Build trust with your team by asking for what you need

Holly Burns

Content strategist, Instagram

Our culture teaches us to avoid interactions that might be uncomfortable. When we experience difficulty, we project a professional image—“put a brave face on it”, as the saying goes—instead of risking an honest conversation about what we need. We end up isolated from our colleagues because we don’t have a channel for honest communication.

When I returned to work after 6 months maternity leave, I struggled to fit my work into the time I had available. I felt tired and guilty, as if I was performing both my roles—employee and parent—at half my ability. I realised I needed to let go of my image as a self-reliant professional who has everything under control. I had a scary conversation with my manager about my needs and I started to prioritise my time. The transition to parenthood increased my empathy for my colleagues and helped me reconnect with the reason I got into this work: to make our products easier to use. Learn how to:

Holly uses words and language to shape people’s experiences online. She’s currently a content strategist at Instagram.

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