Commentary: Build up and Amplify to Strengthen Community

handwritten notes on an index card
Notes taken by Marie Splaine a recent ICSEW meeting. Splaine says the notes represent a concept she learned at a “graphic facilitation” training. Photo by Marie Splaine.

By Marie Splaine, Department of Commerce

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on the Department of Commerce’s agency blog.

The Interagency Committee of State Employed Women, ICSEW, meets every two months in Olympia. It’s a great group of state workers, and I am super excited to represent the Department of Commerce on the committee. I look forward to these meetings because they’re filled with valuable information and tips that anyone can take back and apply to their personal and professional lives.

In July, committee members heard from Renee Smith from Results Washington and Rep. Beth Doglio at our bimonthly meeting. We heard good messages about taking care of others and ourselves.

We all know supporting those around us helps strengthen our communities inside and outside Commerce. For example, think how great it feels when someone checks in with you when you’ve had a rough day or when you get a compliment on a project you worked hard on.

New movements lead to change, and our speakers encouraged attendees to be part of the movements. So let’s try to build up others around us at least once a day. It could be a smile in the hall, asking how someone is doing, or maybe noticing someone seems different from usual and might need a friendly ear.

We also discussed amplification.

Women in the Obama administration adopted amplification as a way to make sure they were heard in meetings. After one woman offered an idea, if it wasn’t acknowledged, another woman would repeat it and give her colleague credit for suggesting it.

The Washington Post also wrote an article about amplification that’s worth checking out.

So how can we support one another?

  • Bring our whole selves
  • Align our words and actions
  • Take off our masks
  • Bring our real selves to work
  • Question assumptions
  • Take care of ourselves

Pick one to try, and our movement will carry throughout our communities.