It’s December and as usual we are saying where did that year go? We always say that but this year we have all shared in at least two lockdowns, possibly no holiday and some difficult personal times. Now we are thinking about Christmas. We know it won’t be the same and my theory is that for some us it could be better: new traditions, new groupings, new ways of celebrating.
Meanwhile, what am I thinking about?
It would be so very easy to moan and sometimes that is what we need to do. However, those of you who know me personally know I love to celebrate. So I want to end the year by celebrating something of life in 2020.
There have been good things. A few that come to me are:
- The creativity of people who have accepted that there are constraints on them and found new ways of doing business. The events planners and caterers who have collaborated to deliver an occasion to us at home in a box; the colour stylists who have found ways to do it online; the media and marketing people teaching us to make an impact on Zoom and hone our video skills; or the opera singers taking private bookings by Zoom.
- The creative quiz makers who have kept us amused and connected.
- The courage of people who realised they could not pursue their professions stepped out into a new world and did different things. Such as the airline pilot who became a delivery driver.
- The small acts of kindness – in my world the people recognising that they are fortunate because their business survives but have held out hands to others less fortunate – I ran virtual cuppas for three months for people just to chat about the vicissitudes of life and people gave contracts for business to people they met; some helped people understand the changing regulations; people helped others offload their worries and shared the load. It was all free and people shared their time and expertise generously.
- Taking time to notice everyone who was working flat out whilst the rest of us were incarcerated. Talking with people and valuing those we would normally take for granted. How many of us have been chatting with the wonderful delivery drivers who have brought us the things we need? And then thanking them properly.
- Before 2020 we probably had a circle of friends maybe made at university or the school gate but not broadened. Lots of us have made new friends in unexpected places. And because we have valued the NHS by clapping on Thursday nights we certainly know our neighbours much better than we did before.
- Instead of thinking about someone and planning to talk to them, we have taken the time to get in touch and we have actually done it.
- Leadership and encouragement does not just come from the usual channels but from each of us. We have taken the initiative. People have organised street parties and sucked us into getting involved. And we have been much more conscious of people’s mental health and taken time to chat and bear some of their burden.
- We have found ways to be together without being together maybe through worship events on YouTube or virtual choirs – I love those don’t you?
- We have learnt not to try and be perfect because technology will not let us be! And so are more forgiving of ourselves and others.
- We have watched Children In Need or Strictly and admired the ingenuity to produce them, and we are grateful for the people who have gone into bubbles to bring something to us whilst leaving their families behind.
- We have deepened our understanding of ourselves – watching how we are and what we need. People seem to have come to terms with asking for help when they need it and doing it.
- Mostly we have told people that we love them instead of assuming they know.
What have I missed? What would you add?
Most importantly in 2021 we must make sure we remember and continue to do these things.
What else am I looking forward to next year?
- A good roll out of the vaccine and lots of take-up so that we can get back to a life where we meet other people and enjoy their company.
- A business bounce back and I think that will happen. After 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008 we got back on track quickly so why not this time when we are all desperate to do so?
- A better use of time so that we use Zoom when it is appropriate so we save lots of business travel (carbon emissions) and use the precious time saved for other things.
- Meeting the right people, those important to us, face to face and enjoying them.
- Building even stronger relationships with our suppliers and our clients rather than taking them for granted.
- Being gentle with ourselves and looking after ourselves because we are recovering – just as we would be after a period of sickness.
- Enjoying all the good people and good things in our lives and giving them time.
And what are your hopes – what do you want to add to that list?
So if you like my ideas and values and want to grow in your business life why don’t we talk? I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help explore the possibilities of business mentoring and whether/how to take them forward. Please give me a call.
AND HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS