Community in the Here & Now

Written by  Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Published in Newsletter
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#Community in the here and now


I really struggled in writing this newsletter.  My tension came from not wanting to fill your inbox with another email when there is so much happening for everyone; my tension came from “do I forge on, assuming business as usual and provide insium updates” or “do I focus on the immediate here and now”? 

While I was posting a tweet with the hashtag #CommonHumanity, it struck me that community exists in those two words – commonhumanity. So that’s the focus of this newsletter—#community—in the here and now.

Why community?  Because as human beings, we are wired to connect.  In addition to other factors, our wellbeing is dependent on connecting with others, and as more and more of us are working from home (WFH), voluntarily isolating, or perhaps subjected to enforced isolation, it is more and more important to stay connected with community.  Yes, keep the recommended physical distance from others but do not socially distance yourself from others.  Remain connected.  

So, the following are some ideas to keep connected with your WFH colleagues and your community. Are these ideas “rocket science”?  No. Might they just be “friendly reminders” for you? Yes.  As you read these, you might think, “WTF, is she serious? These ideas are so twee. No one’s going to buy into them.” Perhaps.  But there’s nothing to lose in trying.  The worst thing that might happen is that you connect with someone else.

  • Allocate time – actually diarise time/make an appointment – to connect with others on a daily/weekly basis. Go on—make that appointment
  • Use Zoom/BlueJeans/Skype/similar to have your daily stand-up meetings – at the beginning and/or end of the day
  • There are some great blogs by Atlassian regarding remote teams here
  • The following article shares some tips for using strengths to maintain positivity in the workplace: 10 ways to celebrate strengths in the workplace, by Ryan Niemic.  These ideas can be tweaked a little and applied to your WFH workforce; for example:
    • Strength spotting might be based on behaviours you have noticed over the past 3-4 weeks; recognise these by phone/email/social media now
    • Invite all team members to think of strengths that they have spotted in others over the past few weeks; over the next 2-4 weeks, ask everyone to recognise another team member in a daily 5-minute phone-in to connect everyone.  You could allocate team members so that everyone is included
    • Encourage everyone in your team to stop for 5 minutes every day and reflect on a strength that they have used that day and share this in a quick email
  • Do something for someone else.  Altruism impacts our wellbeing positively. Two ideas for your consideration are:
    • Offered as an idea by Becky Wass, print some of these #viralkindness postcards and leave them for your neighbours
    • Perhaps start a flash mob in the front gardens/balconies of your homes as per the Italians or provide an aerobics class as per the Spaniards; they’re now saying that this is fake news … prove the naysayers wrong and do it!  At the very least, watch the videos; you’ll be sure to smile!
  • Finish reading those books that are piling up beside your bed and on your desk. I’m currently reading:
    • The Mercies, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, set in the far north of Scandinavia and based on the real events of the Vardo storm and the witch trials of 1621
    • We Can’t Say We Didn’t Know, by Sophie McNeil who shares the courageous stories of devastation and hope of the people behind the headlines.
    • The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, by Charlie Macksey. I continue to read and reread this book, constantly dipping in and out of it.  It contains so many insightful, uplifting lessons with beautiful illustrations; it’s particularly pertinent to our world today … and every day.  
    • Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown. I still dip in and out of this, continuing to learn from the breadth and depth of Brené’s work, so that I can bring this to you in our workshops and coaching.
  • Listen to podcasts. Podcasts we’re listening to/are about to start listening to are:
    • Unlocking Us, by Brené Brown
    • Interview with Andrew Denton; you might like to start a virtual or physically distant “podcast” (aka book) club!
  • Watch movies/your current Netflix or Stan series with others who are remote from you. Agree:
    • Start time
    • Break time(s) when you can have WhatsApp or iMessage discussions of the “I can’t believe that happened” or “wow, who would have thought …” variety
    • To call each other at the end for the debrief discussion
    • Perhaps agree the dinner and/or snack menu too!
  • Take the time to learn; there are:
  • Remind yourself of some of your favourite videos/clips and bring a smile to self and others by sharing these; a few of mine include:

As always, we would love to hear from you – what ideas do you have to stay connected? With your permission, we’d love to share these with others.  After all, we are a #commonhumanity and #community is important to our wellbeing.


Most importantly, stay well.



Anyone want to teach me to dance virtually?

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