Many times, nonprofit communications staff complain that they aren’t included in conversations early enough or often enough.
But sometimes you find yourself in the opposite position: You get pulled into other people’s work, making it near impossible for you to spend time on your own big projects.
Let’s tackle this situation using our Four Steps to Work Through Collaboration Problems.
Name the Problem
Naming the problem helps you depersonalize it.
Is this problem about defining project roles? Or defining when comms should be brought in? Or defining your content creation process?
Help Others See the Problem
How is it in the best interest of others to solve this problem with you?
You might say something like, “I want to help you, but at the best time in the process for both of us. Let’s talk about when that is, rather than including me in every meeting.”
Design Simple Rules
Simple rules are frameworks that help you make decisions faster and work more efficiently.
In this case, what are some “triggers” that can indicate when you need to be there and when you don’t?
What are some meeting rules for everyone in your organization that could help ensure the right communications happen AFTER the meeting, even if you aren’t there for it?
Set Personal Boundaries
Boundaries are made up of Yes and No. Boundaries are absolutely essential for communications directors who want to be of service to their organizations without becoming servants to their coworkers.
In this case, you might set a boundary about your own quiet time when you can focus on your priorities and you will not attend meetings. Or conversely, you could set times when you will attend meetings with others.