Socially distant, emotionally close

Last week, we held our regular (virtual) Town Hall meeting to catch up with Team Coaches on all things Leading Edge. We always run this as a virtual get-together so that Team Coaches can be involved, wherever they’re based or wherever they happen to be on that day in support of clients’ leadership and development.

We were all obviously keen to hear thoughts on the potential impact of coronavirus on Leading Edge as a business… but what was more important was to check in with each other as a team and community on how we were all doing emotionally and physically.

And that has been the consistent theme in every client conversation I’ve had in the past few days. It just shows how much our clients embrace our ethos of ‘if it matters to you, it matters to us’.

It goes without saying that I’ve needed to have conversations with clients about postponing or cancelling work. But I’ve been so humbled with how concerned our clients have been about the effect of this and truly grateful that the conversations have been along the lines of “How is business for you, and how can we achieve what we need to achieve together?” rather than launching straight into the details of cancellation clauses.

Contracts are important – they’re a mark in the sand – and we all know that good fences make good neighbours. But when you’re lucky enough to have such great partnerships with amazing clients as we do, you have the opportunity to openly discuss what’s best on both sides and be flexible when something as unexpected and huge as coronavirus comes along.

Knowing our clients as friends means we have a good feel for the individual pressures they might be under and how we can approach conversations in a way that’s most helpful to them.

We’ve also been able to support clients by putting them in touch with colleagues in similar sectors with similar challenges, where sharing of knowledge might make a helpful difference. This is something we do regularly through our Performance Hub events and virtual community, getting clients, colleagues and friends together for a shared perspective on hot topics or focus areas around teams, leadership and change. It’s great to think this virtual community might bring some support in these times.

For now, we’ll try to keep our energy as a team focused on what is past this problem for all of us. Keep well, everyone.