges from getting burned. You can’t be very effective at making change if you’re all alone… but you also have to be able to sleep at night. It’s a tricky balance but you will find it. Keep fighting the good fight, friend. You’re AWESOME!
Good luck to you!