June 4: Twitter Update from the Deputy Minister Jody Thomas

June 8, 2021 – Defence Stories

Friday update: Tough conversations happening right now. How are yours going? You might not know how to start, or fear saying the wrong thing. Persevere. Respectful dialogue is rarely *wrong*. Hard: yup. Uncomfortable: almost certainly. But not *wrong*.

In fact, sometimes there isn’t an exact right thing to say. Approaching uncomfortable conversations with humility and openness is a solid place to start. There’s power in authenticity, and connection in vulnerability. We need that right now.

Do be sensitive to other’s trauma. The horror and grief surrounding Kamloops rising in the national consciousness places an additional burden on Residential School Survivors and their families.

Even as Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to educate ourselves about the cultures and experiences of Indigenous Peoples, please give extra respect and consideration for our Indigenous colleagues during this difficult time.

It’s also #PrideMonth. Happy Pride and gratitude to our LGBTQ2 colleagues working every day to promote and defend the very best values of our country. You, as your truest selves, are welcome and appreciated in our #DefenceTeam.

Please start discussing annual leave amongst your teams. The earlier you plan, the better we can arrange timing to ensure critical work continues while all Defence Team members can take time away from work to recharge.

Managers: keep leading with empathy. There are lots of indirect consequences of this pandemic that folks are feeling in their home life that they won’t always tell you about. Take a breath, don’t judge, and be patient.

I know it’s rough out there. Big challenges, big heartache. Today, be someone’s difference. Even to one colleague who’s struggling. A kind word, an acknowledgement of someone else’s hardship, can do wonders to help lift someone into a better place.

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