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Advocacy is speaking up for what you want or need.  It means asking for help, especially when you are not getting what you want or need. Most of us have experienced obstacles when we’re engaged in advocacy.  Obstacles can include a lack of information, isolation, and emotions.

Today’s advocacy obstacle is recognizing and strategizing “Know-it-Alls and Experts.”  You know when you meet “Know-it-Alls and Experts”; they are the one’s who tell you what to do, know what’s best for you, and how to solve your problems.  Many “Know-it-Alls and Experts” are in fact knowledgeable. They view themselves as experts but they don’t realize how they appear to others.  When you deal with “Know-it-Alls and Experts” Ask the “Know-it-Alls and Experts” questions.  Listen. Do not interrupt.  Show that you appreciate their knowledge.  Acknowledge their competence but try to get the person to consider alternative views by using facts and information to support your requests ( make sure your information is correct and check your facts for accuracy).  Don’t attack the “Know-it-Alls and Experts” because they will get defensive and will fight to prove they are right.

“Respectfully challenging the status quo, combined with relentlessly reiterating new ideas is the hallmark of the vibrant tribe.” (Seth Godin)

Resource:  Pam Wright and Pete Wright.  From Emotions to Advocacy (this resource addresses school based advocacy but applies to most settings where you may need to engage in advocacy)

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