Today’s an election in Alabama (maybe you’ve heard of it?) and I’m thinking back to when I was sitting in an empowered room full of women from all spectrums of political ideology at Politico’s Women Rule Summit. Since we last communicated (hopefully you were reading Tuesday Truths last Tuesday, but no worries if you weren’t), we’ve had male Members of Congress announce their resignations, and more “exposed” for abusing their power for sexually harassing their women staff members. Time magazine announced their Person of the Year being the Silence Breakers, women and men who have both publicly and anonymously come forward to discuss their personal experiences of harassment. There has been a lot of discussion as well as heartbreak over the announcement of U.S. Senator Al Franken’s resignation. As a political operative, searching for political wins are usually on the forefront of my mind. How do we win? What do we sacrifice to get to winning? I know that Democrats are not in the majority in the U.S. Senate and it’s not lost on me that Alabama may send a man who is an accused child molester/pedophile to one of the most exclusive institutions in the world to craft public policy. I’m hardly a purist when it comes to holding an elected official accountable to Democratic/progressive values and that’s probably from years of working on campaigns seeing how we will always be disappointed by our elected officials. Governing is much more than adhering to values because we know that not everyone comes with the same ideological core and that means compromise. It’s not black and white. If women on the Hill (where legislation is created for the sake of the public good) can’t be respected as human beings and feel safe in their work environment, how can we expect that people will do the same for women and men in marginalized and vulnerable positions? No one is perfect and those who atone for their mistakes acknowledging their transgressions and working to become more enlightened people can certainly redeem themselves in society. There was a panel at the Women Rule summit that discussed what would it take to end sexual harassment in the workplace and first and foremost is ending the culture of silence. There needs to be zero tolerance of people abusing their power and people need to feel that there are consequences for such abhorrent behavior. It’s important for society to support those who have faced this injustice and to remember that respect should be given to all of us. I welcome your thoughts and hope that we can have a respectful conversation/exchange of ideas.
Last week’s post had a very popular article about how your sleep pattern can affect your work day. There are a lot of wolves and lions in my universe (go back to last week’s post for reference). As we continue to talk about schedules and productivity, there is also a conversation about Makers and Managers. I’m a bit of both so I need to segment my days to create as well as to manage projects. When I need to do fundraising calls, I usually want a block of time so that I can just hash it out. I try not to create on days when I need to be heavy on the phones because I don’t want to be distracted by call backs or email replies. Since there is a large segment of the readership is dependent on someone else’s schedule, once you become a manager and start to think about how your schedule affects others’ productivity, you’ll be able to see how to fix the gaps.
We’re heading into holiday season where you’re likely to be a guest for holiday parties related to work or your industry. In these settings, you’re bound to have conversations with strangers (or if you’re like me, then you’re hanging out in the corner enjoying the food, don’t be like me). So here’s a short video (11 minutes) where you can learn 10 ways to have a better conversation.
For my friends on the Hill who are looking at their calendars and realizing that the Congressional recess is a little fuzzy, here are 4 ways where you can reduce stress inside and outside of work. It seems really weird to my industry to have a 9am – 5pm job. We do a lot of networking and events before and after we’re in the office. Holiday parties are scheduled for networking and not really for merriment. It’s all part of the work day. So sometimes it’s unrealistic to keep a routine or to get the proper amount of sleep to recharge. Know your limits and know what you need to do so that your work activity doesn’t get you sick.
Alright, friends – thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll see you next Tuesday!
I hope that you’re taking active measures to stay healthy during this holiday season. Several of my family members have been hit with a cough that has lasted for a few weeks & I’m doing my best to not catch any of their germs! Take those sick days so that you don’t contaminate and spread any potential viruses. I think it’s better to focus your energy into getting better then you can return to your regular activities fully committed. I do try to work out when I feel a little under the weather so that I can give myself energy, but that’s not always a good idea for everyone. To get ready for the long nights of events and celebrations, we’re sharing tips to beat stress and techniques to bring calm to your life.
Did you know that I sometimes have dance parties at the office with Just Dance on my Wii? My office and I would sometimes take a break and do the sports games so that we could reset and exert some energy. It was fun to take a moment to not think about work and then feel rejuvenated to get back at it. Here are other ways that you can de-stress for under 10 minutes!
