Having just passed the classic January PR moment, Blue Monday, we can acknowledge that many of the things we were going to give up, either didn’t happen or haven’t made us happy. So, what can we, as communications professionals, do more of moving forward that will set us up for success in 2023? Here are five easy things we can all start doing more of today.
- Listen: clients need our ears right now. They need us to understand the environments they’re operating in (whether internal, competitive, regulatory or political), their challenges, audiences, channels, sometimes their colleagues, other times their hopes, fears or personal circumstances. Listening is how we build relationships, how we show we care, how we understand and it is what leads to conversations that count. Take the time to listen to what your clients need to say. If you’d like to know more about the power of a great listener, listen to this.
- Laugh: now is the time to bring the joy. We should bring our sense of humour to work, daily. My colleagues know that I love the phrase, “it's PR, not ER”. If you can’t find lightness and joy in your daily working life, something’s wrong. Every relationship benefits from the presence of humour and that includes our client and colleague relationships. Bring joy to brainstorms, to the client calls, to the office kitchen and the team zoom. Check out HBR for more on the benefits of fun at work.
- Question: for me, curiosity is a comms professional’s best friend. It is at the heart of creativity. It propels us to innovate, to iterate, to build and to grow. And in this era of misinformation and disinformation, there’s no better time to question the source of the information you’re consuming. So let’s question our beliefs, our assumptions, our experiences and see what a different perspective might unlock. Need help? Check this out.
- Replenish: we all need to build our resilience. Another phrase I love, “you can’t pour out of an empty cup”. Much has been written about the state of exhaustion that people are in right now following the whirlwind that was 2022. This is going to be a tough year professionally and personally for many, emotionally and financially. Take the time to fill your cup - do what rejuvenates you. Book your time off, take the time off and recharge. Your creativity, patience, listening skills and humour will thank you for it. Some useful tips on how to build resilience here.
- Serve: we’re in client service so let’s think about how we serve - both our clients and our colleagues. It means focusing on the needs of others, before you consider your own. Acknowledging other people's perspectives. Giving people the support they need to meet their work and personal goals, involving them in decisions where appropriate, and building a sense of community. Happy outcomes include higher engagement, more trust, and stronger relationships. If you’re interested in knowing more about servant leadership, read this.