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  • Nikita Boston-Fisher

Characteristics of an Effective Advocate

Advocate: one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group (Merriam-Webster)

In a recent podcast episode our guest Khalilah Bruzual insisted that we all have the skills to advocate. She rightly pointed out that we often advocate for our children, love, jobs and other things that we want. In today’s blog post let’s explore some characteristics of an effective advocate.


Knowledgeable

  • Effective advocates are knowledgeable about their cause and what they want to achieve. When it comes to your health this should be fairly intuitive since you have a lifetime of experience with your body.

  • They are confident in their knowledge. They have the information handy that they need and keep records.

  • Advocates have allies to help them.

  • They know what they would like to achieve and come with some possible solutions.


Good communicator

  • Effective advocates are able to clearly express their needs and concerns. They are able to describe their problem

  • Advocacy requires speaking up.

  • They are assertive, firm but not aggressive or unfriendly.

  • They are not afraid to say, “No that does not work for me” or “Let me think about it before I give you a response.”


Persistent

  • Effective advocates are good at following up. If they call and no one answers they call back later. If they are told to check back in a week, they do. If they feel like they are not being heard they repeat it, say it differently or outright say “I need you to understand…”


The key to all of these points is preparation and being intentional. Know what your challenge is, what you hope to achieve and have the necessary information and documentation.


We can learn to do all these things. Do you agree that this sounds doable? If not, send me a message and let’s talk about it.


See you in the cafe next time!

_____


Note: This week (Jan 21) will conclude our special four week run of back to back/weekly podcast episode releases. We return to our bi-weekly release schedule in February.


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