I know that I’m a procrastinator. I’ve written several times about what pushes my buttons to get me motivated. I hold myself accountable to my colleagues and friends. They depend on me to get sh*t done & I hate to keep people waiting (so much guilt!). Knowing that my actions affects someone else pushes me to deliver. If you’re in need of an infographic to help you along, I hope this gets your motor running! I’ve come around to the “done is better than perfect” mantra although I still have pretty high standards so getting it right the 1st time is part of my mentality too.
Negative people are a part of life. The ability to deal with them is also a matter of how you control your emotions and behavior. You can always avoid them. I like to try to incorporate it into my life – why? It helps me to better communicate and to learn how to navigate relationships with people. I wholeheartedly admit that I have less patience than in my younger days. Which only reminds me that I can’t always be with people that I enjoy spending time with all the time. I did the avoidance thing for a while and although it did create less stress for me, I also know that another outcome of that avoidance is lack of patience. How do you deal with negative people?
Life is about a series of decisions and what choices you make. Even when you make a bad decision, you’re learning from the experience and you discard the regret. Owning it makes it a lot easier to learn from the experience. I always say that I make my own luck and that fate doesn’t control my journey. Making decisions when you’re not in the right mindset can also cost you. Don’t be afraid to allow a small amount of time to pass so that you’re making decisions with clear judgement. I usually don’t need help in making decisions. I will sometimes ask people for their opinions already knowing where I’m headed because I want to make sure that I’ve thought through the angles. It’s good to get other people’s perspectives and it helps me to see through someone else’s lens. Do you know what overwhelms me? Menu selections for events, mainly because I have to go through so many pages of menus to get to the items that I know that I will likely order. It really is my least favorite thing to do when I fundraise. When I redecorated my house, I knew what I wanted and filtered out all of the other noise. Stay focused on the priorities and you’ll see how your decision making process changes.
Raise your hand if you’ve had difficult conversations with a team member/colleague/manager/staff? Those moments can be challenging for a number of reasons and trying to overcome the awkwardness is imperative so that everyone can move beyond the conversation. By doing so, you can be seen as someone who has the ability to collaborate under the most trying of circumstances. It’s never easy and the more you practice, the more comfortable you will become in finding common ground.
I’m a big fan of reading to escape from my current perspective. I finished all of the Kevin Kwan books Crazy Rich Asian series (definitely a fun read!) and when I was crazy busy with work, I enjoyed re-reading Harry Potter. If you’re in need of book suggestions, here are the 100 notable books for 2017 according to the New York Times. Terrific for gifts for others and for yourself!
Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know what’s working for you! See you next week!
We’re a few days out from Thanksgiving and I wanted to give a shout out to all of the readers of this little old blog. I take your comments and feedback seriously and have enjoyed sharing the information that’s been curated so that you can find a path to your own success, whether it’s in your personal life or professional one. Thank you for reading/sharing and giving me feedback. I look forward to the rest of the year and creating a stronger community. I hope you enjoy the holiday with loved ones and I’ll see you next Tuesday!
In the meantime, let’s get to reading this week’s Tuesday Truths.
In earlier posts, I’ve talked about scheduling your priorities (no more wish list!) into your life. When I worked as an executive assistant, I had to work with that person’s calendar and I recognized early on that she had her priorities (a good thing!) and it taught me to recognize that she was putting herself first. It was a good lesson amongst many others that I learned. Working in a business where event planning is a heavy component and juggling multiple schedules is a regular activity, I know that I have to budget time for not just the event but also the travel time, the prep, the wind down and so many other details. The event may take 2 hours because that’s the call time; it’s all the other parts that have to be factored into the schedule. I started using a new software for scheduling appointments with people and it’s terrific because when I have events, I can cushion that so that people aren’t making appointments with me when I need to be on the road to my next event. It also allows me to block off time for me to be unavailable because let’s be honest, I actually have to produce work and that takes concentrated amounts of time not spent on the phone or that may mean that I have to schedule my own call time. I want that to be uninterrupted. Time management is so important in making things happen. That also includes making time for yourself to NOT DO ANYTHING. Just about everyone knows that I’m an introvert so when I have back to back days with lots of people in my life for work or even for my own personal time, I need time squirreled away with just me, myself & I. That way I can recharge and just enjoy being alone. Once I get that time, I can come back ready to talk with people again. You can’t be afraid to be still. That also goes for extroverts who need to be with people. If you don’t like having that alone time, then make sure you’re at as many events as you can possibly handle. Just be present and not over schedule yourself so that you’re running around just trying to make the events. For more tips, take a read from this article that talks about managing the schedule of high powered women executives.
