How did you do this year? How well did you negotiate staying at home, social distancing, health issues, politics, travel restrictions, and economic concerns?
What happened when you couldn’t meet at work, school, at a place of worship, at gyms, or at events? How well did you control the uncontrollable?
Equally important, what positive things occurred during these times? Throughout this year of confusion, a quote from Charles Dickens kept repeating in my mind.
The Worst of Times
In many ways it was the worst of times. Many of us lost family members, friends, or we known of someone who did. We were sick, cared for those who were sick, and/or were separated from love ones. We dealt with home schooling, working at home, and new living arrangements. Several of us lost jobs and businesses we loved. Relationships were strained or dissolved entirely. Our lives were upended with restrictions, shortages, mask requirements, safety fears, and too much finger-pointing. Often, there was a scarcity mentality and a feeling of despair. We saw frenzied and unfocused efforts to solve unexpected problems.
When I wasn’t speaking or upgrading my virtual presentations, my team and I concentrated our time on finding and creating resources to help negotiate these tough times. The past nine months, were filled with interviews, webinars, and writing articles. Clients who booked a year in advance, cancelled their events or postponed indefinitely. We recreated in-person programs to be delivered virtually.
Suddenly, negotiating programs also needed to add dealing with stress, leading virtually, revisiting goals and priorities, retaining clients, funding non-profits, working from home, staying connected as a team, continuing to sell, dealing with family, stopping the meeting madness, and ever changing business strategies.
What We Forgot to Address and Stress in Negotiating This Year
We neglected to place attention on the best of times. With all the focus on solving challenges, we often forgot good things were happening that should be celebrated. For instance, very sick people were recovering. Drugs for cures were fast-tracked. Babies were born. Pets were adopted. Students graduated. Relationships were rebuilt and strengthened. Homes were sold and purchased. Job seekers found opportunities with higher incomes and appreciation of their talents. Want an example for best of times? In 2020, my dear friend and professional pianist, Sunny, gained her citizenship, her PhD, and a new home. What a Year!
Good things happened to my business as well. This year’s events forced me into upgrading important areas, especially virtual programs. There is suddenly a need for speakers who can engage participants online as well as in-person. (Who knew my broadcasting background would be so useful?) We researched new topics and were able to contribute in a meaningful way. Did you visit the resources on our new webpage Negotiate Tough Times? With increasing unemployment, especially in the hospitality industry, our team helped job transition expert, Ginger Shelhimer, relaunch her book for job seekers, The 60 Second Job Search.
Address the Best During this Stress
In your efforts to negotiate 2020, have you reflected on the best as well as the worst? What good surfaced, and what good is yet to come? And, if you did have good results, are you like many and discounting your experience? Even worse, are you dealing with guilt that your suffering wasn’t as great as others?
Ignoring the good is not a successful long-term negotiation strategy. Before you conquer your next mountain or begin negotiating next year’s challenges, review your performance this year. Reflect on what you Survived, where you Thrived, and what has made you feel Alive this year. The concept of reflection was introduced to me by my friend and past business coach Elaine Morris and by Vistage. The practice of reviewing the year is a game changer before finalizing next year’s focus and goals. Please accept my gift. Take the time to complete the
Have I told you how grateful I am? Thank you to Jill Tweed Scott for directing the virtual programming and heroically managing our speaking business efforts as well as her two young sons, husband, and dog. Thanks Jamie Windle, Kimberly Wadsworth, Carla Epley, Tim Cocklin, and intern Taylor Medlin for your help in keeping our business known and running.
A special thank you to those who continue to employ our services to help your high performers and achievers lead, communicate, and negotiate. Because of you, we were able to support a number of non-profits this year with time and gifts.
Finally, thank you for reading these e-Tips, telling us what works, and what could be upgraded. Your questions, solutions, and suggestions improve us all!
Hope your New Year is amazing and filled with the best of times! Happy Holidays!
PS If you want to review this reflection with me individually or as a team or discuss next year’s programming, just ask. Please email me and let me know how I can be of service wrapping up the year and beginning your next. Journey On!