It is called Advocacy.
Although there are a variety of definitions of the term ‘advocacy,’ we can recognize common themes of taking action for a particular cause or policy on behalf of someone else.
Increasingly, our systems, especially our health and social services, have become inordinately complex.
Under-resourcing leads to ‘rationing’ of services, and staff reductions can create increased risk of error. As resources decrease, the quality of communication tends to deteriorate, resulting in too many gaps open to misinterpretation.
The process of Advocacy includes 3 main elements:
• Clearly – state what you want to happen
• Accurately – get the facts straight and avoid editorializing
• Concisely – present the case — lengthy dissertations are not read/listened to – use point form!
• Persuasively – keep argument sound, logical, objective and respectful
2. A Critical Second Step is Follow-up:
• Convey – when a response is expected
• Persist – confirm that stalling, ignoring is unacceptable
• Assess ‘costs’ of each option
• Formulate an action plan – include timing, responsibilities, resources
• Enlist help – numbers = strength
Effective advocates are everyday people. They have become good communicators, and recognize that a key component of communication is listening.
Ultimately, good advocates demonstrate the qualities of empathy, compassion, persistence, and courage.
IF NOT YOU – THEN WHO?
Many can feel overwhelmed by the prospect of advocacy, and assume that they are not ready or able. That is probably NOT the case. Advocacy does not have to involve big issues with world-wide impact.
If you see an injustice – speak up.
Envision a better process – share it.
Clear a roadblock to move a process to the next step. Be that voice for someone else.
All it takes is a clear intention to make something better, a willingness to articulate the problem, a commitment to seek solutions in a firm and respectful way, and persistence to see it through to resolution.
Founder & CEO
The Happiness Trifecta
The Voice of One
“When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”
Malala Yousafzai (Pakistani activist for female education)