January 15, 2018
Self-advocacy is the ability and willingness to speak up for yourself to get what you need to be successful in a particular environment. A good self-advocate makes use of several skills, among them self-awareness, good communication, and leadership. In this article we talk about how to develop these skills for effective self-advocacy.
A good way to develop self-advocacy is being aware of what areas of work you are good at, your goals, and also what is required of you at your job. An example of a long-term goal is a desire to get a promotion. Suppose you enjoy motivational speaking, and your job requires you to do a lot of scriptwriting, you can use this self-awareness to help you achieve your goal by combining your speaking skills and writing skills to improve what you produce.
A second part of good self-advocacy is good communication skills. An example is being able to compromise with your coworkers when there is a problem or knowing how to ask a supervisor or coworker for help. Some other things needed for effective communication are listening skills and body language. An example of body language is waving to your coworker to be friendly, and an example of listening skills is turning to face the coworker that is talking to you to let them know that you hear them.
A third way to become effective in self-advocacy is developing good leadership skills. One example is taking some initiative and participating with coworkers on a project. We also need to handle problems with coworkers with an open mind and willingness to compromise. Being a leader also means being respectful to those with whom we work.
Overall, having good communication, leadership, and self-awareness are not only important skills for self-advocacy in a workplace, but also in our personal lives. Developing these skills is the key to effective self-advocacy. I know that it is tough to get the hang of these skills, but as long as we have help from our advisors and fellow coworkers then with time we can be good at it.