Each new year brings a chance to review, refresh and re-direct your business and your profession.
At new year Chris Brogan, CEO of The Media Group invites you to set yourself three words to guide your success for the year ahead. I subscribe to his emails. It’s one of a handful of subscriptions that I enjoy and read. I like Chris’s approach to business and his writing style.
After a busy 2016 building my business, growing my network, learning and delivering a host of projects with a range of clients, I wanted to start 2017 with a renewed focus. When Chris’s #my3words email landed in my inbox, the timing was spot on.
I chose #my3words for 2017 without hesitation.
In no particular order, they are:
These words are important to me and I’ve chosen them because they each have multi-faceted meanings and influences for me in both my professional and personal goals for 2017 and beyond.
I’ll explain why I’ve chosen each word in turn this week, starting with voice here.
Voice is pertinent for my professional life, personal life and for my clients and what I do for them.
Use my voice more
That means sharing my knowledge more, through blogs, teaching and my network. I’ve consciously worked to push myself out of my comfort zone since starting my business in 2010. My business grew from a passion of making businesses and workplaces work better for everyone.
Last year I started teaching the internal comms diploma at Bournemouth University. It’s a personal and professional challenge. I prefer to be away from the front of any stage, in the background making the event / campaign / strategy happen. Putting myself front and centre with a group of masters students to teach them was a big step in my development. It was a small class, a highly rewarding experience to see them learn and reflect on my own development. I’ll be teaching the course again this summer.
I’m working with a friend who also works in internal comms to develop a local network of IC professionals. We started with our first meeting in October 2016 and it’s something we’re committed to nurturing. Our next date is after work, Tuesday 21 February, in Poole. If you want to join us, drop me a message.
This year I’m going for Chartered Practitioner Status with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. There are just 100 professionals who are currently Chartered. The institute is working hard to make this a professional standard desired by individuals like me and sought as a standard of excellence by employers and clients. Much like Chartered status is recognised in other professions. The assessment is a tough day of scenarios and interviews. It’s not an easy tick box exercise. As a natural reflector who’s also an introvert, this is going to be a big personal challenge. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to it, testing myself and doing my best. With 17 years’ experience and my commitment to continually learning, I have the knowledge. So this will test me making my voice heard there and in the moment.
I take care and consideration in my responses in given situations. This is a great trait in many ways and allows me to consider what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes, to look at the world from their perspective. This is a great benefit for a communicator who helps businesses communicate better. But as my business has grown I’ve learned a lot about myself too and I know that my business benefits when I put it and myself first. This requires careful consideration to understand the pay off if I take on a project or continue delivering xyz. Will it serve me and my business well? There’s a fine line between balancing my needs, that of my business and those of my clients. I will be listening to my voice more in 2017 so my business goes where I want it to go in the next three years. I’m developing my three year plan now to take my business to the next stage by 2020. It’s exciting and re-energising to put my voice first in my business.
Employee Voice is critical for internal communication and employee engagement. Putting employees at the centre of a business, involved and actively contributing to the business is proven to improve engagement and in turn business success. I help businesses to give their employees a voice so that workplaces work better for everyone. By including Voice in #my3words it’s a continual reminder of this important aspect of my work, why I started my business and why I love what I do.
From a personal perspective voice is also an important reminder for me to give time to my children to share their voices with me. To actively listen to them even during the busiest of our days. And at other times, it reminds me to pause my own voice and use it wisely.
Voice – it’s a simple word that will help guide my personal and professional life for the year ahead and beyond.
I’ll cover ‘Moment’ and ‘Human’, later this week.