NAWIC Today Jan. Feb.: Meet the Committees


The official publication of the National Association of Women in Construction

DID YOU KNOW? 44% of the top 100 construction companies have

women in executive positions.

Source: DOZR

The official publication of the National Association of Women in Construction.

Core Purpose: To Strengthen and Amplify the Success of Women in the Construction Industry

President Lauline Mitchell, ESP President-Elect Karen Hager, CBT, CIT, ESP Vice President Kelly Aust, LEED AP BD+C Secretary Raven Hoffman, CIT Board of Directors


Executive Director Crissy Ingram, CAE Administrative Assistant Savannah Nusser Membership Coordinator Amber Kohut Database & Website Manager Lauri McCullough Communications Manager Makenzie Plusnick Communications Coordinator Makayla Lopez Finance Manager Kristen Jones

Treasurer Karen Ellis

Immediate Past President Doreen Bartoldus, PE, CCM Midwest Region Director Tammy Rico North Central Region Director Alison Frye, P.E. Northeast Region Director Heather Groves Pacific Northwest Region Director Julie Salinas Pacific Southwest Region Director Karen Mitchell, CBT, CIS, CIT South Atlantic Region Director Stephany Connelly South Central Region Director Rhonda Nebgen Southeast Region Director Andrea Ward, CBT Membership Manager Lori Wagner Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Dra'Lenne Ricks

327 S. Adams Street, Fort Worth, TX 76104 Toll-Free: (800) 552-3506 • Phone: (817) 877-5551 Fax: (817) 877-0324 Website: • Email:

ONLINE PUBLISHING: FlippingBooks Volume 44/Issue 3 NAWIC Today (ISSN 1081-6569) is published January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, and November/December by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) for members of NAWIC. The views and opinions that appear in articles in NAWIC Today do not reflect the official policies of NAWIC unless specifically indicated. HOW TO CONTACT US:

Table of Contents 5. Visions: Committees: Why do we have them? 6. Association News: Keeping up with the committees 8. Bylaws Committee 10. DE&I Committee 12. Emerging Professionals Committee 14. WIC Week Committee 16. Professional Development & Education Committee 18. Chapter Development Committee 19. Global Partners Committee 21. NAWIC-OSHA Alliance 24. Arcoro: For the future of construction, culture is key 26. Michael Riegel: Does bragging show bad form?

Calendar of Events

Jan. 13 DE&I Committee: Living Out My Dreams

March 4 WIC Week Kick Off

Jan. 17 Marketing Committee: WIC Week Prep

March 5-11 Women in Construction Week

Feb. 2 Tradeswomen Industry Council: Leadership Mindset

March 11 WIC Week Toast & Recap

April 1 Annual Conference Early Registration Opens

Feb. 7 Marketing Committee: NAWIC Events

Feb. 14 PD&E Committee: Build A Better Business Story

Aug. 9-12 68th Annual Conference

Find out more information and register now at!

March 2 Tradeswomen Panel

Thank you to all of our sponsors! To find out more about our sponsors or how you can support NAWIC, click here.

Andrea Ward, CBT Southeast Region Director

Our chapters are the arms of NAWIC, and the committees are the fingers doing the work behind the scenes growing our footprint within the industry. Committees are a way of getting likeminded women to be in a smaller group than the chapter they are a member of. The National and Regional Committees help get the chapter level committees more energy and ideas that they can use. They help them with goals to set that NAWIC National has for the year. The committees of a chapter take these goals and work on their own goals for the next year.

