I just gave a talk at an internal event on this topic of organizational resilience—as well as pandemic burnout, trauma, processing feelings, and healing.

And based on the response, let me tell you: your company NEEDS to be talking about this way more right now.
People are attempting to navigate some massive, overwhelming feelings right now. Stress is through the roof. And most of us learned to shut off our feelings at work. So we're actually really, really bad at even identifying them, much less acknowledging them.
"Shutting your feelings off at work" does not...get rid of the feeling. No one's ever stopped feeling angry because they told themselves they "shouldn't" feel angry.

They just feel angry AND ashamed of their anger. And our shame makes us dangerous to our colleagues.
Our shame is dangerous because it makes us want to hide, which makes us defensive. And when we are defensive, we don't listen. We don't collaborate. We lash out.

And you know who we lash out on the most? People we perceive as having less power than us.
So trying to suppress feelings at work so you can "get on with it"—stick to the roadmap, focus on the work—is a danger to our own mental health, yes. But it's also harmful to others, and that harm tends to deepen inequities.
So many of us are used to reducing our work feelings down to a single one: "stressed." And to be clear, we're all stressed right now.

But saying we're stressed often elides a deeper feeling that we're uncomfortable acknowledging.

Like fear—being afraid we'll fail or look bad.
Or sometimes, we say we're stressed when the root issue is that we're angry. Especially for women and folks perceived female—because there's so much explicit and implicit training that we're not SUPPOSED to feel angry. We often can't even acknowledge our anger to ourselves.
Going back to resilience: if your org is obsessed with everyone getting back to the office, if it tells folks to "feel free to take some time, if you need it" and thinks that's enough (shout out to @annehelen on that one), your org is not resilient. It is hostile to humans.
Anyway, you should hire me to come give this talk at your company.

It's needed, and tbh I'm as exhausted as everyone else. Help me give this talk all summer so I don't have to come up with new ideas for a sec.

Not even gonna feel bad posting this brag. The talk's really good. Screenshot of feedback from the chat during @sara_ann_marie'
....And I have put this talk onto a webpage for those who want to forward a link to your boss / your prof dev folks / whoever organizes your speaker series


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More from @sara_ann_marie

19 Feb
Hi who wants to talk about pay equity?

So @justkelly_ok's story this week has me thinking about a pattern I have seen over and over since I started coaching newer leaders in tech and design 1:1—most of them women—at a wide range of organizations. I call it...

What happens: a woman gets hired into the bottom of the salary band for a level. She’s told it's for her own good:

“We want to give you lots of room to grow.”
“This way, your comp ceiling is really high!”
“You’ll start at the bottom of the band so you can really prove yourself!”
Whenever I hear about a company positioning a lower salary as being *in your benefit*—that it is somehow better for you to make less at first—my ears perk way the fuck up.

Like, y’all think we can’t do math?
Read 13 tweets
18 Feb
you can take the side part and cry-laugh emoji from my cold dead elder millennial hands
I just read an article that referred to side parts as "the relics of an unhealthy youthful diet of cringey emo swoops and side bangs" and I WILL HAVE YOU KNOW I was into early aughts indie rock not emo thank u.
I have no allegiance to skinny jeans but I will say that I spent every single year from ages 12 to 35 trying to find jeans that fit my curvy thighs AND were proportioned for my 5'11, long-waisted body. I only found jeans that fit correctly TWO years ago. They are skinny jeans.
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
My mom talked to me recently about how uncomfortable she was with "defund the police." The wording made her anxious. What would that mean for her safety?

Let me tell you what happened in that conversation, and why I think using uncomfortable language matters here.
I told her that I did in fact mean it literally, and then explained what it means to me: divesting from the concept of policing as we know it, and asking instead, what does the community need? What skills are required to deliver that? What structure is needed to deliver that?
I told her that if we remain tied to the concept of police as the solution to a HUGE range of community needs, it's very very hard to imagine other ways of solving problems. We must be able to first imagine not asking or paying police to solve those problems.
Read 6 tweets
19 Mar 20
Hosted our first remote @collectivestrng event last night! It's a monthly event series that we usually host for about 50-100 womxn and nb people on a weekday evening with snacks and drinks.

Here's a thread about how it went over Zoom.
We use Meetup for event listings/RSVPs. So we used Meetup to email guests the Zoom link day-of. This was an issue; not everyone got the email. Meetup wasn't designed to handle this, so there's no way to easily just give people joining info after they RSVP. (@Meetup pls fix this!)
Event format: we usually do either fireside chats with an expert (plus a group activity), or a fully interactive workshop. This month was a workshop I was facilitating with lots of group and 1:1 peer coaching work. We used Zoom breakout rooms for both.
Read 13 tweets

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