I have talked incessantly about women competition. I LOVE IT. I think it allows me to see where I can improve and what I can be doing better to help my fellow sisters. Everyone has different styles and I love learning from others. At the same time, I have gone through a lot of experiences where I can share those moments with those who may benefit from my triumphs and mistakes. Shalane Flanagan is the perfect example of how I like to operate. If you haven’t heard of her, she recently won the New York City Marathon and she’s the first American woman to do so in 40 years! Imagine running 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 26 minutes – AMAZEBALLS! As a former long distance runner who competed in high school in cross country and the mile and 2 mile in indoor and outdoor track, I know a tiny fraction about what it means to dedicate yourself to your sport. I am not a professional athlete by any stretch, yet my work ethic and belief in bringing my best all the time transfers to my professional life. When I read this article, I welled up with tears because 1) it shows that women can be supportive while also working towards their own goals and 2) I want this so badly in the areas where people think that women can’t do the work. This kind of sisterhood I can support. It is not horrible to say that you want to win and to be the best. It’s also feasible to achieve that while helping others.
I’m going from one tear jerker to another and this time, Tracee Ellis Ross has got my number. I have never been one to imagine myself married. Yes, I know that I’m married now and even then it was traumatic to think that I was getting married when The Mister and I applied for our marriage license. I may be all “Pride and Prejudice” and for the most part, I want to see contentment as having a partner yet, I’m so far from a romantic. I didn’t think about my wedding growing up and certainly didn’t think about babies. My women friends who are single, without romantic love on the horizon (they do have love because that comes in all forms from friends and family) and/or without progeny are fierce and individually they may have come to a degree of happiness in their lives, they are amazing. They recognize the choices that they have made and are content. It may have taken them more time to acknowledge it and for public sake, they may not outwardly be hurting. Embracing the gender roles that make us women are defined by society. My own mother didn’t really recognize that I was “grown” until it was officially documented that I was married. For a long time, she would ask me about when I was getting married and because I’m stubborn (I’m my mother’s daughter after all), I would defiantly tell her, “When I’m ready!”. I didn’t want to move forward on such a life changing event to please anyone, not even my mother. No one gets a say on your life. You may want opinions and you may want people to weigh in because that’s your prerogative. I don’t live your life and my thoughts have no bearing on how it implicates your daily existence. Put yourself FIRST.
Along the same lines, Lidia Yuknavitch defies the stories of who she should be and stands up to create her own destiny. How we live our lives is up to us. Allowing someone else to take ownership of it, doesn’t give you your voice. Sometimes this seems like mumble jumble because when you’re in the middle of it all feeling stuck, you wonder how do I get out of it? When you’re thinking of how life has treated you unfairly without any choices that you made yourself, you can sometimes feel untethered. Feeling grounded to who you are regardless of what has happened to you creates your own story and voice. Yes, these things have occurred and you have prevailed to live another day. Don’t let others project their stories onto you.
A lot of my clients compliment me on my diplomatic responses to somewhat crazy interactions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t release my rage in some other manner. I don’t channel it to my team or to others because I completely disassociate myself from who is being childish and those who have nothing to do with the situation. Sometimes, I feel the residual affects which could mean that I’m a little more cranky than usual or the smallest of actions may annoy me. I try to remember that everyone is going through something and hope that others will give me the same amount of grace. Bottling up anger is not healthy and when I find myself in situations where I’m at a disadvantage, I try to find the words that will allow the other parties and me to come to a win/win. It’s not about conquering anymore because I never feel good afterwards about it. It’s like the scene in You’ve Got Mail and Meg Ryan’s character talks about tearing into someone with all the negative things you could possibly say because it’s the heat of the moment and afterwards she’s really not happy with herself. That’s me because there are a lot of times where I feel that way and I start to lean into that space. It’s not my style so I pull back and find the words to express the situation in a way that isn’t just about me. Empathy is hard because you’re trying to place yourself in someone else’s position. That is definitely not as easy as it sounds. It doesn’t mean you justify other people’s actions. You acknowledge your own feelings and work towards not letting it control the rest of your interactions.
