I spend a lot of time talking to people on my computer and as much as I would love to see people IRL again, I'm reflecting on the relationships I've built and continue to grow online.
In 2021 alone:
- I hired my personal assistant, Charm, to get manage my schedule. She lives in the Philippines and we've been working together for almost a year. Just recently, we caught up on our holidays. Don't forget to ask colleagues how they are doing.
- I’ve hired several interns for A Leader Like Me and Inner Strength Communication. These paid positions allow us to bring in help and create a learning opportunity for future communication professionals. I have been hiring interns since 2005 when I was at HP Canada and then Loblaw Companies. I love learning about the skills new communicators are graduating with and giving them feedback to jumpstart their careers. I am so proud of all of them. Through Covid, interns get one meeting per week with the team to understand our priorities for the week, and a 1:1 at the end of the week to see how things are going. We communicate regular though shared drives and email to ensure things are moving along.
- I met Arlene Amitirigala, a freelancer that I met through IABC/Toronto and IABC/Toronto Professional Independent Communicators. We’ve been talking about how we can work together. We're putting minds together to collaborate on some offerings and how she can support some of my clients. I love having a virtual team of skilled and trusted practitioners to bring to my clients. It gives us an opportunity to put the best professionals together to bring communication solutions to business problems. One of my strengths has always been creating high-performing teams. By regular meetings, shared tools and clear direction, we always wow our customers. I love that they see our delivery as seamless.
- I continued to grow A Leader Like Me with Advita Patel. An empowering community to help build courage and confidence in women of colour The women-of-colour programs are changing lives and not a week goes by without hearing of a major milestone met by one our members worthy of celebrating. In 2022, we plan to launch a podcast in the DEI space and also build a much-needed community for DEI practitioners given the DEI mandate in their organizations.
- I was blessed to work with some incredible organizations. In every interaction, I feel I am part of their teams. :
a. Sephora Canada (based in Toronto)
b. The Canadian Department of Justice (based in Toronto)
c. Poppulo (based in Ireland)
d. Ferraro (based in Luxemburg)
e. York Catholic District School Board (based in Toronto)
f. The Council of Poultry and Egg Producers in Canada (based in Ottawa)
g. QlikTech Corp (based in the USA)
h. QG100 (based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
i. ThoughtFarmer (based in Vancouver, BC, Canada)
- I spoke at a number of events throughout the year connecting and educating communication professionals globally.
a. Poppulo: Building a Communication Plan for Returning to the Hybrid Workplaces
b. Spotlight on Communicating D&I –Aniisu K Verghese
c. PR 360: Getting the Most of our Your Strategic Internal Communication
d. IABC Guide for Practical Business Communication I wrote the Internal Communication and Engage
e. IABC Circle of Fellows: Communicating to a Changing Workforce
I'm sharing this because some may feel they are standing still during the pandemic. The world is not standing still. There are changes happening. The world is going through incredible transformations. Stay connected. Have a plan. Build relationships. There has never been a better time.