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There’s been particular times in my life when I’ve had major boosts to my confidence that led to me going on and doing better things. The important part is I now recognise they provide the opportunity to be more creative and effective and I need to take advantage of them. I also know that probably applies to others too.

The first time was 25 years ago when my lovely other half agreed to spend the rest of her life with me. It’s been ace and we’re good together.

The second and third were times when how I did things at work got recognised and won awards. The first was for being open, honest and trusted. That recognition meant a lot to me and gave me the confidence to challenge and look to change where I considered things weren’t open or transparent. It allowed me (or rather I took it as within my remit) some flexibility to experiment with the #trulysocial work and explore and implement more sociable ways of connecting and sharing what a council does and the more human side of who does them.

And that’s actually the useful bit; a human interest story told by someone who has experienced it or by a member of staff doing the job is more likely to resonate with others than organisational process or structure which is fluffed up. I’d share the research behind that but remember you can trust me.

Looking back on the #trulysocial work it had some success and people I worked with gained confidence and have gone on to do some great things. But in some ways it didn’t develop as much of a can do, risk averse culture as I would have liked. Sometimes you have to move at a pace of one person at a time. Progress is still being made and lightbulb moments still happen.

Excitingly though, after what feels like a period of professional consolidation following a work restructure, the latest and much needed confidence boost was just before xmas when my work was again recognised.

So, in New Year style, this is what I intend to make of it this time.

Taking account of post-truth times, more now than ever it needs to be about boosting confidence of others to try new things and reassuring and supporting them to do it – creating a greater can do culture. Never has there been a time when trust of the media and those in power has been lower. It’s not just communicators who need to be good at comms, everybody counts. We need to be more human, regain and maintain respect, use less confusing language and really connect with different groups of people.

Watch this space, #trulysocial is back.

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