Healthy self-advocacy: Get your way … politely!

Throughout the semester, Ivy Tech Northeast hosts workshops and seminars geared toward not just educational goals–there’s stuff about self-betterment, too.

I went to one earlier this week, “Healthy Self Advocacy,” put on by TRIO Student Support serves. Because who couldn’t learn how to advocate themselves better?

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Here are some of the best tips I pulled from the seminar. I hope they help you, too.

  • What is self-advocacy? Speaking up for your needs.
  • Be assertive but not aggressive. Without being assertive, it’s easy to get run-over by more dominant personalities. The goal is not to be a pushover OR a bulldozer.
  • “I learned a lot from the seminar,” said Felicia Henry-Nailon, a TRIO coordinator who has sat through the seminar before. “I think it’s the non-cognitive skills our students can really struggle with. It’s hard to transfer from the factory to a professional job.”
  • Need to address an issue? Start from the bottom up. Beth Clemons, TRIO director, pointed out that if a student has an issue with, for example, a professor, she shouldn’t immediately go to the top of the food chain; the issue will be brought back down to the professor. Then, if it’s serious enough to move back up the food chain, there’s a lower likelihood the issue will be taken seriously.
  • Use “I” statements when addressing a problem with others–not “When you shout at me, you make me …” but “When I am shouted at, I get …”

Find out about upcoming workshops on the College Calendar. Scroll down to the middle of the page, under “events and news.”

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