I was chatting with a sponsor and a friend about this newsletter and how infrequent I am about it.
Don’t apologize, they said, the infrequency means you send it when you need to and when you have something to say. Which is funny, because I had just told someone the other day to not be sorry for things they have no need to be sorry for.
Women, people of color, we apologize a lot. We are sorry. We carry many things with us. A lot of guilt, a lot of expectation. There are plenty of articles about this, and the debate on whether women need to change their communication to fit into a man’s world.
I actually do not think we should change our communication. I still say “just,” but I actively work at not saying “like” because my college media law professor said it made me sound dumb. So I change my language when it does me a disservice, not to sound like a man. It’s a fine line, I know.
But in thinking about apologies, I started thinking about emotions overall. I thought about the time I cried in a meeting, because I was so frustrated. I thought about the time I tried not to throw things because I was being fired. I thought about the time I was told when I stomp (I stomp when I’m mad), that it looks bad for management.
Some of these emotions were the right ones to have. Some were not. I’m learning to be more measured. I’m learning to display emotions when warranted. It’s OK to cry if you’re frustrated. It makes staff worry about their future at work if a top manager seems angry all the time. I’m still learning and testing which emotions are worth it.
I do not bottle my emotions up, though. I just have a smaller well of emotion that I use at work. The *rest* of the well, I have made a support system for. I have a supportive husband who listens to my rants. I have other manager friends who I text or send emails to for a check.
I am not sorry very often. I am sorry when I waste someone’s time, but not if I’m 5 minutes late to a meeting (instead “Thanks for waiting, I had another meeting run over.”). I apologize if I messed up, but not if I’m in the right. I do not apologize for showing up, and speaking up. I got to where I am because I chose when I speak up carefully, and I always not only showed up, but did the work on top of that. That is who I am.
Instead of: “I’m sorry, but I disagree.” Try: “In my opinion, this is wrong.” Or: “This would be a disservice to our audience. I disagree with this.” Or: “I’m willing to try it, but I’m not sure it’ll work because XYZ, and we should evaluate after it runs.”
A few of you filled out that survey I sent around last time. As a result, I’m going to put some more work into the recommendations (which I wasn’t even sure anyone read) and try to curate more jobs. (Is 5 enough? 10?)
A few of you said you don’t get what this is about. I’m noodling about a mission statement, but for now, this is for emerging leaders in media, technology and related creative fields. It is sort of a journal of my personal experience. It is not a critique of my past managers or my current one (hi, Greg!). The lessons are ones I’ve learned in the process of learning how to manage and lead, as I learn them. I write a lot from the perspective of a woman of color, but it should be applicable to white, male allies, as well.
If none of this applies to you, you can unsubscribe. I’ll be sad, but it’s OK. If you know someone who might like this, please forward an edition to them. If you have a question, need advice, or want to share *your* lessons, email me. (Just hit reply). If you want to buy me a coffee, you can. I will put off launching a premium version of this newsletter.
Eating // My trick for actually eating lunch while working without meal planning. Shelf stable Indian dal and microwave rice. I buy Trader Joe’s dal, and anything they have at the Indian market. It’s usually full of protein and keeps me full.
Using // I went on a weird to-do app search (to supplement my beloved notebook). I really liked Amazing Marvin and am currently on a trial of TickTick. Both are really great and work for people who prefer varying strategies (ie they are adaptable).
Watching // All 10 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries are on Hulu. Apparently American audiences aren’t big fans, but I don’t get why not. It’s a perfect mix of crime procedural, historical, and Canadian amazingness.