I want to thank all of the wonderful women who stopped by a FriendsGiving I hosted last week! We donated toys, books & money in support of Children’s National Hospital and I’m filled with gratitude for their friendship and generosity. Thank you!
Just some of the toys and books that my fierce women friends donated to Children’s National Hospital
Thanks for reading/sharing and have an enjoyable week. See you next Tuesday!
Last week I had a win with the #CA34 special election and although I’m not directly working on any of the elections in Virginia, I’m keeping my fingers crossed! #GOFIGHTWIN
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I enjoyed this article because it reminded that no matter how much I am a hot mess, there are women out there who think I have it made, which means that there are women that I admire who probably are going through similar feelings. Books and guides are written to highlight the unique stories about people who have successfully navigated to dream jobs and careers, but more often than not, there are thousands of stories of people going through similar challenges to attain their definition of success. Life and career are never easy and as the article states, “success is a mess”. People often gloss over their journey and in hindsight, spend a lot of time in rose colored glasses reflecting on how they achieved their goals. I’m guilty of that because my memory has dimmed of when I had to hustle hustle to get clients during the beginning days of my consulting firm.
Last week I shared how perfection can deter us from recognizing the good things we have in life. That doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to dream big. Being engaged in your goals means continually striving to be better. It doesn’t mean that you should have expectations that make you feel badly about your achievements, even if it’s an incremental step towards your larger goal.
In campaigns, we talk about the scarcity of time and when you think about how as the principal of your life, how you spend time, you recognize that time is an extremely important aspect and driving force in your success. Out of the 3 things recommended that you do everyday, I am pretty good with 1-2 things. How are you doing with these recommendations?
People often ask me about how to build relationships with organizations and people in general. It’s both networking as well as expanding your reach in a deeper way. To effectively do that you need to be interested in the people that you’re getting to know. As a result, you should ask them questions that will lead to deeper conversations. Here are questions that can make those conversations more interesting.
With summer temperatures heating up, offices will have policies on appropriate dress code (appropriate sometimes seems to have a subjective definition). Here’s how you can have that conversation without it being uncomfortable. Along the lines of power dressing, Claire Underwood’s character has always been a fashion inspiration. It was fascinating to read how the costume designer conveyed attitudes through tailoring and adjustments in the clothes. I believe in good tailoring because when sometimes fits you perfectly, you’re more comfortable and less likely to fidget. Taking control of your wardrobe is a factor in stepping into your brand.
Thanks for reading/sharing and if you haven’t already, please subscribe!
For my people, “Happy APAHM 2017!” – for those who don’t know – it’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month so we’re in full gear to celebrate AAPI contributions to society. So let’s whoop it up, my fellow AAPIs because our heritage deserves recognition for its many accomplishments.
When your mind is racing and you spend too much time analyzing the situation and then mulling it over some more, you may find that the iron is no longer hot and the moment has passed. It’s understandable to take the time to do a risk assessment but sometimes you gotta jump in the deep end and learn to swim. Paralysis can set in and you end up not doing anything at all. Learn the ways you can stop overthinking in its tracksvia Business Insider.
I can not say enough good things about this article by Chris Fralic. A frequently asked question from those who want to run for office is how to authentically connect with people when they’re preparing for a run in the future. It may not happen that year or even in the next 2 years so trying to connect with a lot of people without a lot of breadth can seem very shallow. This article really accentuates the pure aspect of connecting with people. It talks about the “hunted” and in my world, this means donors and influencers to networks who can broaden your scope as a candidate. It’s so important to do a bit of research of your prospect because you need to understand why it makes a good fit for them. Learn these techniques and you’ll build a network that will respond to your requests vs a list of names who won’t be bothered. This is a MUST READ and a terrific reference that you can continue to use throughout your career.
