fbpx

CONTACT   |   T: 0844 800 1701  

Kerry Leigh

Kerry is one of our most experienced and sought-after consultants and facilitators. She also works regularly in comedy clubs as a compere and is also a writer and actress.

Keeping it real and creating connections during a pandemic

connection-blog

It’s easy to think that a global pandemic has made connections harder to make or maintain, that we’re further apart from people than ever before. But Kerry Leigh argues otherwise, and says that this pandemic has given us a chance to connect to people in ways we’d never have done before.

Learning from a pandemic

My friends and my kids take the piss out of me for my eternal, unshaking optimism, my love of trees and rainbows and my sometimes irritating over-enthusiasm.

I’m not sorry. It’s what I do.

Has my sparkle dwindled over the last year or so? Nope. But I have had to put more conscious effort in and, of course, I’ve had bad moments, tough days, difficult weeks.

What I’ve learned, though, is that warmth and energy can transmit over a Zoom call. We can still make people laugh, smile and think differently over the internet. Authenticity is key. And in some ways, the disconnect has actually helped with this.

We’ve seen into colleagues and customers’ lives in ways we wouldn’t have done pre-pandemic. We’ve seen them in their homes. We’ve met their children and pets. We’ve really ‘seen’ each other.

I’ve also seen things I can’t unsee too. Like one customer’s partner sneaking past in the background in his boxers, doing the ‘stealth walk’ in the hope that he wouldn’t be seen.

Better connections

But, boxer shorts aside, the pandemic has actually helped us to connect better too. If you’re reading this and screaming silently at me in despair, hear me out.

Yes, we thrive on face-to-face interaction. As our CEO, Stephanie Davies, said in her March blog ‘home workers will be glad to get out of the house’ and go to the office. But how many of us took that for granted before?

We’ve got to know each other better over the last 12 months. We’ve connected with colleagues we wouldn’t have done otherwise, as they didn’t share the same geographical location. We’ve discovered what’s possible and what matters: connection. I may be turning into Brene Brown, but that’s okay, I like her.

Actually, like most women in their mid-40s, I’m turning into my mother. Fortunately, I like her too. A friend once commented after meeting my mum: ‘Wow, you’re nothing like her – she’s so glamorous’. Ouch.

They were right though. My mum always looks ‘on-point’, whereas I’ve perfected the ‘wash and go’ look. But I’ve modelled some of my behaviours on hers. She keeps it real. She can be over-enthusiastic in her likes (and dislikes). We don’t do poker faces and we’re both crap at lying. She lives overseas so, just like many other families, the pandemic has kept us physically apart. We don’t know yet when we’ll see each other in person, and that is hard.

We continue to make the most of Skype, Whatsapp, online deliveries and the post office, and practise gratefulness for the connection we do have.

Communication and connection

So, it seems that this bizarre dystopia we seem to have landed in has actually helped us to connect and learn how to connect best, according to the circumstances. We’ve broadened our horizons too. Consider the opportunities created for people who have to work from home some or all of the time because of disabilities or caring commitments.

If you’re starting to work regularly back in the office and beginning to arrange customer meetings face-to-face, my bet is you’ll use your time more wisely now, and communicate genuinely. When you ask someone how they are in person or online, you’ll genuinely mean it and listen to their answer before you get stuck into business.

Because people are business. So let’s take what we’ve learned as we move forwards and keep those connections at the heart of our communication - it’ll keep things far more real if we do.

 

 

How to return to work safely - Back to Work Action...
6 simple steps to improve your brain health
big chat about mental health logo

THE MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY:

Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

Ask us a question

You can call us on 0844 800 1701, or use this form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.






Message*:


Sign up to our weekly Laughology bulletin

Laughology
Suite 869, Kemp House,
152 - 160 City Road,
London EC1V 2NX

T: 0844 800 1701
E: Laughology
F: 0208 337 9262