People have been asking me for some weeks now: “Well, are you all ready?” – meaning, of course, have I reached the bottom of that mysterious list entitled ‘Christmas Preparations’. The answer’s always No. I’ll never be ready for Christmas; as soon as I cross things off my list, more appear as if by magic.
Where I am very lucky, though, is that generally no-one wants to see the likes of me over the Christmas or New Year holiday. Others are not so lucky - those who work in the health and care sectors, the police and rescue services and many voluntary organisations, who have to keep working because people like us depend on them at all times. So, my thanks and good wishes go to them for their hard work and dedication over the festive time.
Fishing for a better 2015
This year, I’ve worked with a number of organisations who are going through change. It’s always challenging, and it seems that while a few people embrace it enthusiastically, for many of the rest of us, it can be a source of worry and even stress.
I came across the Fish! Philosophy while I was putting together some ideas for a new course; its principles, famously modelled after the high energy present at the Pike Place Fish Market, were created by John Christensen in 1998. Like all the best ideas, there’s a simplicity about it. Its practices are summed up as follows:
Be There: When people need you, they need all of you. Setting aside distractions and judgments to be fully present is a sign of respect. Not only that, but if you are fully present your communications will be more meaningful and relationships will be improved
Play: We all forget to do this, including me. Fish! argues that you can be serious about your work without taking yourself so seriously. Play is a mindset which allows you to throw yourself with enthusiasm and creativity into whatever you are doing. Opening your mind and “playing” with ideas helps you find solutions to everyday challenges.
Make Their Day: Simple gestures of thoughtfulness, thanks and recognition make people feel appreciated and valued. When you make someone else feel good, you feel good too.
Choose Your Attitude: This is probably my favourite one: it is possible actually to choose how you respond to life, and not just react. When you get up, decide who you want to “be” today. Moment-to-moment awareness is key. Ask yourself throughout the day, “What is my attitude right now? Is it helping the people who depend on me? Is it helping me to be most effective?”
One of the pleasures of small business working is the people you meet. This year, once again, I have been lucky to make new business friends, as well as renewing auld acquaintance. I had a great time playing at being a TV announcer while working with Tosh Lubek of Tosh Lubek Productions. Tosh is an expert at putting you at ease in front of the camera, and he and I made three Top Tips videos in the space of a short afternoon. Here’s the link to the first one, Top Tips on Great Business Communication; two more will be “released” in 2015 (if I can cope with the pressures of being a celebrity! J)
Sending you my best wishes, I look forward to our staying in touch in 2015