Diary of a lockdown – Week One

Monday 23rd March Day by day there are more changes.  Friday night saw the closure of all pubs, cafes and restaurants except for takeaway. On Saturday inexplicably everyone decided to go out for a walk.  Ashridge and Ivinghoe were packed with cars and it would have been impossible to observe the recommended 2m social distancing.  … Read more

The value in different kinds of conversation

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

These are unprecedented times in so many ways – the whole fabric of society is being ripped apart and everyone is scrabbling to pick up the pieces.  I personally subscribe to the point of view that this virus is the planet’s way of telling us to slow down and to rethink. We could not continue the way we were.

I really feel for all the kids in Year 11 and 13 and all final year students.  The culmination of all they have been working towards has been snatched away. Many may feel relieved but at the same time they lose the chance to prove themselves, the chance to excel.  Those with disappointing mock results miss out on the chance to show that they have responded and worked hard. Overall it’s the fairness of examinations, the leveller which has gone. And what happens now?    Likewise all those who have been rehearsing for a play/show, preparing for a conference, planning a wedding or a birthday party.  Such disappointment, yet now this is a fact of everyday life.  

It is becoming clearer that businesses and the economy in general will take a massive hit.  Many businesses will not survive. Many will have to transform. The lack of toilet paper and pasta and provisions in the shops is only the tip of the iceberg.  I fear things will get a lot worse before they get better. 

However, I’m so uplifted by everyone’s willingness to help each other out.  I really hope this continues after this is all over. We have to look for the positives wherever possible.   

I think this is a massive opportunity for reflection, and for re-evaluation.  Every business, perhaps even every person will have to consider why and how they do what they do. Many social norms and expectations will change.  We will all need to think creatively about what we can do differently.  

But first we need to get through the coming weeks.  Looking after loved ones, fighting boredom, resting and isolating if we feel unwell.  Staying connected. Talking to friends and family on the phone by video call.

In stressful times it’s natural to want to share stories, gossip and have a bit of a moan about what’s going on.  And that’s OK, to a point. But it can also be damaging to our mental health. Constant updates on the news fuel the negativity and sense of panic.  We need to make sure we are having more positive conversations – I was thinking about the sort of conversations I have with my coaching clients. Conversations which move people forward and allow them to see a different perspective or think differently.  Conversations which allow people to make difficult decisions by weighing up their thoughts objectively without censor or assumptions. As a coach, I am trained to hold back from colluding and from judging. Instead I ask questions and I challenge the assumptions that people make.  This can be incredibly liberating and people go away feeling lighter.


There will be so many people needing these kind of positive forward looking conversations.  I’ve decided to help by offering online coaching on a “pay what you can afford” basis. I’m going to set up a bookable online calendar in the next day or two but in the mean time contact me or give me a ring on 07984 447341 if you would like to book in.