Connecting with people also works in job interviews. Hiring managers already know that there are a number of qualified people for the jobs they need to fill. How do they filter out applicants? By determining if their 1st round of picks have the kind of personality and work ethic that will fit in with the company culture and make for a more productive team. Who wants to have a team member who slows everyone’s progress? It’s important to show personality outside from the standard questions because well prepared applicants will know what they need to say to get into the next round, but how does that make them the best applicants? By connecting with the people who are interviewing them and actively listening for cues where they can find an opening to connect. via Fast Company
Are you in the throes of March Madness? You must be thinking that I’m talking about basketball – well, no I’m not but I can see how you would 😉 We’re fast approaching the end of the 1st QTR and we’re 1/4 done with 2017 (thank the stars above!). I honestly thought that this year would drag and in actuality, life is moving much faster than I anticipated.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I recently was on a phone conversation with a congressional candidate who was frazzled and obviously was rushing to get to our appointed call, instead of taking the time to prepare for the call. He confused who introduced us and was talking a mile a minute, where I had to interrupt him and ask a basic statement/question, “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and what’s your story?”. It’s not the best way to introduce yourself, no matter who is on the receiving end of the dialogue. I’m 2 people removed from him so I don’t need to give him the benefit of the doubt so nailing your introduction is key to starting your conversation. My business is based around providing strategy to those who want to run for office so I’m unusual in that I’ve heard a lot of pitches. Your story may not be as compelling as others but it can be succinct and tight enough for me to ascertain your experience and why you want to run for office. Refining your introduction takes practice and multiple edits to get the right combination of what describes yourself. Lucky for us there are handy dandy templates for non-political situations so you can rock that introduction. Better yet, you can do it in 20 words or lessso that you’re not listing your resume but capturing who you really are in a tight message.
If you can introduce yourself in 20 words or less, you can also follow the instructions to apply for a job (which would seem pretty basic to those who are applying for an entry level job or any job for that matter). For those who are applying for entry level positions, give these tips a read because it seems from the author’s experience, there are a lot of inexperienced 1st timers out there applying for jobs.
Most people are surprised when I say that I’m an introvert because people tend to see me in settings where I’m with crowds of colleagues and others in our industry. They’re right in that I’m not a full blown introvert and likely more an ambivert that does well in an extroverted setting but needs more recharge time as an introvert. With that context, networking can be challenging for those who are fall solidly in the introvert category. Networking is possible in 20 minutes are less. The version of networking described in this article is really about being around people who basically know you and isn’t networking really a way to deepen relationships and get to know people better? I see it as relationship maintenance. You will still need to pay attention to the larger events, but you can network within your existing circle so that you can deepen relationships or get in touch with those who may have not been touched lately. Maintaining these relationships requires active listening and taking action to show that you were actively listening! I read a lot of articles and sometimes those articles appear in Tuesday Truths, but oftentimes I read an article that will matter to someone in particular to my network. I won’t share it in the weekly post but I will email that person a quick note along with the article. It’s a touch that doesn’t demand a lot of time but has high impact.
Life would be so much more productive if meetings didn’t exist. I get why meetings are important. Face to face time to review materials creates stronger team spirit. Conference calls that are more than an hour should be in the 5th circle of hell. My teams and I have started to use Slack so that we can reduce emails. I don’t subscribe to Team Email Zero. I am OCD enough to open emails to read them, but I have a horrible habit of waiting a few minutes to respond because I’m caught up in the middle of something else and then, it’s quite possible that I didn’t respond later. People are going to start to wonder if I’m actually as productive as I say I am 🙂 Being more productive at work means also putting a halt to all of the nonsense that creates more work. That can be challenging if you don’t have a leadership role in your organization but if you frame a situation where you can create more efficiency by showing how your management team can get more done, then perhaps you can start to move your team into a more efficient mind frame.
