How is it already August? Even though we are nearly 3/4 of the way through this year, it's never too late to think about how to hit the reset button and level up at work. Here are a few quick tips to get you going!
When was the last time you had to do something that required you to step outside of your comfort zone? Not in a “Should I switch to Doordash instead of Seamless?” type of way.* Instead, I'm talking about a situation that made you get on a group chat and get some feedback, or the type of decision-making that kept you up all night. What excuse did you give yourself that kept you from actually taking that leap?
We're combing the archives for some of our favorite articles that you may have missed. The following post, * What Do You Have To Lose,* was written by Minda Harts and speaks to our need to push ourselves to take more risks and start dreaming like we did when we were kids. Who did you want to be then? How can channel the fearlessness of the younger you, and make a bet on yourself?
A few years ago, we spoke to professional organizer, Miranda Mims, about how to get more organized at work and at home. She reminded us that the better we are at getting and staying organized, the more time and attention we can give to the things that really matter to us -- like our purpose, our family, and our friends. "Life is to be enjoyed," she said.
By: The Memo Staff
We often discuss what it’s like to advocate for ourselves, but what would it look like if we advocated for others? What would it look like if we stood in the gap for others when they aren’t able to stand in the gap for themselves? The happiness that we feel when we stand up for ourselves during those times that require us to -- think how good it might make another colleague feel when that is done for them unsolicited. If we want folks to advocate for us, sometimes we have to signal to others that we would advocate for them, too.
Here are four ways you can be an advocate for someone else:
- Listen & Learn: Actively listen to what your colleagues are telling you about their experiences at work. Take the time to learn about another marginalized group. Don't count on others to do all the work teaching you how to advocate for them. Find books, articles, films, etc. Learn what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. The more you understand about what your colleagues are going through, the better you can be at advocating for them when appropriate.
- Raise Your Hand On Their Behalf: Speaking of listening and learning...some of our greatest opportunities come from other people speaking our names when we aren’t in the room. Listen when your colleagues share what they want out of certain roles and their careers. That way, when you see an opportunity arise that would be great for them, you can speak up. Maybe you heard about a new committee opening up, and you remember that one of your colleagues mentioned being interested in getting more involved in the company in that way -- if you are in a position of power in the company, or you happen to know someone on the selection committee -- consider mentioning them for the role. Even if you aren’t a decision maker, consider mentioning the opportunity to your colleague. Maybe they hadn’t heard about it, and you can be their eyes and ears.
- Recognize Others’ Authenticity: Just as we’ve discussed self-advocacy, there are certain identity points that resonate with us that allow us to bring those authentic parts of ourselves to the workplace. How does your colleague identify? If no one else in the office acknowledges their authenticity, and you know it would mean the world to them if someone in the office “sees” them---be the one to help foster that visibility. For example, if one of your colleagues identifies with the pronouns “they” or “them,” help facilitate inclusion by addressing them in the way they have requested. As Lauryn Hill told us, “Respect is just a minimum.”
- Step Up: Have you ever been in a situation when someone at work said an off-color joke and no one said anything? Perhaps that joke was said, and you were the only woman or person of color, and it left you feeling awkward while everyone else pretended like it was not a big deal? How powerful would it have been if one of your colleagues vocalized that the joke was inappropriate and we don’t use that type of language? Or they approached you to see if you were okay, and apologized for not stepping up at that moment. These types of activities go on daily. Be the person that steps up when your colleague is feeling isolated and alone. Don’t be the person that normalizes bad workplace behavior.
A huge part of building a strong network is relationship building, and I don’t know any better way to start building stronger relationships with your colleagues than advocating and speaking up on their behalf. Again the great Lauryn Hill said, “Tell me, who I have to be to get some reciprocity.” Even though she was talking about an ex, I think if we flex our ability to advocate for others, hopefully, they will reciprocate when given the opportunity. You might be surprised by who steps up for you next time.
Some of you might not know that I teach a course on Leading Talent Development at NYU Wagner. One of the reasons I decided to add "Professor" next to my name is because I wanted to help influence the next generation of leaders and managers in relation to how they see human capital in the workplace. More importantly, I wanted to reinforce how they should invest in human capital that might not look or identity like they do.
Today, as we head into the last official week of Black History Month, we want to continue to shout out trailblazers. Every year, we hear about the usual names: Rosa, Malcolm, Martin, Sojourner. While they have certainly earned their right to grace the pages of our textbooks and our social consciousness, there were so many others blazing a trail in history.
Here are four black women trailblazers that you may or may not have heard about.
This past week, we had a lot of conversations with different women that seemed to revolve around the same topic: mentorship.
We spoke to a number of women doing amazing things in their careers. The higher they climbed, however, the fewer mentors they were able to find for themselves, they said. We all need good mentors and advocates no matter how far we've gotten in our careers.
This won’t be a Memo that tells you to pull a list together of all of your new resolutions or even create a vision board.
Do I think some of these frameworks help us manifest our desires? I absolutely do, but by now you should know that anything we want to manifest will take work on our part. For instance, I can’t put out a book without writing it first. I can’t lose weight without changing my diet and putting in the work.
The one question I will ask you is what behaviors will you enhance or eliminate as you move forward in your life this year?
Most women have dealt with a “mean girl” or two starting from their first day of school. Unfortunately, some of those mean girls grow up to become mean women – and some of those mean women become mean co-workers. In my career thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of amazing women, some of the most caring and intelligent women on the planet. Up until a few years ago, I couldn’t relate to the “mean girl” stories I heard about happening in the workplace… but then it happened to me.