Regular readers of this blog know a couple of things about me.
For one thing, they know I live in Florida, having moved here from Upstate NY two years ago, no longer willing to freeze my cabungus off during the winter. (Or, as my husband phrases it, “you don’t have to shovel 90 degrees!”)
They also know many of my blog posts are metaphorical, based on inspiration I get from my daily life which at times is well, yes, pretty darn metaphorical!
And thus we set the stage for today’s post – The Sinkhole. Pure Florida. Pure Metaphor. See what you think.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s always an eyeopener and usually quite unsettling.
When done well, and handled well, it can turn out to be therapeutic, and has the potential for great opportunity.
I’m talking about moaning, groaning, complaining and yes – b*tching. Whether it’s a client complaining about an advocate, or the other way around, sometimes it’s fair and understandable, sometimes not. Sometimes it can escalate. Other times it can be diffused.
In all cases we can learn from complaints. So let’s take a look.
Channeling Paul Harvey today….
(Don’t know who Paul Harvey is? Maybe you’re too young, or you never spent much time listening to Talk Radio… Paul Harvey was famous for his radio broadcasts called “The Rest of the Story.” His stories always featured a twist or turn, or something unexpected.)
Over the past few months, I’ve blogged about points, lessons, or stories, some of which have interesting follow-up or twists to them. So I’ve put them into one post for you – and thus we’re channeling Paul Harvey.
Over the holiday weekend – Memorial Day Weekend – I pondered the sacrifices soldiers have made for our country. I expect you did, too.
I’m married to a retired soldier. My husband spent 20 years in the US Air Force during the VietNam War era. I’m so very, very proud of him and his service. Patriotic holidays have a special meaning to us because, well, he lived it. (I was not married to him in those years.) We are grateful to, and honor those who served, including those who lost their lives.
All this pondering, and the tendency of my mind to wander (!), got me thinking about a different form of service, too.
I’ve just returned from Newark where we held the second of our 2018 APHA Summits Networking Events. About 30 advocates attended, with backgrounds ranging from leaders (long-time advocates who have built successful advocacy businesses) through a handful of folks who are just getting started and who arrived as sponges intending to absorb everything they could.
The experience was, in a word, magical. The energy in the room was electric.There was a constant buzz and hum of shared ideas and experiences. There were the usual words of advice that everyone has read or heard in the past, mixed with some surprises when the leaders were asked, “What do you wish you had known when you started your new practice that you didn’t know then?”
There was laughter, there were stories, there was joy, there were “on no!” moments, and there were “aha!” moments, and there was, as attendees departed, a sense of companionship, collaboration, and growing confidence, as in “I got this.”
I came away from this experience as I did from the networking experience in San Diego last month, with a stronger belief than before that private, independent advocacy is maturing, and that the phrase “paying it forward” is alive and well.
This is a change, by the way. A huge one, worth noting here, because I haven’t always been confident in that notion.