We’re living with more anxiety, whether it’s because we’re seeing the adversity of the current environment or we’re (in)directly affected by loved ones being unemployed, loss of a loved one, or serving as a caregiver. Different stages of life can bring added anxiety of facing a less than lukewarm job market regardless if you’re looking for your first job post graduation or you’ve been in the work force for over 20 years. Here are 5 ways you can relieve anxiety so that you can face those challenges with a renewed spirit.
Thanks to all of you who took the readers survey. You want more anecdotes and skills sets so stay tuned for more of what you want! If you haven’t taken the survey, you still can so share your feedback!
It’s been 2 weeks since the Election and I’m still recovering. I’ve taken this week off to spend with loved ones and to reflect on the many things that I hold dear. I want to recognize your role in my life and how having you in this community has been truly rewarding. Thank you for your comments and your suggestions. I hope you can spend this time with those who bring you love and comfort. I look forward sharing my reservoir!
The fog is slowly lifting. I’m re-integrating parts of my life that I put on hold while I was going through the election (expressing myself through my caring and feeding of friends and family, enjoying art, and finding joy in new cultural experiences). I know that there is a new reality. I know that I need to prepare for things to come. We are restless, yet we need rest. There is guilt for wanting to participate in simple pleasures while others are being traumatized. I’m still reconciling those parts of my life. I’m going to practice self-care and remind myself of the flight safety announcements that tell you that should you need oxygen, please put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. I hope you do the same.
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
In light of this past week, there have been an increase of hate crimes so if you find yourself in the position to help others being subjected to this kind of harassment, here’s a guide to help in the situation. Here’s also a video that gives you practical ways to be an ally and combat racism. The Southern Poverty Law Center also has a guide on how to respond to everyday bigotry. **I know that it’s tiring and we feel defeated. The more we help one another, the less that we’ll feel small and retreat. You are BRAVE and we each have a light to shine.**
How important is social trust when it comes to having an impact on society? I learned a great deal from this article, however I would add my 2 cents in that although the US has experienced low social distrust in the past (the discrimination of Germans, Irish, & Italians), the people who were immigrating to the US didn’t look that much different than the people who distrusted them. African Americans, Latinos, AAPIs – we look visibly different and that creates social bias almost immediately. When you hear people talk about how fortunate they are to be “White Latinos” that tells you that being “passable” has a lot to do with how people perceive you.
If this campaign cycle has rocked your psyche, let me reassure you that you’re not alone. I felt this kind of desolation after the 2000 campaign. It made me question whether it was all worth it. At that point, I had already stepped out of politics (my quarter life crisis) and made a commitment to go back in only to find myself on the losing side. What if you also wonder if there’s a life outside of politics because you were also meant to do multiple careers throughout your life? Here’s a terrific read on what it means to have more than one true calling.
September is always an exciting month and as we count down to Election Day, it just keeps getting better! I’m on the road later this week so looking forward to making new friends and visiting longtime supporters. Hope you’re making the most of the week!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
There are days when I absolutely love the work that I do. I’m excited to face the day and I’m fulfilling a goal, but honestly, who doesn’t have moments when you just can’t. even. My go-to on those days is to step back and think about the big picture. Oftentimes, you get into the weeds to get a job done and that means you loose sight of the goals of your work and the higher purpose. It’s my “Why” and it’s the reason I use to keep my team motivated. They need to know their “Why” as well. What do you do to stay motivated in your job?
So what happens when you resolve to step out of your current career to make a significant change? How do you know if you’re in a career funk? Before making the leap, there are ways to gauge your level of anxiety. Maybe it means that you need to do some new things to give yourself a different outlet from your professional life. Or maybe it’s a change in mental attitude. Breathing energy into a boring work scene can make a difference in your wellness.
I got a chance to catch up with my friend, Andrew Fullerton who heads up GAIN, the Government Affairs Industry Network and it’s a great organization where you can network within the government affairs/lobbing industry for free. There are educational webinars to learn about new tools as well as trends that affect the legislative process. They also have partnership events that allow for broader networking. Have a look see and meet people who work in advocacy!
Are you looking for conversation starters when you go to an interview? If you’re looking for starters for networking events, these would work too! For those of us who need to practice to be less rote, it’s good to have some ideas in advance to not get caught with the same dry questions. Now go out there and network!
