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a blog by Chris Barrow

Lockdown Leadership - Part 7: Communicating with your family and yourself

It's time to stop consuming the conversation and start creating the conversation

I have 5 adult children scattered across the North West and the Greater London area and Covid-19 has brought me closer to them than before.

We stay in touch daily on Facebook Messenger (although I understand they have their own WhatsApp group, to which I'm not invited). 🤔

We are having great fun on Zoom with our Saturday COBRA meetings (Collection of Barrows Ranting About........).

My wife has a recently discovered extended family in New York and her communication with them is daily via the same channels.

Crisis brings us together and leaves me wondering what I was so busy doing beforehand that was prioritised above that simple connection?

Some societies, religions and ethnicities place a much higher value on family communication than others. Perhaps Covid-19 will change that?

Once more, a moment to ponder whether we are all going to step back into the hamster wheel when the return to work happens.

I also pay tribute to the many who are homeschooling and entertaining their children; children who have perhaps had more attention from their parents than any in modern times.

Will you go back to seeing little of them because of the pressures of work/business/career?

As to the conversation that you are having with yourself.

I prepared my very first introductory video yesterday to the (currently) 72 practices who have joined us for the 12-week Regeneration Programme. We are busy enrolling over 400 owners, managers, clinicians and dental team members who are going to be taking that voyage with us.

Part of my message was about "mental nutrition" during lockdown, furlough or redeployment.

I counselled them to be vary careful about the quantity and quality of their media and social media consumption at the moment.

The conversation that you have with yourself is constantly influenced by external factors (who you listen to - what you read - your observations - your environment) and internal factors (your levels of self-care).

As usual, I shared some of my own challenges in this respect and what I'm doing to stay focused and positive.

I'm strictly limiting my exposure to the media, especially "breaking news" (because that's exactly what it is designed to do - break you).

I'm restricting my social media exposure to channels and groups I trust to stay sensible, avoiding the black hole of fascinating rubbish.

The Wattbike is in the back garden, so that I can invest 45 minutes a day in aerobic exercise, to add to the hour a day of brisk dog walking.

I've decided that on Tuesday next week, I'm starting a 21-day detox to clear out of my system the Covid-19 accumulation of steady evening drinking as a reward for my efforts of the day.

Annie is the cook in our home and she is doing an amazing job with our physical nutrition.

I'm reading The Daily Stoic each morning and good literature every day.

I'm surrounding myself with a community of people who see the bright side of life. I'm staying away from negative influences and conversation.

As lockdown leaders, we have to stay physically and mentally healthy, as an example to those who are looking to us for guidance.

It has been very nourishing for me to create this 7-part mini-series of thoughts on how we show up as lockdown leaders and if only just one idea in all of this has been useful, my work will have been done.

Tomorrow in this blog I will return to the present day and, as always, sit at my desk around 05:30 each morning and ask "what I am going to write about today?"

Who knows?

Until tomorrow - stay safe and well.

As part of The Extreme Business Regeneration Programme, we will be guiding our clients on that communication with all of the communities we have referenced in this series during lockdown.

This morning we have 72 dental practices who have joined the Regeneration Programme and who will be working with me and helping each other over the next three months.

We began our journey on Monday this week 6th April 2020 but it's not too late to take part.

Come and join us - a community who are going to stay ahead of the curve during lockdown and emerge ready for the new normal.

Details are HERE.

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