Each committee can be intertwined and work together to reach those goals. You can have a special speaker within your chapter that you advertise on social media and emailing blasts (marketing) that brings in guest and/or member (membership) because they have authored a terrific book on public speaking (PD&E) geared towards women who are just starting out in the industry (Emerging Professionals). The one committee that really goes across all the others is WIC Week. Within WIC Week, you can have meetings, trainings, safety, mixers, diversity, and many others. The idea of having committees in your chapters is not to overwhelm the chapter but give it additional support. The chapters don’t have to do all of them. They can pick the required three which is finance, membership, and PD&E to start out, and add marketing, strategic planning, and NEF programs later. Some chapters who have larger membership can have other committees, such as civic and community. The use of committees is to enhance the chapters. It is supposed to help members get out of their comfort zone and be a part of the chapter on a bigger level. In the process of doing that, you learn new features about the construction industry. You will definitely gain a friend or two. The brand of NAWIC will be seen and it will be here, but not in a pushy way, so that it draws women in. Through committees, you are paying it forward. Everyone has a quality that they can bring to the committee. Committees help foster these qualities and help women grow within the chapters. The best part is, while you are working on committees, you can also make business connections that help grow you and your company.


Crissy Ingram, CAE Executive Director

Well, we reached 2023!

The past year has been a whirlwind of excitement, changes, and new NAWIC records. I am so proud of the work that we have accomplished and cannot wait to see what else is in store. Much of the work that we have accomplished in the past year could not have been done without the contribution of our National Committees. From our record-shattering WIC

Week to the amazing webinars and educational tools provided by the Emerging Professionals and Professional Development & Education Committees, our chairs and committee members have worked tirelessly to ensure that NAWIC is providing women with the tools that they need to succeed, both professionally and personally..

Here are just a few of the highlights from our committees over 2022:

The DE&I Committee worked closely with the NAWIC Board of Directors to launch our partnership with CAAP, which will provide us with a closer look at where we are hitting and missing the inclusion and engagement marks. The Chapter Development Committee held a series of webinars and an in-person session at conference all about chapter leadership; from finding resources to what each position should be doing, they covered a wide variety of topics and were an extremely important tool for chapters. The Emerging Professionals Committee provided chapters with a step-by-step tool kit for hosting an Employer Appreciation Dinner. PD&E taught members how to cultivate their personal branding, how to make the most of their woman-owned business, and so much more.

Our committees are continuing to work on exciting projects to further advance the success of women in construction. Keep reading to find out more about what they have been up to and what you can look forward to!

As always, the National Staff and I are always available if you need anything. Have a wonderful new year and we will talk soon!


The Bylaws Committee is unlike any of the other NAWIC Committees– it is solely responsible for the maintenance of the association’s bylaws. This committee provides the necessary communication to both the NAWIC Board and membership pertaining to the bylaws- including, but not limited to, proposed changes and amendments. Bylaws are the most important document of any association. Without bylaws, an organization would have no structure and, potentially, anarchy would rule. Two types of governing instruments, bylaws and standing rules, detail specific policies and procedures to be followed as NAWIC conducts business. Despite having the same functional objective, these two instruments complement each other and are not interchangeable. Bylaws are the written rules that have been agreed upon to confirm how decisions can be made and the business of NAWIC performed. As NAWIC grows and changes, the bylaws can be amended to meet the needs of the association, and this is where the committee comes into play. Bylaws specifically state what rights the members have within an organization and how much power an assembly has to make its decisions. Bylaws address the number of board members and their terms, voting rights and privileges, approved business activities, appointment of officers and establishment of committees, quorum percentages, annual meeting frequency, procedures for amending the bylaws and for dissolving the organization, and any other issues that are part of the management of the association. NAWIC supplemented the bylaws by implementing standing rules. Standing rules are rules or resolutions that are of a long-term (or standing) nature. These rules generally only deal with administrative matters and function under the umbrella of NAWIC’s Bylaws. Standing rules are administrative in nature, and establish specifics for conducting chapter business, such as the time, date and frequency of meetings, whether to have certain officers, and the number of those officers, chapter dues rates and other administrative functions. Standing rules are to be reviewed for compliance annually by the Chapter Board of Directors, and at least biennially by the National Bylaws Chair.

