As November draws to a close and we have just found out what tier we are in after 2nd December, it’s all too easy to let things get on top of you. Even I’ve been affected by a touch of the blues recently, which may surprise those of you who know me as I have something of a reputation for being upbeat and positive, no matter what!
But at the end of the day, we’re all human. Luckily, I snapped out of quickly enough, but it certainly left me thinking. And I came to the same conclusion I’ve dwelt on in my last couple of blogs: let’s focus on what we CAN do, not on what we can’t. It’s a powerful coping mechanism that helps distract us from the frustrations of lockdown life that we just can’t change.
I’d like to think we’ve all learnt at least one positive thing from our lockdown experiences, even if it’s something as simple (and obvious!) as how much we value face to face contact. We’ve all had to find new ways of communicating and staying in touch with friends, family and clients who we’re used to seeing in person.
Our business and personal relationships are precious and valuable in different ways, and we owe it to ourselves and others to cherish and nurture them. It’s taken a little more effort at times – but I firmly believe that how we treated people during lockdown will dictate how these relationships work out in the future.
Another thing that lockdown has taught (or reminded) us is that people like to stay in touch in different ways. We’re all individuals with our own needs, likes and preferences. To take a business example, I recently enrolled a client on my Social Media for Grown Ups programme, which is hosted on Facebook. The client promptly announced that she didn’t ‘do’ Facebook!
This taught me the interesting lesson that we can’t assume everyone is with us on social media and will see our content (this goes for personal as well as business connections). My advice here is simple: just ask people how they’d like to be contacted! And if you’re used to meeting face to face, don’t let lockdown mess things up. Meet for Facetime coffees instead of the local coffee shop, set up a WhatsApp group for Friday night cocktails, and check in on clients regularly on Zoom or just by phone.
Trust me, the more you keep in touch with people – and the more flexible you are in how you do it – the stronger these relationships will become.
Similarly, don’t make assumptions about people’s lives and how Covid-19 has affected them personally or professionally. One of my clients said during the first lockdown that she assumed I’d be really busy as all that time on people’s hands would mean they’d instantly sign up for some social media training. And yes, a lot of people did – but not straightaway. As I’ve mentioned previously, I used that temporary downtime to develop and refine my training offer so I can deliver the best possible experience and results to my clients. (This includes a new and improved version of Social Media for Grown Ups, which I’ll be launching in January 2021 – more on this below!).
So, in conclusion, what’s been my biggest lockdown learning? Well, the title of this blog should give you a big clue: let’s count our blessings and be grateful for what we’ve got. I’m lucky to have a fantastic network of friends and family, and a thriving business. But not everyone is as fortunate, and 2020’s double lockdowns has served as a timely reminder.
That’s why I’ve taken the opportunity to step up my support for a local charity, Mee & Dee,* during lockdown, by taking on running challenges and donating proceeds from online event ticket sales. I’ll continue to support them over Christmas by funding the cost of two Hope Elephant Memory Gifts instead of sending Christmas cards this year. I’m hoping these simple gestures will make a small difference to families and children facing challenges most of us can only imagine.
Be the best you can be in 2021
2020 has been tough for us all, but let’s make a fresh start in 2021 and use what lockdown has taught us to better both our personal and professional lives. Speaking of the latter, why not give your online presence a boost with my all-new, all-singing and dancing Social Media for Grown Ups programme?
It’s not quite ready for launch yet, but you can keep up with the latest developments and all my other news by signing up to my monthly newsletter.
I’ll sign off by wishing you and yours a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a very Happy New Year. See you in 2021 (in person, we hope!)
* If you’re not aware of the amazing work Mee & Dee do to support families and children facing life-changing and limiting circumstances, please visit their website to find out more.