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Creating a culture of vulnerability

main.jpgWe've all been there. Our anxiety goes up while we scroll down on Facebook. We think "Why is everyone else's life so perfect, while I'm a mess?" One friend just got her MBA ("I don't think I could pass the GRE"), another posted a whole album of photos of him and his boyfriend in Las Vegas-smiling and laughing in all of them ("Me and my partner are bickering a lot lately, is she the wrong person for me?"). A cousin just posted about their 7-mile jog around the lake ("I haven't worked out in 3 weeks, I'm so lazy").

Facebook updates are symptomatic of a broader cultural truth: vulnerability is not rewarded. Revealing our weaknesses and shortcomings is not wise. What we're taught to do instead is hide our faults, embellish our positive qualities and try to one-up everyone.

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A beginner's guide to fostering meaningful conversations

main.jpgOrganizations and teams that are able to foster meaningful conversations are ahead of the game. Meaningful and honest conversations help minimize communication problems, and increase productivity, by coming together around shared goals. Unfortunately, this is not often the case. Body language, subtext, and culture heavily influence the conversations we have. Additionally, organizational politics, mistrust or fear of vulnerability can hold back honest communication all together.

So how do you as an individual, regardless of position, begin to create the space for meaningful conversations? It takes patience, persistence, confidence and a checklist. This checklist is by no means an exhaustive summary on how to create meaningful conversations, it is a starter kit you can use to begin the process.

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"Two truths and a lie" with YNPN's newest board members!

new_board.jpgThis month, we wanted to give a big, giant welcome to this year’s newest board members!

To introduce them to you, we thought we would play a fun game: two truths and a lie! Read a bit about each new boardie, then see if you can guess which fun facts are true and which one is a fib.

And a big welcome to the YNPN-TC Board!

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Meet YNPN-TC volunteer Ben Addington!

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Ben Addington is a YNPN-TC member, and also a content and engagement specialist at Metre, an integrated advertising agency that develops brand and communication strategies with offices in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, MN.

We recently chatted with Ben about his experiences with YNPN.

(With the help of graphic designer Cary Walski and photographer Marie Ketring, Metre developed our new YNPN-TC website!)

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Joining YNPN is the best career move you’ll ever make (& 12 other things I've learned so far)

main.jpgWhen I was a recent college grad in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I had lunch with a woman several decades ahead of me in her career. She had a job I wanted some day, and I was so grateful she had agreed to meet with me. 

She recommended many things to me that day. One of those things, however, was especially impactful.

A YNPN chapter was just starting up in Milwaukee, at that time. “Go seek them out and get involved,” she said. “You’ll really make a name for yourself.” This woman was well-respected in the nonprofit community, and her words seemed golden to me. I didn’t waste a moment seeking out YNPN. 

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A "required" reading list

main.jpgIt can feel like it takes a lot to be in touch with your field in addition to accomplishing the daily grind. I’ve learned that there are resources at your fingertips, as well as places for sleuthing, that can make the whole process easier. If you’re like me, doing this will help you contextualize yourself in your work, your organization, and in the larger nonprofit community.

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How to get yourself a YNPN conference or workshop scholarship

main.jpgThe scholarships that YNPN offers are some of the best benefits we provide our members, and we want to make sure that our members are able to take advantage of these opportunities. Have you ever applied to a YNPN-TC scholarship for a Minnesota Council on Nonprofits (MCN) conference or a MAP for Nonprofits workshop? Have you been frustrated because you’ve applied multiple times and haven’t been awarded one? This blog is where you’ll get all the info you need (straight from the scholarship administrator) to understand our scholarship process and hopefully improve your chances of getting a scholarship the next time around. Here’s what you need to know:

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What a two-person office has taught me about workplace culture

main.jpgI recently celebrated one year at my company, jabber logic, which provides marketing and consulting services for nonprofits and small businesses. In the past year, as I’ve explained to friends and family what I do — helping clients rebrand, managing social media, writing website copy — there’s one fact that seems to stand out most: I’m one of just two people in my office

My boss, Amee McDonald, founded the company with her husband, and we work with contract employees on specific projects. But, most days, it’s just the two of us in an open office. There are no cubicles to retreat to, and no hiding the fact that you just microwaved a fragrant bowl of soup. I’m not only constantly aware of the office dynamic; I’m partially responsible for it. And while that alone can be demanding, it’s also been a valuable lesson in determining the kind of workplace culture I want and what I can do to shape it.

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Realistic resolutions

letsgetreal.jpgAhh, January…. It is as familiar as vitamin-D deprivation, the sales on workout gear and closet organizers, and leafy green vegetables. Each year, about 50 percent of us make new year resolutions, but few of these resolutions survive through winter, let alone the rest of the year. According to the founder of the Canadian Obesity Network, Dr. Arya Sharma, one reason why so many people fail to keep their resolutions is because the goals are unrealistic.

In light of this, I tried to keep my resolutions for 2016 smaller both in number and in scope. I’d love to hear your thoughts on making resolutions and if you have set any specific goals for this year!

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So you’ve got an idea... Now what?

You have an ideaThe beginning of the year is a time for optimism, planning new changes, and gearing up for greater impact than the year before. It’s a time of inspiration, but how often have you felt stymied, misunderstood, or rejected when trying to get the rest of the team on board?

There are many challenges in translating ideas into action. First, getting the idea from fuzzy dream to clear concept. Then, getting others to understand your vision for change. If you’ve made it this far (congratulations!), now you need to translate the ideas into actions, not to mention figuring out the implementation and (if you were right) the impact.

Still inspired? Fortunately, even our breakthrough innovations can follow in the footsteps of past brilliance. There are tools, steps, and process that can reduce your risk and guide your direction. Let’s go through the steps.

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info@ynpntwincities.org

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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© 2006 - 2015 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities

Web Development: Metre

Photo Credit Marie Ketring (Unless Otherwise Specified)
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