The Bylaws Committee is responsible for gathering the information necessary to draft or amend the bylaws. The committee should also gather all existing organizational policies and


procedures for inclusion or reference in the proposed changing or addition of the bylaws and make sure that there are no conflicts with existing bylaws. Where policies or guidelines don’t exist, the committee should draft wording to address the issue ahead of approval by the board. Additionally, the Bylaws committee ought to make note of any updates needed throughout the year and create revised drafts when updates and changes are required. The committee follows the same process for updates as it does for the original draft by reworking the wording where necessary, circulating the revised version and presenting it for approval at a board meeting.

March 5-11

Mission As a committee, we recognize the need to create, support and sustain an inclusive culture, where differences drive innovative solutions to meet the needs of our members. In this spirit, we are eager to serve our members through our pillars: Communication, Education, and CommUNITY Engagement. Vision A place of peace, safety, and support; surrounded by openness and inclusivity in which to grow, dream and simply be… DE&I Committee Look Ahead CommUNITY Engagement is our strategic focus for the DE&I Committee this year. UNITY is intentionally emphasized in community because we seek to strengthen our commitments to DE&I as a community internally and externally. We will enhance resources and tools to help grow our active allies and buildup our community to foster a greater belonging within all levels of NAWIC. Internally , in collaboration with our DE&I consultant, we will employ the concepts of R.A.I.N: recognize, allow, investigate, and nurture leadership gaps through training and other resources. Externally , we will build upon our 2021 industry partnership alignments to establish up to three formal agreements that will strengthen NAWIC’s leadership position in the AEC industry.


Meet the DE&I Committee Chair Gerri Harris and Co-Chair Sharon Hidalgo.

Harris has served in the construction industry for over 25 years. She is known as a woman whose passion, purpose, and pursuit of advocating for women and people of color to succeed and prosper in the construction industry is unwavering. She is currently the area director of economic

inclusion and community affairs for Gilbane Building Company. Harris is a member of Chicago Metro Chapter #325 and the National Association of Black Women in Construction. Harris is an original member of the NAWIC DE&I Task Force, later named the MOSAIC, which provides oversight of the DE&I Committee.

Hidalgo serves as vice president of new client acquisition responsible for business development and client expansion at Segal. Hidalgo is a member of NAWIC

Chicago Metro Chapter #325, the National Association of Black Women in Construction and AGC Chicagoland. She is also a member of the National Association of African Americans in human resources and has served as a global vice president of human resources. Hidalgo also serves on the board of Changing Worlds, a nonprofit that promotes cross cultural understanding through oral history, arts and educational programs Call to Action We are calling all NAWIC members whose hearts and minds are convicted in making a positive impact to fostering a culture of belonging in NAWIC to join us along this journey. Upcoming Event Living Out My Dream: Bridget Booker's Story Join our discussion with Iron Tradeswomen and Foreman Bridget Booker to hear her inspirational story that led to advancements in maternity leave benefits.

Register here.


Empowering Emerging Professional Women Committee Core Purpose : Empowering emerging professional women in the construction industry to maximize their impact on the job. We aim to help chapters attract, retain, and bring value to the women who are new to NAWIC and/or the construction industry. We want to bridge the gap between seasoned members and new members by providing a mentorship program, event ideas, and other resources. Emerging professionals will benefit from learning and gaining guidance from existing NAWIC members. Likewise, the Emerging Professionals have a wealth of experiences, ideas, and abilities, which will benefit our organization as a whole. We want this group to be inclusive, as it will take all of us to support and engage our Emerging Professionals and help build the best possible future for NAWIC. On the EP Committee webpage, we have tons of information. There are resources for FAQ, Tips & Tricks, and the Mentor Program Handbook. Additionally, you can find a guide on hosting an employer appreciation dinner!


Visit Us

Learn the importance of having a personal brand Identify the attributes that make you unique Recognize how to utilize your individual skillset and brand to add value to your organization Email us! Chair Misti Burdine: Co-Chair Jasmyn Knight: Personal Branding Webinar: McDonalds, Subway, Chick-fil-A, and Taco Bell are all places to eat– but they each have a unique brand. Those restaurants share many similarities, but there are also notable differences that separate them from each other. Similarly, you may have commonalities with your colleagues, but you also have key attributes that make you stand out from the crowd – and that is your personal brand.

