Be Part of The World’s Largest Thank You Note

As I often tell my clients, a tried and true strategy they can do to build and strengthen relationships is to say, “Thank you”. So during these challnging times, I would like to ask everyone to join me in doing just that.

So here’s how it works. After you read this blog, please share it through your social media outlets and include by name, profession, industry, etc. (your choice) a list of those you would like to thank and why. And then ask your social media contacts to do the same!

You can share one or many names, or recognize a group or people within an industry who are answering the call to service right now. But I do ask you keep political discussions at bay. Because this is just about appreciation.

To get started, I want to thank the following incredible nurses who are friends and family on the front lines in the fight to protect those who are ill. That includes Niki Wohlford-Will, Hillary Till McCoy, Lori Horine Till, Jennifer Tornatta- Berry, Madison Wohlford and Rosemary Gavan.

I’d also like to thank the amazing managers and staff at my local Publix grocery store. They have been working tirelessly to keep the shelves stocked and serving their customers. All while keeping a smile on their face and sharing a kind word.

I truly hope you will join me, so together we can share our appreciation with those who truly deserve it!

#AloneTogether #StrongerTogether #ThankYou

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

A Glimpse of the Positive During a Global Pandemic

“Smokey the Bear”

Those of you who know me, know my sweet, handsome boy Smokey has been one of the great joys in my life for the past fourteen years. He looks the same today as he did when he was that scared little puppy we rescued from a shelter.

Sadly, this sweet boy has terminal cancer. He’s in no pain and actually is doing quite well considering the diagnosis. But we only have a few months left to enjoy the unconditional love he gives us everyday, so we are cherishing each moment.

So what does this have to do with a pandemic? This morning, a stay-at-home order went into effect in our county. For us it means just that, with few exceptions to go out for food, medicine and essential services. And even though we were already “sheltering in place”, this takes it to another level. So when I was taking Smokey for a walk this morning, I started thinking about what this really meant.

In addition to slowing down or stopping (hopefully) the spread of COVID-19, it has given my husband and me the opportunity to spend even more time with our senior pup. There have been more walks, more time to cuddle and more time spent petting and loving that sweet, sweet face.

So in the midst of a crisis, something amazing has emerged. The chance to appreciate and enjoy the love of a truly loyal and faithful friend.

#AloneTogether #StrongerTogether #SmokeytheBear

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

Finding Control in an Uncontrollable World

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve seen many posts on social media and talked with folks these past weeks that are starting to struggle a bit emotionally to keep their spirits high. And it got me thinking…(a dangerous thing somedays)!!

In a world that can seem out of control, how do we stay in control? Is it maintaining our routines as much as possible? Going for more walks? Having an extra glass of wine? But what if these options aren’t possible? So I decided to share some thoughts.

Perhaps it’s the little things we can do each day that will help us stay positive. For me, that includes doing physical activity in addition to exercise which has visible results. So I sweep my front porch, sidewalk and patio nearly everyday. I put away the dishes in the dishwasher and make the bed.

And since I had a bit of extra time in my day last week, I reorganized my office. Discarding those documents which seemed so important at the time I decided to save them, but when I looked at them again, I couldn’t fathom why!

In my professional life, I’ve been working on my book, writing daily blogs and re-evaluating my business plan-post pandemic. And somedays I may only write a few lines, but I can still sit back and actually look at what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day.

I guess my point is just seeing the real-time results of those actions does wonders for keeping my spirits high. That sense of accomplishment, even if it’s something very small also breeds a feeling of being in control even when it may seem the rest of the world is just the opposite.

What are you doing to stay positive right now? Share your thoughts or ideas and let’s keep the conversation going!

#AloneTogether #StrongerTogether

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

Some Thoughts from a Work-from-Home Veteran

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

With many states, counties and cities issuing orders to “shelter-in-place” or “stay at home”, at least in the foreseeable future the new normal has become working from home.

Sounds like the perfect solution right? Getting to participate in video conferences in your pajamas and slippers. Or sitting on your patio, laptop in hand, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air while you work. Ahh…I can see it now!

But as someone who’s worked from home for well over twenty years, trust me it’s not always that idyllic! Especially if you’re doing it for the first time or have a spouse and children at home as well. In fact in can be downright stressful! Even more so than being at the office.

So I thought I’d share a few thoughts on how I’ve been able to do it successfully for many years. But before I do, let me clarify this is what worked or still works for me.

The first challenge I faced was actually motivating myself to work on work! It’s awfully easy when you’re at home to become very flexible with your time. This is especially true if your boss or clients don’t really care about what hours you work as long as you produce the expected results on time.

So what worked for me was to actually keep my routine exactly the same, including getting dressed (sans the high heels) and sitting down to work at the same time I would if I was at the office. This really helped! Especially since I was dressed for work, I was a lot less tempted to do household chores, watch TV, take a nap or work out in the yard on a beautiful day.

This routine also helped me to stop working at the same time I would if I was at the office, because by the end of the day I was ready to change into those comfy clothes and relax!

Another thing I did (and still do) is put the work away at the end of the day and organize my desk before I walked away. This is really important to me to bring conclusion to the workday. And it also makes it more of an effort to get everything out again and start working for just another hour or so.

Now I will confess as a writer and consultant, sometimes I work into the evenings or on the weekends. In my chosen profession, creativity is a must and inspiration doesn’t just happen Monday through Friday from 9:00-5:00! So when inspired, I work!

Another trick that sounds really simple (but really isn’t) is to take a break! If you are used to doing that at the office, continue that routine at home. Even if it’s for 30 minutes to have some lunch. And by that I mean walk away from your laptop or desk and have lunch. It really does serve to rejuvenate and refresh so you can finish the rest of your day.

