Great Expectations!

As we move through the strange times of Coronavirus and the new way of home working, it’s struck me how grabbing the unknown and just going for it is likely the best way of getting through.  A bit like gazing into the Milky Way depicted in the feature photo.  Wonder, possibilities, great expectations for what could be something fabulous.


I’ve spent decades travelling into London during rush hour with a journey time on average of an hour at the start and end of the day without ever considering if there was a better way of doing things.


Enter Coronavirus and Zoom!  Forced to work from home and think of new ways of doing my job using a medium like Zoom to deliver training/coaching with it’s virtual breakout rooms, whiteboards, team chats etc terrified me!  What if it all went wrong.  Well it did at the start.  I forgot to alter my speakers so there was no sound – ouch.  A temp issue which was quickly resolved giving those present a life.  A great little unintentional ice breaker!


Approached by Andy of ISS at PwC to run a session on managing teams during lockdown as well as considering any fears that may be in place in the slow return, I devised content to cover:


  • Dealing with anxiety and overthinking – work, home, travel, what is the new ’normal’ going to be?
  • Key signs that may indicate someone is struggling
  • How to start a conversation – preparation, environment, time, language, empathy not sympathy, virtual/in person
  • Our role – are we trained counsellors? Drawing the line
  • Dealing with difficult to hear subjects – suicide, self harm, FGM, abuse, eating disorders etc
  • What fears do you have in approaching someone? What if you do and they don’t want to engage?
  • What support signposting do you already know of?
  • What’s in your self care toolkit?



Using Zoom’s white boards we ended up with hysterical graffiti walls depicting what new skills we discovered about ourselves during lockdown.  We also managed to do a short poll which showed 100% positivity.


From surveys in so far it seems the course and handouts were well received.  Andy’s requested some more sessions.


So, the lesson of this experience is don’t overthink trying new ways of doing things.  Just do it – as Nike would say.  If anything goes wrong, we learn from it.  Like my first experience with Zoom yesterday, you may find it works really well.  Take a breath and just go with it.

“Jane is a first class facilitator, she makes each session impactful and enjoyable which is a really difficult balance to achieve, I would wholeheartedly recommend. ” Andy Ingham, National Operations Manager for ISS

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