When I work with organizations and executive women on beating burnout, one of the key strategies is all centered around communication; having conversations, dialogue with your direct manager, and communicating your specific circumstances. In fact, just in last week’s video, I was even talking about this type of communication. Never, ever, ever assume that even your direct manager has any idea exactly what your workload is – much less assume that they know what your personal responsibilities are.
Now, what I find is challenging for some is the confidence it takes to have that communication. Maybe there’s some fear behind even asking, or they maybe aren’t fearful, but their approach is lacking confidence. The conversation sounds more like, “Well, this is kind of happening and I’m really stressed out, do you think it would be possible…?” No, no. We want to come at it from a place of strength.
It’s not to come in and bulldoze or be abrasive and forceful. It’s about being grounded in why you are communicating and why you may be asking for something that you want.
When I went in and communicated that I was hoping to work from home on Fridays, I came in with the confidence to say, “Look, I want to serve my organization as best I can. That’s why I’m coming into the office early, I’m traveling out of state several times a month, and I’m traveling far distances on the road to see my other clients. I’m also here for my team, and I want to continue to do that. But because of this rigorous travel schedule, it means that I haven’t been sleeping as much, and I’m not seeing my family as much as I can. This is all affecting my productivity in the long run. So one idea I have is for me to work from home on Fridays; that’ll allow me to catch up on an extra hour of sleep, and then I can be home when my kids get home and I get to see them. I’m not using that time on the road.”
I came in with the purpose, the why behind it; it wasn’t a frivolous ask. So if you have a really strong reason or purpose why, then your confidence should be able to match that when you go in and communicate. Before even crafting your message, before crafting your ask, I’m challenging you to spend time reflecting on why it is you are even about to do this.
Why are you communicating or asking for this? What is the purpose? Get grounded in that – that will build the confidence that it takes to go in and have that conversation. Share this with friends and family to help build the confidence to create greater communication, deeper communication, and find ways for everyone to achieve and win!