Half way there

Not long now then til I hit 50. 26 days including just 10.5 working days, at time of writing.

It’s time for that not a midlife crisis but questioning my purpose more than any other time before, and thinking about what might come next” moment.

Looking after my wellbeing, both body and mind will be important. I’ve coped with stress quite well so far and recognise the signs when I’m up against it and before things get silly. I’m also increasingly aware to look out for it in others as society seems more in your face than it used to be and that seems to be the case for all ages.

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Bubble baggage

“I just said ‘bubble baggage’ out loud didn’t I?”

“Yes, but it made sense. Can I have it?”

“Feel free –that’s what I do”

That happened in a meeting this week. Fortunately, in the context of the discussion, it was clearly understood as it appropriately explained things. However, the link that probably brought you to this post and the title, may mean you are still none the wiser, so let me explain.

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Somewhere between the loos and the valley of desolation, good things happen

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Were you aware that other than Shrove Tuesday and of course Pancake day, apparently 17th February, 2015 was Random acts of kindness day?  Nope? Me neither. It seems everyday these days is something or other day.

So when did this #world[insertthing]day start and might we be missing the point? Will I look for fewer impromptu opportunities on other days? Course I won’t.

Now I’m not talking about the proper stuff like Pancake Day or Yorkshire Day (1st Aug! – just in case) or days on the UN List of International Observances and I get that there are some things that need increased awareness so they might be improved or bad stuff reduced but kindness; really? Do we need reminding to be how we should be on any other day?

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The personal touch

IMG_20130826_181316As usual, the seasonal break has been a time of contemplation and self reflection. I’ve been considering what’s happening and changing in my area of work, around where I live and at home as myself, colleagues, family and friends prepare to move on to the next chapters of our lives.

It’s made me consider and appreciate what I have. I’ve also read far more than I usually do and I’ll share some of that shortly.

The family was reunited as firstborn returned from Russia before heading off on his travels again in February. Russia is a communication culture we’ve recently learnt about by experience. It’s not as easy to access folk in Russia in some ways but compared to how things were when I was studying away from home it’s a lot easier. We did however Skype him every week and perhaps spoke more often than when he was at university in the UK. It was good to actually see him talking with us. It certainly narrowed the distance but it’s been really nice to have him home.

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It started with a conversation

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Last Thursday was a good day and a bad day.

It was good because an idea that made things happen was recognised with an award. The award was ‘Best Communication for Change’ at the Comms2point0 Unawards. The folk behind the awards and those in that network are top people. The Un is quite befitting in the context of why it won and I’ll come back to this later.

The idea was a real simple one. What if we explored what a more sociable place to work might be and then did stuff to make it that way? So things like what if we made it easier to find people, connect and share? What if where I worked was a more sociable organisation that helped make a more sociable place to live, work and play?

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Simplifying my quantified self

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Not that I entered the communications profession for an easy ride but some topics are more sensitive to talk about than others, as is finding the most appropriate way, places and times for people to access and understand what is being communicated. Having trust in those explaining things is a big issue too. “I’m a PR guy I would say that wouldn’t I” etc More on that here.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if not everyone knows about something. There are times when people do find out about things but they might not be interested. There are however times when people need to know the implications of something as they might need to make a choice that affects them or others. Times when they need to understand what is being talked about so they see it as being for them.

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Walking the digital corridors

IMG_20130325_125339A couple of years ago I ran a pilot project at Leeds City Council looking at ‘voice, context and digital identity’ as we looked to introduce social networking. I’d been intending to write about the subject of digital confidence once the follow up work to the pilot was more developed.

During the last couple of years I’ve also being following the work of Catherine Howe on networks and democracy. A particular post ‘Digital leadership or just leadership’ was particularly relevant to the work I’ve been doing. Following Catherine’s latest update on Social Media why bother?, I had the opportunity to meet her to discuss and which spurred me to now post on digital confidence.

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