And lastly…take advantage of the perks working from home can offer! I mentioned earlier about working on your patio with laptop in hand. Even though my desk is stationary, my office most definitely isn’t! Somedays I work in the kitchen (admiring the view of the patio), sometimes I work outside, and yes…sometimes I do work on the couch in my pajamas!

The key is to figure out what’s best for you, so in these unprecedented times, you can make working from home work for you!

Have some tips on how you are successfully working from home? I’d love to hear them! Let’s keep the conversation going so we can all be #AloneTogether

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

Are We Becoming More Social with Social Distancing?

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Over the past month there have been countless posts, comments, opinions, etc. about what is happening in our world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And our vocabulary has expanded to include words such as social distancing and alone together. At first glance, those phrases sound diametrically opposite. And in many respects they are!

So I started thinking about and frankly becoming more observant of how we are interacting with each other during a time of separation. And from my very humble observations, I do believe social distancing has actually made us more social! Myself included.

Over these past weeks, I’ve found myself interacting more on social media, participating is some of the silly Facebook “games” people created, and enjoying a hearty laugh at some of the memes. Just today I introduced a single friend to Facetime as a way to check in with each other.

But I’ve also noticed during actual physical interaction (within a safe distance apart) sharing conversations with neighbors, smiling at each other as we pass by during a walk, or saying, “Hello” to strangers.

Suddenly we all have something in common in a common enemy…COVID-19.

So let us continue to pray for a swift and positive end to this pandemic, the victims and their families, our hard-working first responders and medical personnel, the survival of our small businesses and the unsung heroes stocking the shelves at our grocery stores and delivering goods to our front door.

And maybe, just maybe we can all pause for a moment and reflect on how social distancing has made us more social, and perhaps in the long-term a kinder and more appreciative world.

#AloneTogether #SocialDistancing

Your Partner in Advoacy…Kathy

Reflections – What the Last Decade Has Taught Us

With the beginning of 2020, I thought this would be a great opportunity to look back at  and talk about what’s changed in the last decade in the world of advocacy.

The most obvious is the use of social media that has made our ability to advocate on issues from local to global much more inclusive, engaging and instantaneous.  But does that type of advocacy really work? And by that I mean:

  1. Are political leaders really influenced?
  2. Is this influence affecting their decisions and votes?
  3. Are more people actually engaged and participating (consistently) in the advocacy process?
  4. Who are they and why are they getting involved?
  5. Are they aware of and influencing the “right” people (i.e. those in a position of power)?

All interesting questions that I’m going to explore over the next several weeks. I’ll also look at what hasn’t changed, and talk about some of the basic, fundamental principles of advocacy that still, and will always apply.

So I hope you will enjoy this exploration of advocacy and look forward to engaging in a dialogue that will help all of us be our best advocates in 2020!

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

#YourJourneyStartsToday

Happy New Year!

This last week of the year is my planning week to reflect and set goals for the new year. And I love to read what people share on social media about their goals. There always seems to be a spirit of optimism and commitment that the upcoming year is going to be theirs for the taking. Hopefully for you it is the same!

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over many years of doing this is to make those goals realistic, and avoid the temptation to set too many or make them too lofty. As a speaker and consultant on advocacy I share that same advice with my clients and audiences. it can be very easy to say, “Okay…this is the year I really get engaged!”

And while that’s quite laudable, is it realistic? As with your other goals, keeping it simple and doable within your busy schedule may be just the formula you need to discover at the end of 2020 you have become or continue to be the successful advocate that’s making a difference in your community.

So here’s to 2020. May it be your best year yet!

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

#YourJourneyStartsToday

It’s That Time of Year Again!

Every December, I spend the last week of the month developing my business and personal goals for the new year. For me it’s the perfect time to “decompress” after the holiday and start the next year refreshed and refocused.

For advocates, I encourage you to do the same thing. But as can happen when setting goals, we “go big” to start the year, but quickly discover we’ve over-committed, or made those goals too lofty. Been there…done that!

So as someone who has experienced that frustration, I’d like to share an excerpt from my book, A Journey To Yes, that will help you develop a very doable plan that will have you celebrating success at the end of 2020! I call it, Kathy’s Cannons for Influence Planning. By clicking on this link, you’ll get access to a printable PDF copy you can refer to over and over again.

Happy Planning!

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

#YourJourneyStartsToday

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Prayer – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones from,

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

#YourJourneyStartsToday

 

An Important Member of Your Advocacy Team

Often when thinking about advocacy and advocating for your community, business or organization, the person(s) that comes to mind is the legislator. Obviously they are quite important, and the ultimate decision makers when voting on issues affecting your communities. However, there is another very important group of people that deserve as much of your time and attention as the lawmaker themselves. And that is their staff!

These individuals are much more than just an employee. They are often a confidant, advisor and influencer when it comes time for legislators to:

1. Decide how to vote
2. Decide what bills to file
3. Decide to request appropriations
4. Fully understand the impact of legislation (develop talking points)
5. Draft bill language
6. Debate bills in committee

So look for opportunities to really build a relationship with them for the benefit of your organization, city or small business. Below are some examples:

  1. For local governments – Initiate a quarterly meeting with city senior staff (or town manager/clerk) with the lawmakers’ legislative aides for the purpose of keeping them up-to-date on activities within your town.
  2. Send them a thank you note, recognizing them for their service.
  3. If it’s been awhile since they’ve visited your facilities, invite them for a tour and conversation to keep bring them up-to-date on the challenges or opportunities you’re experiencing.

And above all, always treat them with the respect they deserve. These are hardworking men and women that, like their lawmakers, truly want to make a difference in their communities.

Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy

#YourJourneyStartsToday