Each week I get a welcoming email from The Harwood Institute reminding me of the power of turning outward. These emails convey to me that I have a powerful choice about how I bring myself into my work. One of these powerful reminders that I plan to use to empower turning outward is to remember the 3 A's of Public Life – Authority, Authenticity, and Accountability. I have the 3 A’s lamented and posted and use them to evolve my interactions with those in the community. These reminders keep me focused on the right mindset, even when there are pressures that take our communities out of our line of vision.
Authority – As an Engagement Team member with The Patterson Foundation, I work collaboratively with community groups to address issues that impact different people, with different perspectives and backgrounds. I want to have a deeper knowledge of community so I can help with collaborative decision-making, action planning, implementation, and reflection; this is why authority is so valuable. I believe there are many aspects of my work that can be strengthened with this knowledge.
Authenticity – I have a genuine desire to be well informed about what the community wants and what is important from its perspective. Having a clear and practical community conversation is a simple and genuine way to listen to what others have to say. I look forward to using the strategies, tips, and methods learned from Harwood to continue to #TurnOutward.
Accountability – The best information comes from the members of the community; they are the ones who should be doing most of the talking. Engagement can be encouraging community members to bring their knowledge and opinions into play and interact with each other. When you shine the spotlight on community members, it inspires them to #Aspire2Action.
Focusing on the 3 A's will help to earn people's trust, gain greater credibility, and be more effective in the work that I do in the community. The Harwood training lets me know that I get to make the powerful decision of how I will bring myself into the work I do daily.