W80pxtreehen you decide to start a petition on, you’ll find some tips for a successful campaign. Lots of good advice on how to galvanise and motivate readers to get involved, to commit, will come your way.

Alongside the suggestion to ‘tell a story’ is this tip…

Find the little thing that brings the big story to life.

Penny Hunt's drawing of a little big thing

There’ll be one ‘little big thing’ – one image, one anecdote, one exchange, one phrase that manages to encapsulate and illuminate your cause. Find it, and everyone will ‘get’ what’s its about. Find the specific, and the universal will be understood. The most quoted example amongst the activist and commentator community is that of Caroline Criado-Perez. The big thing for her is how women are represented in the media, in society. The little thing was that there should be a woman on the £5 note. She won. Finally. (Her personal bravery, and resilience, was no little thing in that battle.)

But little things have big significance in everyday life, not just in waging national battles and campaigns.

‘Microaggressions’, for example. Literally little things..the everyday, invisible, verbal / non verbal, environmental, derogatory signals that demean and lessen others. It is one of the most complex aspects of any sort of cultural change, to identify, name, and change these (usually out of awareness) behaviours. Frustratingly, microaggressions have more power to exclude and ‘keep down’ than almost any other work place behaviour I observe.

But I’ve found some little things that are easy to spot and change that will have a big effect.

They are the opposite of microaggressions.

I call them ‘micro – passivities’. And I see them in the most surprising places.

An example.

How many times have you written ‘just’ in an in ‘Just wanted to let you know…’.
It’s a micro passivity. It’s undermining what follows, casting it as of no value.
How many times have you begun your contribution with ……’This may not be right, but…’
It’s a micro-passivity, undermining what follows. However brilliant.

You’ll spot them, now.

Little things that stop you being big.

Penny Hunt's blog coffee conversations

Penny Hunt has two e-books available:

Managing Resistance to Change‘ and ‘Support your Team through Change