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How to do whatever it takes

The title of this blog post should have a question mark at the end. How on earth do we do whatever it takes to get through this?

I’ve been watching the news and reeling from each update as the full extent of COVID-19 has started to unfold for us here in the UK.

I’m definitely going through the Kübler-Ross change curve. Where I am on it keeps changing as the news and personal events keep unfolding.

The UK Government’s key message in yesterday’s daily press conference was that they will do whatever it takes to help citizens figure this out and come through it.

I’ve spent the past three days homeschooling one of my five-year-old twin sons. (We’re fine, we’re just following self-isolation advice issued last week).

Homeschooling, I’m the daughter of two retired teachers, but this is something I never expected to do.

Overnight I’ve been lesson planning and figuring out what is appropriate, relevant and timely for my son.

Reader, I have no idea.

My thanks to Twinkl for their fantastic resources, we’ve covered so much in the past few days including this cafe price list. You can tell we live in London – £10 for milk?!

 

I’ve also been supporting my clients and internal communication practitioners around the world with appropriate, relevant and timely advice.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve published thousands of words here on my blog to help you and made my crisis communication guide available as a free download and video.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to tell me my articles have saved you time, money and effort. I’ve still not caught up with all your DMs, emails and LinkedIn messages, but I appreciate every single one and it encourages me to continue. Thank you.

I’m so proud of the work you’re doing and delighted to hear my thoughts have given you confidence and the ability to check your thinking wherever you are in the world.

My latest articles include:

Tonight I learnt I will now have my seven-year-old daughter and both my five-year-old twin sons home with us once school finishes on Friday. For an undetermined period of time.

It got too much today. I’ve been trying to be Mummy during the day, while cramming client calls in our break times, then working until 1am in the morning.

The best course of action
I had a call with the wonderful mental health in the workplace expert Jo Hooper this morning.

This afternoon my mental health kicked in with a massive warning and I realised the best course of action was to snuggle on the sofa with my son and watch Frozen. I had Jo’s advice ringing in my ears. Thank you Jo.

Snuggling and singing was the tonic my son and I both needed. He’s been missing his twin and as much as he’s been enjoying “Mummy’s School”, I know this is an unsettling time for him. He’s told me as much.

Watching Elsa striding purposefully around, it struck me she was doing whatever it takes to protect those she loved and get her life back on track.

Internal communication practitioners around the world are doing an incredible job. Your resilience, speed and determination to open lines of communication up in your companies, counsel your leaders, reassure people and be wholly present is inspiring.

I have strategised, consoled and cried with clients over the past few weeks as everyone has been at the end of their tether. If only we knew how much longer that tether needed to be in the weeks, months and years ahead.

What has struck me from our conversations and interactions is what an incredible profession we have and how proud I am to see how hard you are working to make such a difference for your people.

I see you. Thank you, keep going, you’re doing vital work.


Last night CIPR Inside hosted a webinar on mental health for IC practitioners. See their website as I imagine they’ll post a replay.

So where do we go from here?

I’m pivoting my business. My beautiful All Things IC Hub will be sitting empty for months as gatherings are discouraged and the inevitable lockdown begins.

I was in there with Katie Macaulay only last week, (which feels like a lifetime ago already!), recording an upcoming episode of The Internal Comms Podcast. In the podcast episode I talk enthusiastically about the space and we took this pic together. I believe the episode will be out shortly.

I love working in there, it’s a sanctuary for IC practitioners to come and learn and boost their skills, knowledge and confidence.

Those are the key ingredients for my business, they drive my whole way of working as I love to see IC practitioners thriving.

I also know it’s why you read my blog, because you leave with advice and guidance to help you go back into your organisation and do your job well.

So I’m pivoting. I’m going to be concentrating on remote Masterclasses, which are 1-2-1 sessions online, wherever you are in the world, plus Consultation Calls.

My husband Jon is also an entrepreneur, running his business helping companies with all things Office 365 related. We are going to work in shifts, taking it in turns to work and then look after our children. We’ll adjust as we go and figure this out, like I know many of us are around the world.

I’m also hoping to launch my Online Masterclasses, I’ve been squirrelling away on them in the background with the help of the superstar that is Debbie Aurelius of Peppermint Fish. I’ve got a stack of videos to record, then I can start to release them into the world.

Do add your name to find out first when they go live.

Please bear with me, I’ll try to find a quiet place to record them!

When all this is over, we’ll look back on this period with incredulity.

I believe my gorgeous teal velvet sofa in the All Things IC Hub will once again play host to IC practitioners. We’ll get back in there, I just don’t know when.

But for now, be kind to each other, keep strong, wash those hands and know that I’m here to support you.

Thank you as ever for stopping by.

We’ve got this.

Rachel.

First published on the All Things IC blog 18 March 2020.

 

 

 

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