Back to (new) normal?

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Jane explains how Result CIC did business development – on the roof!

The scene was set. The weather was forecast in the 30s so the sun umbrella was up on the roof terrace. Separate trays were ready with separate glasses and snacks and a rainbow napkin to indicate which was Hormoz’s. Chairs were placed at a suitable distance which would still allow for lipreading (a careful calculation!). And we were off!

It is hard to describe how heartening it was to be able to meet face-to-face for this outdoor meeting after almost 3 months of separated communication online. Though we expected it to be a real pleasure, and it was, what took us by surprise was how much more productive the discussion was.

There is something vital about being able to see and feel your colleagues’ reactions to questions and ideas in 3-D. The inaugural rooftop meeting made us realise just how much we had missed this and how much more effort we had needed to make while forced to work in two dimensions on a screen. In that mode, we had often needed to explain, sometimes rather laboriously, points which would have been easy to understand if we had been in the room together. There was so much scope for misunderstanding, we realised. In addition, the emotional deprivation of not seeing other people for several months and the fears which the epidemic had instilled, increased mental stress, which in turn had made it harder to think clearly and be positive.

One productive result of the long gap was that it made us aware of the need for a review. When work continues in an uninterrupted way, it can be easy to forget to do this, with micro-tasks such as admin often occupying most available time. It was very useful to reflect on the point we had reached and recall the work we had done up until then. We asked ourselves the big, simple questions below (why not try them out yourself?). 

  • What’s happening?
  • What are the opportunities in the current situation which we may be missing?
  • Where have we got to so far?
  • What might we have forgotten?

This made us realise that it was time to contact some of our wonderful previous clients. That contact led to renewed conversations which are important for the work we do and could mean future work to support marginalised people – which is why Result CIC exists.

The time together was precious as the rules and laws keep changing. Since that rooftop rendezvous, restrictions in Salford where we are based, have tightened. We hope you can soon safely start to see your colleagues face to face and that when you do, you can value and make the most of the energy and creativity that can produce.

Just remember your socially appropriate napkins!

 
 

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