The last year and a half has been lonely. While at the beginning slogans like “together alone” might have made us feel connected, that has slipped away and many of us are feeling like our worlds are a whole lot smaller than before. But this loneliness is not new for those in small nonprofits. Often we are very much alone in our work, without peers. In today’s podcast episode, Kimberley MacKenzie joins us to talk about authenticity, community, and tough conversations.
Myths that Kimberley wants us to walk away from:
We need to put on our “armour” for work and “be professional.” Instead, Kimberley wants us to bring our whole selves to work. As leaders, we need to model that we’re human and lean on those around us when we’re not on our game. Not only do we get help, but then we also build trust and collaboration and create a safe space for others to be authentic.
We just need to fix our organizations. A lot of us are questioning some of the status quo and feel that our organizations need anything from a lite improvement to a full overhaul. And while that might be true, Kimberley reminds us that for change to stick, we have to change. It’s not just the organization, but we have personal work we need to do.
You’re the only one. One of the things Kimberley has seen in building her community is that as soon as we show up authentically, we find others who are very much in the same boat as us. You are most definitely not alone!
Kimberley’s tips on finding and building community:
Make the time and space to connect with others. This is something we often put off, because we are so busy with other things. But, as flight attendants like to remind us, put on your own oxygen mask first! Community can help you work through challenges and get different perspectives.
Change requires discomfort. Change is important and is probably more urgent now than ever. Change requires courage and discomfort, but knowing you are not alone can help you move forward and find accountability in the community.
Favourite Quotes from Today’s Episode
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“People are craving that community and people, you know, those small networks of support are fundamentally important to us being able to continue to do this change because it's exhausting. It's exhausting. The world needs our sector more than ever. The need is greater. The resources are fewer and we're driven by passion. So we often compromise our own physical and mental wellbeing to deliver for our organizations. And of course, we need to fill our tank.”
“I know it's happened to a lot of people where all of our human messiness has been exposed. And I think that as leaders, when we create, when we model that we're human and when we model that, we're not always on our game. And when we lean on our teams, when we need to, and we create space for safe conversations about what it is to be human right now, in this moment that will build trust and that will build collaboration and that will build safety so that folks will bring forward. Some of them are difficult, challenging situations.”
Resources from this Episode