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Communications

Congratulations! You Have a Transgender Employee

By | Communications | No Comments

Do you know anyone who is transgender or gender nonconforming? I do. And they are some of the bravest, most resilient individuals I have ever met.

Our culture is more supportive and affirming of people who are transgender than ever before. That’s why it’s possible, and even likely that you will work with someone who is gender nonconforming or transgender. More people who are transgender feel comfortable living as their true selves.  Here are three things to know:

  1. As with ALL employees, it’s important to use the right name and pronouns. If you are unsure, ASK what pronouns to use. Say, “My preferred pronouns are (and state yours, which could be he/him, she/hers, or they/them/theirs). What are your preferred pronouns?”
  2. It’s so important to use the correct name. If your employee has transitioned while in your employment, support them by making the name change on your website, order new business cards, name plate or other printed materials to support them in their transition.
  3. Let all employees know that you do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including gender discrimination. Take a look at the guide produced by the Human Rights Campaign for Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace. How are your HR policies written? Are dress codes gender-neutral? What about restrooms? Take a look, and make changes where needed.

There is an opportunity here, to expand your diversity training to include information on gender identity and expression.

We’re here to help — email me at marijean@jaggerscommunications.com if you want to discuss or learn more.

Without Structure, Strategy Goes Nowhere

By | Communications, Corporate Strategy | No Comments

Lucky me! Two organizations I work with are beginning strategic planning at the start of this new year. It gets a little confusing, bouncing back and forth, but what I learn in sessions from one, I’m able to apply to the other, so I figure that’s a win.

What has worried me in past strategy sessions is the possibility that the plan will sit on a shelf and not get put into action. I bet you’ve seen that in your work place or volunteer efforts. To combat that, we like to recommend a specific structure for follow up, either quarterly or every six months.

When it comes to strategic communications, the follow up and structure for implementation need to be waaaay tighter. Our clients benefit from a weekly structure, where those responsible for outreach and engagement truly have a DAILY checklist of tasks related to the strategic goals. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but when small steps are taken, great leaps can be made toward big goals.

We’re gearing up for an upcoming workshop for small businesses and nonprofits to help smaller teams or individual team members responsible for communications get a good structure set up so the rest of the year will run smoothly, and make real progress toward goals. More soon!

Want Better Networking? Skip the Networking Groups

By | Communications | One Comment

I visibly cringe when someone invites me to something called a networking group. I’ve been to these gatherings, where there’s one representative of each kind of industry, where you’re expected to share your “elevator speech” and share leads. It’s formulaic, and it might very well work for those who rely on cold calls to build business when all other efforts fail, but it’s really not my style.

What I find much more valuable, is attending events that interest me, and that attract like-minded people. The people I have met at nonprofit events, or through volunteering in my community, or at educational opportunities like lectures, films, and panel discussions are far more interesting and likely to result in real work relationships than those brought together in a manufactured networking environment.

I know it’s hard for those just starting out to dive into unknown groups and start introducing themselves. But if you’re there for a mission, or to listen and learn, with the opportunity to share ideas afterward, it’s a much more authentic relationship-building experience that results.

If you’re looking for a networking alternative, feel free to ask me what I’m attending next.

Rubbernecking in the Wake of the #MeToo Movement

By | Communications, Social Media | No Comments

I used to think a person finds out who their true friends are during a divorce. I was wrong. The real friends stick around after you’ve met someone new and start dating and are happy and in love again. I was surprised at the people who were more interested in the falling apart of my life than the building back up. I thought about the way we share our lives on social media, though, and became less surprised.

There’s a perception that people create these carefully crafted, happy looking lives with great vacations and beautiful families. Everything, as seen in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts looks just perfect. To me, that’s sharing only the shareable — not sharing what the user considers private. So yes, to some, that might look manufactured. And so, when a person’s life undeniably falls apart, we’re curious. Did we miss some clue in the photos on the Instagram account? Why were those last vacation photos all solo selfies?

We’re in the beginning of a movement that is going to have a lot of those online images crumbling. The #metoo movement, and today’s recognition of the Silence Breakers as the Person of the Year in Time Magazine is huge and will have an ongoing impact. It is only a matter of time before our colleagues, friends, friends’ husbands and partners lose their jobs or are called out publicly for sexual abuse or harassment.

I hope that we can refrain, as a culture, from social rubbernecking as peoples lives crumble around us. No, of course no one’s life is perfect, even if their social media would otherwise indicate. Victims will share what they wish and we should be respectful of that. Families of abusers are often collateral damage in these situations. Let’s let them be.