We aim to help chapters attract, retain, and bring value to the women who are new to NAWIC and/or the construction industry.


Women in Construction (WIC) Week highlights women as a viable component of the construction industry. WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry.

Find out more about WIC Week and how to get involved at


The National Professional Development & Education (PD&E) Committee’s mission is to be the resource for sharing the best, most engaging, most timely and most on-brand educational programs for chapters across the country. We do this through our core purpose– to provide year-round educational opportunities to all members. Our committee is made up of the national committee chair, co-chair and the region committee chairs. We meet quarterly to discuss successes and challenges our chapters and regions are facing and brainstorm on how to help them. The PD&E Committee holds ten webinars throughout the year. In October, we focused on Legal and Accounting Concerns for Women-Owned Businesses with Sarah Osborne (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP) and Kate Fluker (BMSS, LLC). For November, we collaborated with the Emerging Professionals committee to bring Danielle Hoeltzel with Express Employment Professionals. Danielle showed us the importance of creating and maintaining our Personal Brand. January will focus on Construction Suicide Awareness & Prevention with Greg Sizemore, Associated Builders & Contractors Vice President.

Remaining webinars for the year are:

Building a Better Story by Rebecca P. Murray Building a Better Presentation by Rebecca P. Murray

Tools of the Trades from a Rockstar Tool Gal by Makita Tools Creating an Exceptional Client Experience by Tina Phillips The 3 A's of Recruiting and Retaining a Sustainable Workforce by Allison Jencson & Jessica Jacobsen In addition to our webinars, we are updating our committee page on the national website. We are adding contact information, links to upcoming and archived webinars and Programs in a Box, and Leadership Book Club information. We will continue to add content to keep the page up to date and relevant. Lastly, we are working hard to create a national list of vetted speakers for our regions and chapters to refer to. We will start with in-house talent and eventually expand to outside the organization. This ties right in with our mission to be a resource to our chapters. 16.

NAWIC is an invaluable resource for women starting out in the construction industry and student memberships are only $25 a year! We challenge you to reach out to local colleges and technical schools and see how many future construction workers you can recruit! Don't forget to post about your outreach efforts on social media and use #NAWICEP23. Prizes will be awarded to the top recruiters* and to the chapter with the most recruited student members.

*Student members must list you as their recruiter to count.

The Leadership Book Club Facebook group is active! Check out the books they will be reading over the next few months and join the group below. January : Fail Until You Don't by Bobby Bones Leadership Book Club

March : Why We Make Mistakes by Joseph T. Hallman May : On The Verge: Wake Up, Show Up & Shine by Cara Bradley July : Mystery Book

Join the club!

The Chapter Development Committee was established in 2020 to provide support for

chartering chapters and target cities for chapter expansion. Since then, our work has expanded to include assisting struggling chapters. We assist these chapters with building strong leadership, communication and programs that provide value for our members. Our committee acts as the liaison that connects chapters to the marketing, professional development and training resources that it needs. A functional aspect of the committee is providing specific chapter leadership training to assist with leading chapters to success. Are you looking to further your knowledge of running your chapter, running more efficiently and/or new ways to lead? If you are interested in participating in this program, complete this Chapter Leadership Training Request Form and return it to Anne Pfleger ( and Karen Hager ( Here in the US, we are currently engaging women in construction in Vermont, Wisconsin and Colorado who have expressed interest in starting chapters in these areas. Thank you to members like Jodi Wiemerslage, Ally Jencson and Gloria Cook who have stepped up to lead the efforts in organizing meetings to introduce these potential members to NAWIC. The news about who we are and the effect that we are having on our unique industry is definitely spreading, as we have received inquiries to help establish chapters in the Caribbean and as far as India. We are incredibly happy to be part of the tribe of women who are accomplishing our purpose to strengthen and amplify the success of women in the construction industry and look forward to serving each of you this year.


