Quote from: p261[..] he had a right to [it], but he was damned if he would explain. Existence is its own justification, need is right. He was an Odonian, he left guilt to profiteers.
Quote from: p118Conflict
Quote from: p115-116What Individuals Experiencing
Overwork and Burnout Need
[..] we must take a gentle approach to ourselves, avoid judgement[..] and patiently and humbly experiment with new ways of being.
The compulsive worker, over-worker, or control freak might come to understand their needs in the following ways:
- I need trusted friends who I can talk to about what is going on, who I can ask for honest feedback about my behaviour, and who can help support me and soothe me when I feel afraid of doing something in a new way. [..] even though someone else [might] do this task differently, it is better to let them do it so they can build their own skills[..] These friends can help give me love to the wounds underneath my compulsive, competitive, or controlling behaviour, reminding me that my value does not hang on what the group does, how much work I do, or what other people think of me.
- When I get feedback from friends or collaborators about concerns they have, I need to resist the impulse to defend myself or critique the way they delivered the message. [..] no matter how it is delivered, this feedback is an investment in me and in our work, and an act of love. [..]
- If I hate everyone I'm working with or feel like I am going to die or like I have to stay up all night working, this is probably about something older and deeper in my life, not about the current work/workplace/group/coworker. If my heart is racing, if I feel threatened, if I feel like I can't get out of bed, if I feel like I can't speak to my coworker or I'll explode, I am probably experiencing pain deeply rooted in my life history. To get out of this reactive space, I need to devote resources to uncovering the roots of my painful reactions and building ways of being in those feelings that don't involve acting out harm to myself or others (including the harm of overworking). [..]
Quote from: p111-115, quotes snippedHow Mutual Aid Groups Can Prevent
and Address Overwork and Burnout
1. Make internal problems a top priority
"Training in meeting facilitation.."
"Collective planning of the group's work.. work plans.."
"..transparency in the group so that people know what each other are doing.."
"Regularly schedule conversations where people can hear from each other about what is going well and what needs work in the group's dynamics, or can discuss issues or concerns about their own role and ask for the group's assistance"
2. Make sure that new people are welcomed and trained to co-lead
3. Establish mechanisms to assess the workload and scale back
"How many hours is each member working?" "Did they.. track their hours for a week to make sure they are aware of how much they are working? Assess the workload and scale back projects until the workload is under control."
[ I know this might sound silly but this is radical to me -- that you would track hours in order to scale down the workload until it is under control. I love it. ]
4. Build a culture of connection
5. Make sure that the facilitation of meetings rotates, including agenda-making and other key leadership tasks.
6. As a group, recognize the conditions creating a culture of overwork.
"It is not one person's fault,.." "Create a shared language for the pressures.. so they are easier to identify and address.."
Quote from: p107-109Burnout
[..] Burnout [causes us to / is when we] lose connection to pleasure and passion in the work and instead encounter difficult feelings like avoidance, compulsion, control, and anxiety. [..] people who feel burnt out often feel that they cannot return to the work, or that the group or work they were part of is toxic.
[..] Burnout is created or worsened when we feel [
]. Burnout is prevented or lessened when [
- disconnected from others
- obsessed with outcomes
- we feel connected to others
- there is transparency in how we work together
- we can rest as needed
- we feel appreciated by the group
- we have skills for giving and receiving feedback
Quote from: p104-105Handling Money
[..] Because most people in our society have a tangled, painful relationship with money that includes feelings and behaviours of secrecy, shame, and desperation, a lot of otherwise awesome people will misbehave when money is around or get suspicious of others' behaviour.
Quote from: p106[A] pitfall of hiring paid staff is that when groups become staffed, unpaid volunteers in the group sometimes expect that staff person or few staff people to suddenly do all the work, and volunteers sometimes check out (especially if they felt overworked before the group started paying staff).
Quote from: p103Rather than a fantasy of being rich and famous[..] we cultivate a fantasy of everyone having what they need and being able to creatively express the beauty of their lives.
Quote from: p68-69This chapter will cover three organizational tendencies that often emerge in mutual aid groups that can cause problems, and provide ideas for how to avoid them:
One. Secrecy, hierarchy, and lack of clarity. [..]
- participants not knowing what is going on
- participants not knowing who is making decisions
- having all the decision-making concentrate in one person or clique (lack of delegation is a major cause of burnout)
- risk the group being torn apart by conflict because of these dynamics
+ clear decision-making structures
+ caring, emancipatory cultures
Two. Over-promising and under-delivering, non-responsiveness, and elitism. [..]
- promising to help more people than they can help
- making it seem like they have a community need covered when they don't actually have the capacity to address it
- exacerbated when groups receive grants for specific projects, so there is money at stake in falsely claiming..
- when people are not making decisions together, someone may make a promise for the whole group without consulting others about whether it is a priority or a possibility
Three. Scarcity, urgency, competition. [..]
- culture of scarcity (money, time, attention, labour)
- closely related to previous point (over-promising)
may lead to...
- getting competitive with other groups or within
- not taking the necessary steps to do our task well, due to urgency/rush
- forgetting to be kind to each other
Quote from: p67Clear structures help us stick to our values under pressure