The kids are alright: Conversations with SistersFeb 20, 2023
"When someone's advocating for themselves, like giving feedback or asking for something, I always attribute it to something being wrong - As if I was doing something wrong or I wasn't good enough. But actually, they're just telling me what they need and they're asking me if I can meet that need?"
Self advocacy has always been something that I have struggled with, ever since I was a child. I always felt like advocating for myself was saying that my needs were more important than others, or that I was dissatisfied with what was being provided for me. And while I am on a personal journey to fix that - realizing that people can not actually read my mind and relationships go much better when I speak up about my needs, it has also been a learning curve as a boss!
I always assumed the worst whenever an employee would ask to speak to us. Like either they were going to tell us that they were leaving, which was sometimes the case, or that they were going to let us know that what we were providing wasn’t good enough - hours, pay, environment, etc…I would be offended before I even walked into the conversation. Dana and I would have already had a “guess what’s about to be said” conversation at least twice before the conversation even happened.
Well all this did was create lots of stress and combative conversation. I wasn’t used to someone just asking for what they needed - and I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of maybe not being able to provide it! So much personal angst…especially for my inner (not so hidden) people pleasing self! I had to learn to accept that just because someone asks for something doesn’t mean we aren’t already providing a fair and honest work environment, they may personally just need more. And we may not be able to give that. And both of those things are ok!
While not 100% comfortable with the level of advocacy surrounding me - I am getting much more used to it and I DO actually appreciate the fact that I know where we stand, what my employees need, and the dialogue and transparency that is created around those discussions. I think, in the end, it creates less anxiety and guesswork as a boss!
Courtney and Dana
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