The Global Partners Committee was formed in 2020 to bring awareness to NAWIC members of its international affiliates around the world. Currently, we have NAWIC in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and, our newest member, Qatar. As the committee progressed, it expanded its vision from NAWIC USA to include the affiliates and their concerns. This year, we invited a representative from each of the affiliates to join the committee, allowing us to expand our vision of women’s issues globally, both in the construction industry and our associations. Although this comes with its challenges, such as time zone constraints for meetings, our knowledge base has increased, and the progressive nature of our affiliates will assist us in directions we may need to go in the future to stay relevant.

We are reviewing the criteria required to be a NAWIC affiliate and how we can expand our reach while adhering to the laws and regulations of differing countries. We also have been approached to allow other international women’s organizations to partner with us and we will continue to review requests and partner requirements. Currently, this committee does not run as many NAWIC committees. We do not hold webinars like other committees. We move forward internally to build a strong foundation. With the internet and many social media platforms, members and their companies are becoming more global, and we want to insure we provide a solid program to assist with their expansive needs. In the future we hope to add mentoring programs for chapters and individuals to assist with global connections for their companies and themselves.


Vision An industry that embraces change, innovation, and collaboration amongst all professionals worldwide. Mission To connect, support, educate and empower women through NAWIC globally in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Development, and other evolving industries. Goal ·Develop a marketing, communications, and mentoring strategy to connect NAWIC, its members, and Affiliate Associations, globally. Actions

·Create a landing page on the NAWIC website for the Global Partners Committee to share our mission/goals and contact information. Further develop this site as the committee grows. ·Develop a communication strategy to connect chapters globally. This platform would allow chapters to share best practices/lessons learned and knowledge sharing.

·Develop procedure for partner resources, a mentoring strategy for International Affiliate Associations to strengthen collaboration.

·Create processes to comply with international regulations for new International Affiliates and Partners.

·Increase NAWIC Affiliates and Global Partners.

Find out more about our Global Partners.


The NAWIC OSHA Alliance Committee ensures a productive mutual relationship with OSHA by highlighting their priority initiatives to our members. The alliance was facilitated by Kathleen Dobson and became an official committee August 21, 2013. Currently NAWIC is one of only seventeen national organizations with a construction focus holding an OSHA Alliance. Annually OSHA brings together all Alliance partners at their offices in September for the Alliance Program Forum to share information from each internal agency and share best practices among participants. They also host a Construction Roundtable in March focused on our industry with the goal of developing and sharing construction- related compliance assistance tools and other resources for workers and employers. As we begin 2023, our Alliance approaches ten years strong and is converting to an OSHA Ambassadorship. OSHA confers ambassador status to long-term alliance participants who agree to continue a cooperative relationship and who share timely and relevant safety and health information with its stakeholders. Ambassadors are also recognized for working collaboratively on safety and health issues its stakeholders raise. Unlike regular alliances, ambassador relationships do not need to be renewed and remain in effect for the duration of an ongoing cooperative relationship and a good faith effort by both parties to meet the intent of the arrangement. Our committee’s goal is to provide OSHA-curated educational tools for members entirely focused on worker safety and health in the workplace with an emphasis on how they affect women. Keep reading to see the schedule of focused national initiatives that you will see more about during the upcoming year.


Fall Prevention Campaign The signature event is the annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which encourages employers to set aside time during the week to focus on fall prevention efforts and training during Construction Safety Week: May 1-5, 2023. Heat Illness Prevention Campaign OSHA continues its efforts to educate employers and workers on heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. Safe + Sound: Campaign for Safety and Health Programs The signature event is Safe + Sound Week, when employers can show their safety commitment through activities related to core elements of safety and health programs: management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards. Suicide Prevention Awareness Campaign Suicide is a complex public health problem with lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and workplaces. We plan to roll out a new initiative during each region’s spring forum to introduce the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program. what it is and how you can create a mutually beneficial relationship with your local OSHA enforcement staff.

National Officer & Region Director Applications Open

Are you interested in running for a National Officer or Region Director position? The application closes soon! All applications must be submitted to Executive Director Crissy Ingram at by 11:59 p.m. CST on Feb. 1, 2023.

