Specky & Ginge LTD provides exceptional online marketing personalised  
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Free Blog Friday, an opportunity for 5 businesses to have a free blog written by us and shared on our social channels for extra exposure. 
 
Meet Karen Chamberlain of KC Learning & Development. Karen is our 3rd Free Blog Friday and she chatted to us about the challenges of running a business and facing her fears during lockdown. Here is the blog we created for her - Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. 
Close your eyes, have a think for a moment. What does the best version of you look like? It might mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to see it, it might feel uncomfortable. In order to grow, change and become stronger sometimes we need to give ourselves a little stretch. 
 
“The most important thing to remember is you CAN do it” 
 
Last year, I took an uncomfortable leap out of my comfort zone. I was asked by 2 clients to support them with delivering development activities online, which enabled me to offer a wider range of options for my learning & development solutions. 
 
The most challenging, even frightening part of what I was being asked to do was the online bit! Those who know me know I am not the most confident when it comes to tech, but I reminded myself that’s OK as it’s an area I can learn. 
 
One client asked me to support the development of their leaders using Facebook to facilitate `live training & interview sessions’ and video-linked 1:1 coaching sessions. 
 
Another client asked me to deliver a series of on-line training sessions via Zoom, covering topics such as Communication, Assertiveness and Customer Service Skills; all of which I am confident in as I have a wealth of experience in these areas. Delivering training `online’ however was a whole new ball game! 
What was I so scared of? 
 
• My lack of confidence in my technical capability 
• Worry if things went wrong? 
• How will I fix things, if it goes wrong during the session? 
• What will people think of me if things go wrong? 
• How do I manage my `fixed mind-set’ in dealing with anything `IT’ related? 
• Will I ever be prepared? 
Do any of these fears sound familiar to you? Confronting my concerns made me step out of my comfort zone. Facing these fears has enabled me to grow and to diversify in the way I do business, which is even more key as we continue to work differently in lockdown. 
 
I now embrace on-line platforms with an open mind and with renewed enthusiasm. Recently I’ve taken part in several webinars and learning action sets as a participant, to enable me to put myself in the learner’s shoes. This allows me to appreciate what it’s like for others using online platforms for the first time. Listening, empathising and engaging with others is key to ensure an inclusive and positive experience for my participants. 
What are my reflections on `facing my fears’? 
• Be clear on what it is you’re trying to achieve; what’s the purpose and what are the outcomes? Create a plan. 
• Learn, and be open to learning. My client who recruited me as a training associate for the 4 month zoom-training provided me with brilliant training and instructions with guidance & troubleshooting, to help me prepare to use zoom effectively, and to respond to difficulties. 
• Practice, practice, practice! I practiced on my own, with family members, testing the functionality as well as the differences in facilitating a group where I can only see their top half on the screen! 
• Take care to not let my `be perfect’ driver get in the way! 
• Continue to develop my growth mind-set for all things IT related; consider my achievements so far in resolving IT issues, leading on-line training sessions and advising others to use the system. 
 
• Talk to others, to share ideas and potential concerns, peer coaching proves invaluable for this. 
• Relax and be yourself, trust that you’ve got this! 
• Focus on your strengths that energise you, to help you in those areas you feel `less strong in’ and to feed your growth-mindset. My strengths include creativity, growth and explainer as identified on the fabulous strengths profile via www.strengthsprofile.com. 
• Keep learning, keep growing. Shortly I’ll be partnering with a colleague to share our experiences and insights of the SCARF model, using on-line platforms, which is exciting. 
 
Finally, during these unprecedented times, it’s key that your colleagues, your team, your customers, can see & hear you, and are able to connect and strengthen their relationship with you in a different, virtual way. Be authentic, and be transparent, let others into your world. Many of us are looking a bit different with longer or different shaded hair than we’d normally like, and that’s absolutely fine! We’re also potentially working with partners, children or pets at home as well, so sights and sounds of our surrounding worlds are to be expected. 
 
If you would like to explore ways to lead & motivate yourself and/or your team, please do reach out HERE for a video call. 
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