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Have the conversation.

Summer is here and the days are long; hopefully, this doesn’t mean your work days have gotten longer. I’m sure you feel like there is so much work to do. These are tough times, on many fronts including in environmental and conservation work. To remain effective you can’t just keep putting more on your plate.

What can you do less of that will create more capacity for the important work you do? Try less worry, less miscommunication, and less wasted energy.

For those of you who supervise staff, all the time you spend setting expectations and giving regular feedback will actually save you a tremendous amount of time and energy. The more proactive conversations you have at the front end means far less time cleaning up misunderstandings, less duplicated or wrongly applied effort; ultimately less time in the rabbit hole. You will have more energy and time spent in possibility and less energy and time lost having difficult conversations.

Here’s something we at TREC see all too often. In times of stress, like the times we are in now, relationships can suffer. This is a time to put in more effort into connecting with, not avoiding, those around us. You know you need to give someone some feedback or have a difficult conversation. You fret about it. Fret turns to worry. You lose sleep over it. The result is even more stress.

Here’s another option. You see the need to have a conversation. You spend a few minutes planning what you want to say. You design a good time and place to say it, and you do so succinctly, and with clarity. You get curious about the other person’s perspective. You ask questions, and you learn something new. You both move forward with clarity, shared understanding, and creative solutions.

Less self-doubt, less worry, and less miscommunication will amount to you feeling like you are doing A LOT less. It will impact you greater than just taking a project off your list. There are always more projects to do; drop one, and the next one pops up. The more you practice proactive communication, the easier and easier it gets, taking even less energy.

Our environmental and conservation work needs us to be our best selves, to apply our effort strategically to have the greatest impact. In order to actually create more capacity, more availability, and more creativity for yourself, and your work drop the worry.

Have the conversation.

Thanks for all you do,

Megan Seibel
TREC Executive Director

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse

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