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  • Writer's pictureR. Rene' Woodard

At the ROOT... #FAAFO

Some days I am alone with my thoughts and other days I have company. It is like an internal tug -a – war and even fist fight from time to time to make sure the thoughts stay pure, productive, and purposeful. These thoughts are heavily impacted by geography, encounters, experiences, articles and honestly the daily happenings of life globally and personally. I am sure many of you can relate when I say, the state of our nation and the people in it bothers me. It’s a fight to speak, it’s a fight to stay silent , it’s a fight to stay the course so if anyone tells you that living right now in these times is easy then send them my way because I want to know where they are amidst the chaos of being an everyday American, my bad an everyday BLACK, WOMAN, LGBTQIA, MAN, Minority , OTHER, she/her/him/they/us AMERICAN and all of those who are sitting on edge of their seats awaiting the next hit or blow to the gut for just being human.

As I navigate my emotions and position around all the above, I realize my distain may often rise in my communication with others depending on the space. I am a levelheaded individual so even when feathers are ruffled, I am chill. Lately, I have felt the need to cut trees at the root in business, relationships, and other encounters and though it was uncomfortable it was necessary. In the moments, I was reminded that even JESUS got upset and flipped a table or two. As a Black woman we are often hushed or labeled an angry Black woman for simply having an opinion or voicing our disagreement. This thought alone has lived rent free in the heads of many women and for some men who did not want to be labeled an Angry black man for far too long leaving them sick to their stomachs and left to vent at home and feel caged in both the workplace and in community. The buck stops here, and the buck stops with YOU.

Me and my besties have labeled this #FAAFO season. (If you know you know) For those older saints and readers that do not, it’s the young folk’s way of saying that “Play time is Over”. And what that means is PLAY TIME IS OVER. We are saying ALL the things, we are acknowledging all the necessary challenges that contribute to the hardships of life and doing our part to ensure that our voice and voices of our people are heard. We cannot change people, but we can change how WE handle people and how people handle us and so can you. It starts with the way you communicate. Long gone are the days of driving home wishing you would have said what was really on your mind …. or better yet waiting to put the words into a perfect summary to text, email, or voice memo the people or organization instead. Today we grow up, we stand flat footed and sing the song like the woman who led the choir while you were young who belted out a melanotic tune that blew the crowd away and you say what is on your mind tactfully and with grace and intelligence. I will be honest I can only say this to you because I was once guilty of letting things slide in the name of peace but over the past few weeks, I have been challenged with using this powerful voice for good in a world where it was once viewed as evil and change has begun! On the job , I spoke up , asked some hard questions and cleared it at the root , In my prayers I spoke up and GOD cleared it at the root, In my relationships I am speaking UP at this very moment and clearing it at the root enhancing the experience and reducing the war that comes along with being in the trenches of uncertainty.

I can go on, but by know you feel me, and you know it is time that you too cut some stuff at the root, share your distain with tact and change the outcomes in your personal life and beyond. So how do you start when this is not your normal posture? I am glad you asked, here are 3 quick ways to change the way you communicate in challenging times and when addressing issues across the board.

1. Consider your capacity and the capacity of others when you communicate. Is this the right time? Right place? Do not just become extremely angry and unload because you are ready, they may not be able to receive you. Be ok with that but be sure to set time up when they are and do not forsake your voice for their comfort just be smart about your when and where.

2. Ask the right questions, do not assume. You know what you want to know before the meeting starts and before you make the call and if you do not… Get CLEAR on its ASAP. This removes all ambiguity and will save everybody money, anxiety, and time.

3. Be Honest and Direct – Stop sugar coating in business and in life. I know they say everything is better with sugar on it, but what if I told you some folks are diabetic, and sugar do not respond the same for them. Lean into being direct!

I pray this helps someone this week!

Love ya much and it ain’t nothing you can do about it!

RR xoxo-


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