I’m always trying to think of ways to give thanks to contributors and since some clients aren’t necessarily development driven, it can be hard to be creative but we find ways without spending a lot of money to express our appreciation. If you’re a non-profit who does do development, here are some ways that you can thank your donors and make them feel the love!
Alright folks, let me know how you’re doing – I feel a survey coming along so get ready to give me your feedback on what you want to read more of and how I can help you through this crazy life! Thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll catch you next week!!
This is it! the last week of recess and I start a bit early as I have a weekend work retreat. I’ll be in a new venue so I’m looking forward to working with the team there. As I’ve mentioned in the past, working as a political consultant can bring a variety of tasks. We do what needs to be done so that the events that we execute are as flawless as possible. It’s really not strange to think that my colleagues and I would get into a stranger’s car to ride with them 3 hours to a mutual destination because our flight was cancelled and we need to get to our event before our guests. Campaign people are generally left to their own devices and as long as our decisions are ethical and legal, we’re going to do what it takes to get the job done. This type of environment lets us really think on our feet with very little supervision. More often than not, it all works out!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
Do you have dreams about having “inbox 0”? I’m pretty responsive with emails and I get a little antsy when I’m supposedly on vacation with my autoresponder saying that there will be a delay in response. I mainly respond quickly because I want it out of the way, but with anything that requires a more thoughtful response, I want the time to articulate my thoughts and that requires the most important resource, time. When you think your email is spiraling out of control, here’s how you can master your own email destiny.
Not every day is perfect. There are times when everything seems to be going in the wrong direction and negative thoughts start to overwhelm me. I remind myself that things can be worse and that I have it pretty good. There are always going to be obstacles in life and how we handle them teaches us how to be better people. So when you’re faced with a situation where you doubt your abilities or wonder how to get through a dark period, use these techniques to get to a more positive attitude.
When you’re facing challenges at work, especially in a campaign atmosphere, it can lead to a downward spiral. Managers can provide a bit of reassurance but when you’re feeling it as a supervisor, you need to pull yourself together so that you can provide a steady hand for your team. I always like to take a team effort approach to projects even though I’m ultimately responsible for the outcome. Seeing where you have obstacles and putting people who have the most skills to tackle the problem can create an environment where creativity can be fostered. Here are other ways that you can work through those challenging situations.
I do my best thinking in the shower. I also spend a lot of time singing so I’m probably the worst person when it comes to water conservation. Nonetheless, I think the idea of having the water wash away my doubts helps me to get to another place that allows me to walk out more confident and ready to take on what may be crowding my mind. The shower also lets me be my most vulnerable. Tears can flow and the private nature of the moment gives me the opportunity to face any negativity. I know that I don’t have a lot of time so it does limit me to wallow. It’s reasonable to question your actions and to give pause to a situation, but don’t allow those thoughts to determine your actions.
Communicating with people in any organization can be daunting. Group emails, reply all, should you call vs email…the list goes on and on. My philosophy is that I will communicate with you however to best get your attention. I work with donors who will only give if I fax them while I have other donors who I know will give if I text them the information. Not only do you have communication protocols outside of an organization, you have them for people who work with your organization. As technology changes, I find that younger people would rather snap then text but as with any hierarchy, communicating with your manager should be done in the way that is most comfortable for your manager. Learning to be flexible as well as establishing office protocols will allow you to know when it’s truly an emergency to respond. Travel also comes into play because team members may be in different time zones and knowing that before you communicate allows them to know that a response is OK during their business hours.
I always like to read how other fundraising professionals brand their organizations for donors. In political fundraising, Emily’s List taught us that there are only 4 reasons why political donors give and that kind of psychology really works in thinking about how you craft a message to donors to get them to contribute. When you’re dealing with development and working towards an individual donor program with a long term vision, you’re asking individuals to invest into a bigger picture than just an election. Here’s a great article of how you can keep your donors invested in your organization.
I do not pretend to know what my African American colleagues experience in their lives as women and if you didn’t realize how difficult it is for them, then you should read this article because if you’re not outraged by the time you’re finished, then there’s nothing anyone can do to help you. It’s a sisterhood that should be acknowledged and uplifted. We rise together!
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