Apply now!

For the future of construction, culture is key All other things being equal—like pay, hours and the type of work—a company’s culture can often mean the difference between high turnover and open positions and an engaged and productive workforce. That’s because employees want to work at places that meet their needs as people, enable them to be themselves, and feel safe and welcoming.

The facts support this. According to a survey by Glassdoor:

Almost eight out of 10 people consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Over half of respondents said that in the job satisfaction equation culture carries more weight than pay. And that research was done before the pandemic and the Great Resignation, which pushed culture further up the ladder of importance. Since then, employee expectations have intensified, and that likely won’t change for construction where there continues to be a deep and extended labor shortage. While other industries have slowed on hiring, construction companies are still increasing wages and sweetening benefits and perks to attract employees.


That’s because the demand for employees in construction and contracting isn’t likely to decrease—even in the face of inflation and a possible recession. A slowing housing market may mean some talent working in residential construction becomes available to other parts of the industry, but demand for employees in commercial, highways and utility will still outstrip supply. According to ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The No. 1 challenge for contractors continues to be securing sufficient numbers of skilled, motivated construction workers.” This all points to why company culture is so important, and it’s not just in the near term. Employees have choices about where they want to work, so the beliefs, values and actions of an organization come into play when and whether someone decides to look for a position… or a career.

“It’s all about engagement,” says Jill Brugman, director of HR for Arcoro, a company that provides HR construction technology. “When you have a strong culture you see more retention, greater happiness and just an overall higher level of employee commitment and loyalty.” Brugman, a NAWIC member of the Greater Phoenix Chapter #98 who previously worked in HR in both construction and manufacturing, says that making sure everyone feels included is essential in disseminating culture. “It’s not just about the people in the office—everyone needs to be included and appreciated.”

That’s why she wholeheartedly recommends that people and business leaders make sure they go where their employees are—whether that’s a plant floor or a job site.

“It’s a really big deal when someone from HR shows up on site wearing jeans and a hard hat,” she says. “But it’s not only about showing up, it’s about listening and also demonstrating how much the company values the work employees are doing.” Brugman says that give-backs like an onsite barbeque, a family picnic or a raffle are always appreciated, but they’re only part of what’s really important for construction and contracting companies.

“One of the biggest aspects of culture is safety. It can’t be overstated because it’s fundamental to this industry and it also makes good business sense,” she says.

Employees want to feel that their employer values their physical safety. That’s why it’s crucial to make safety everyone’s responsibility.


“I’ve been at companies that have a no-questions-asked stop-work policy,” Brugman explains. “Anyone has the power to stop work at any time if they feel conditions are unsafe.” She says these policies underpin culture because they demonstrate how serious the company is about safety. Of course, safety extends beyond on-the-job injuries to how employees treat each other and how leaders and managers behave. Women working in all industries can be subject to sexual harassment, but those in construction are more likely to have a negative experience. A 2017 survey sponsored by Opportunity Now found that 59% of women aged 28-40 working in construction had experienced sexual harassment. By comparison research by LeanIn conducted in 2018 found that 35% of women working corporate jobs had this experience. “Culture isn’t just the components like recognition, training and so on, it’s also about what is acceptable and tolerated on the job,” Brugman says. “And companies that tolerate or turn a blind eye to harassing behavior of any kind aren’t going to be the kinds of places that attract and retain talent in the long run.” Culture is certainly a big part of attracting and retaining employees within individual companies. But the construction industry is composed of thousands and thousands of individual companies. If the larger goal is to attract new people to careers in construction, there can’t be just a few shining examples of great company culture. For that, strong, inclusive, and positive company cultures need to become the norm.

For more information about Arcoro and our HR Solutions and NAWIC discount, check out .



