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a blog by Chris Barrow

Why I am volunteering my own social distancing

I want to share with you an email that went to my 2020 coaching clients this morning.

"It’s been quite a weekend for all of us and I seem to have spent most of my last two days down in The Bunker and watching the Covid-19 story unfold online.

My Saturday blog post has now been read over 5,300 times and my inbox has been inundated with messages from the dental community around the world to say “thanks” for what I simply intended to be a catharsis of my own thinking.

I’m writing this email to inform you of my own decisions, made in the last 24 hours.

Decision #1 - I’m going to cancel the April Extreme Business Workshops in London and Manchester .

I feel I have a duty of care to avoid asking clients to travel to and attend.

As I promised on Friday, there will be a 100% refund of all delegate fees.

If you have incurred costs for travel and digs, can I suggest that you wait until the Government (probably) announces a clampdown on public gatherings and travel, as that may allow you to claim refunds or transfer bookings to a future date.

Can I also take this opportunity to say that, on the same workshop dates, I’m going to create a live event online that will allow you to join me as I work through a condensed version of the material we are due to cover.

This was The Money Day, so if either you and/or team members want to see and hear me explain how to understand and analyse your business financials - I’ll be announcing later this week the timings for the two sessions on Thursday and Friday 2nd and 3rd April

Decision #2 - I am going to curtail all business travel from midnight tomorrow night (Tuesday) until 20th April 2020.

Again over the weekend, I’ve thought long and hard about the risks I bring, given that I travel 4 days a week on public transport and meet many people every week.

The question that has been at the forefront of my mind has been “do I have a responsibility to volunteer my own social distancing?"

In the news this morning I am reading about numerous retailers and white-collar Employers who are either closing their stores or asking employees to work from home and conduct all meetings via Zoom or equivalent. Apple, Urban Outfitters, Unilever, RBS, KPMG, Lloyd’s of London, General Motors, Ford, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, JP Morgan - the list goes on.

We are all aware that air travel and cross border journeys have come to a standstill.

Although I am still not showing any symptoms, I have to see myself as a potential super-spreader, as well as a member of an age group that has a higher risk profile.

The reality is that very few existing clients will be inconvenienced by this decision, partly because I had a week’s vacation in there (now lost) but also because I’m between meeting cycles and most of my time in the weeks ahead was focused on conferences and trade shows.

Out of 4 UK conferences, only one has contacted me to say they are either postponing or going digital - I am sure the rest will follow suit and are probably again waiting for the Govt for insurance purposes.

Decision #3 - Reinventing the coaching business support I give you in the weeks ahead.

I may not be travelling but I’m still your business coach.

I’m in conversation with Phillippa and Rachel this week about how best we can support you through the challenging times ahead.

I want to make the maximum use of this time to provide guidance, ideas and examples of best practice during the Covid-19 crisis.

We are already working on some template patient communication material to be released in the next few days and I’m germinating the idea of using The Extreme Business Academy platform for a weekly webinar (open house) to discuss Covid-19 business issues and concerns.

I hope this email lands in the spirit in which it has been composed - that of safety first and support."

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