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Five things we learned in 2020

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of all the negativity swirling around at the moment. Yes, I know it’s been a tough year, but come on...it’s nearly Christmas! It’s time to grab a glass of mulled wine, blast some Bublé and put thoughts of COVID, BoJo, Brexit and Trump aside for a little while. Because I think we all deserve a bit of positivity at the moment.

Despite everything going on in the world, there are good things to remember as we head into the new year - and I’m not just talking about Trump losing the election in spectacular fashion. As much as we all got a kick out of that one!

It’s okay if you’re ready for 2020 to be over - you’re not alone there my friend - but it’s been a year filled with different experiences and challenges and new things that none of us could have prepared for, and many of these things actually serve as valuable lessons for us all.

As they say, every day is a school day...

1. It’s okay to slow down, pause and reflect

    This is something we’ve talked about a lot recently, especially in our fantastic white paper discussing the importance of organisational culture (which you should check out, if you haven’t already). This year has given a lot of business leaders like myself the time to slow down, and think about the direction we’ve been heading in - and that’s time we’d never usually get.

    We’ve experienced one of the most disruptive events in modern history, which has actually presented us with a unique opportunity to determine what our culture, our team, our strategy, etc. can and should look like going forward.

    It’s given us all a chance to take a breath, revisit our priorities and make new ones for the year ahead. And it’s the sort of opportunity that doesn’t come around very often when you’re running a business, let me tell you.

    Don’t underestimate the value of communication

      We’ve all heard the phrase “communication is key”, but I think we can all agree that this year, honest, clear and effective communication has been more important than ever before.

      Without face to face interactions, spontaneous conversations or the ability to read body language, we’ve all had to make a serious effort to almost over-communicate this year to make up for it.

      Getting to grips with remote comms hasn’t been easy, and we may have gone a bit too far with the Zoom quizzes, but communication has played the leading role in bringing people together during this challenging and uncertain time.

      We all have something to contribute

        During lockdown or while working from home, we’ve all had a little extra time on our hands, and many of us have used this time to learn something new, perfect skills or pick up hobbies - I mean, who hasn’t tried their hand at hairdressing this year?

        It’s been fantastic to see so many people sharing these things with their teams, whether it’s hosting a learning lunch or simply sharing the unexpected joy of a new hobby to motivate colleagues. Others have contributed in different ways, such as supporting a team member who’s been struggling or working an extra hour or two to keep a client happy.

        We’ve all played our part this year; whether it’s going the extra mile at work or lending a helping hand to the local community, we’ve all had the opportunity to contribute and make a difference.

        4. Accountability is the key to success

        The majority of us have had to tackle remote working during this pandemic; it’s become the ‘new normal’ (I wonder how long we’ll throw that phrase into quotation marks?!) And while it might seem as simple as taking a laptop home, setting up a desk and cracking on with your to-do list, remote working actually requires people to demonstrate a few key behaviours in order to make it successful. And accountability is a big one.

        Accountability is a willingness to take responsibility for your own actions and account for the actions of others, and it’s one of the five core functions of a cohesive team. Being comfortable enough to call out or challenge your peers when it’s needed holds real value. It’s not a personal attack - it’s what’s needed to get the job done effectively, and it’s essential to productivity.

        5. We are resilient

          It’s easy to focus on the negative and look at all the things that have gone wrong this year, but have you ever just stopped to think about how quickly you responded to this crisis or how flexible you’ve been to support your organisation through the pandemic?

          We’ve navigated some seriously choppy waters this year, but it’s taught us some invaluable lessons which we can benefit from in 2021. And we can adapt as a result of the things we’ve learned.

          We should all be extremely proud of the resilience we’ve shown during these unique times in order to meet client needs and look after our people. Since March, businesses across the country have committed all their effort to power through this pandemic, and that’s something that should be recognised.

          In reality, this list is just the tip of the iceberg - there are so many things we can learn from 2020, and I hope that you’ve found some equally valuable lessons to take away from this mental year. Who knows what the new year will have in store, but here’s to hoping it’s a good one!

          I’d like to wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year from the whole team at WeLove9am!

          It’s been a year filled with different experiences and challenges and new things that none of us could have prepared for, and many of these things actually serve as valuable lessons for us all.