In the last few weeks, we hear a lot about notable deaths for the past year. It happens every year. There is great emphasis and sadness over those who passed away. At the time, there is some celebration of their life and contributions. The entire country of England shut down over the summer to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth. I too watched the pomp associated with the royal send off and marveling at people waiting for hours to walk past her casket as she lay in state. In the retrospective, there always seem to be people on the list for whom we either forgot about, were unaware of, or surprised to learn about because we thought they passed years before. It struck me as odd that we so easily focus on the loss. The passing allows us to, if only briefly, acknowledge and celebrate the persons accomplishment and positive attributes. In construction, we regularly talk about the importance of capturing the “lessons learned” as a project is completed. Do we do it consistently, willingly, or effectively? Why is it so hard? We would all agree that it is important to document what went well and what went poorly (or not as well as hoped for). That way we can make sure we promote the approaches that led to positive results and avoid what caused challenges to success. Generally, we get to the end of a project and are so tired and worn down that we don’t want to have one more meeting or conversation – even if there is some celebration or opportunity to show pride in the success. For some, they don’t want to come across as boastful. In many cases, that has been replaced by the “humble brag” – praising someone else though the intent is to draw attention back to you. In the context of not waiting until a death to celebrate a life of contribution and, perhaps, shying away from self- promotion, I think we should re-define a brag. BRAG – belonging, recognition, acceptance, and gratitude. Belonging Though we might naturally focus on the losses we experience, there is great value in considering the people who have come into our lives in the past year. Recent reports indicate that world population has now exceeded 8 billion and continued growth is projected. There is always an opportunity to add to the communities we belong to and to find additional communities to join. The willingness to take a step back and look at community is important from a few perspectives.

Have I made my community as inviting as possible? How can I attract more people to my group? What would it mean to have a greater sense of belonging?


Recognition When I talk to coaching clients about recognition it is often in the structure of organizational behavior. The idea that motivation is disconnected from salary. Happiness and fulfillment come from recognition, autonomy, input, feeling valued as well as other non-monetary factors. This is a perfect time to recognize the valuable work you have done, the support you have given to others, and the support you have received. You may find yourself as the catalyst for change. Recognizing a colleague or friend for their positive impact may start a chain reaction where they do the same for someone else.

Who was there for you when you were dealing with a challenge? What was the impact of their support? What were your objectively positive accomplishments?

Acceptance Some of us, myself included, have a hard time accepting a compliment. I am in the “put my head down and work” camp and expect my results to be my reward. I get uncomfortable when someone singles me out for praise or thanks. This extends to friends and neighbors who are regular recipients of my home-baked bread. I try to be more accepting of their acknowledgements and, more importantly, that they see it as beyond regular, routine, or expected. I think acceptance is both the actual ability to take a compliment and a willingness to accept that the work is truly valuable and goes above and beyond expectations.

What would it feel like to view your efforts as remarkable? Who can help you acknowledge your noteworthy “super” powers? How can you help others accept your compliment as intended?

Gratitude How can we adequately show gratitude? First, the gratitude needs to match the action. An inappropriate show of thanks can leave the recipient scratching their head in bemusement. A small gesture might warrant a text message or email, not a giant bouquet of flowers (my wife would say a bouquet of flowers is always a good thing). We can also be grateful for circumstances that have nothing to do with another person. You might feel grateful for your health, a career that you enjoy, the ability to watch a sunset, or smell the fresh air. Whether you express that feeling to anyone else, acknowledging your internal gratitude helps maintain balance with the other stories you may be telling yourself.

What or who are you grateful for? What have you done that someone else might be grateful for? How would you like someone to express their gratitude to you?

You may be the kind of person who does not brag or look to bring attention to what you have accomplished, your impact on others, or the real value you have created. Bragging does not have to be boastful (and uncomfortable) if you can do it through Belonging, Recognition, Acceptance, and Gratitude. I’m not built for the traditional definition, but I am working on my newer approach. As the calendar has flipped and we begin our next trip around the sun, consider spending a few minutes to ponder your BRAG for 2022.


Portland, OR Aug. 9-12, 2023 Three education tracks, certification opportunities, networking, & so much more!

March 5-11, 2023

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