Empower Happy:

Girl Scout Troops

I figure everyone is busy, just like me.

I am not always able to respond immediately when I receive something, and things get buried for me, too.

When there is something low-key like Disney on Ice, -- I don't do any of the things I describe below. They can generate the communication for something that is no big deal.

I give as much warning as possible.

I take ONE TOPIC per email (and I tell families that I will do this, upfront), so that they can process the email and delete it without skipping something.

If it's important, I send individual texts saying, "Check your email re: (subject)."

If it's super important (like our upcoming train trip + children's museum), I send it 3-5 days later, with the list of names of people who have responded (or not responded).

I feel like a bit of public pressure is warranted.

But the most important part is that I communicate with *enough time* to be able to do this OR set boundaries of "DUE: (DATE)," and then I follow up 1 or 2 days before the deadline.

The other most important part is that *I don't make them wrong.* If I want people to communicate with me, they need to know that they are safe to communicate with me. I am not going to criticize or complain. In fact, I will express my compassion for their life outside of Girl Scouts (release pressure and save face.)

This is important because if they are made to feel bad or guilty about late communication, they might be present to why they dread responding to me, but they will unconsciously resist that communication.

I once mentioned this on one of my Girl Scout Facebook groups, and I was quickly criticized with "that's not my job," and "parents can...," and "I shouldn't have to."

What is ironic, is that this person was *asking* for advice on how to have it work. Her automatic rejection of what works indicated that she missed the point, illustrated that she is not someone I would want to communicate with, either (righteous indignation is not fun), and was more committed to being upset than solving her problem.

This is what I did when I was on a Board of Directors for a school. This is what I do when I have any project.

Do I wish everyone would "just communicate with me, the way I want them to, on my timeline?" YES.

But do they? NO.

Will they ever? NO.

Am I empowered by accepting reality? Yep.

Everyone is busy, like me. Everyone has a life outside of Girl Scouts, including me (Hardly! Just kidding sort of!).

It takes me maybe an extra 10 minutes total. And saves me HOURS of being frustrated, upset, disempowered, feeling unappreciated.