We all want to be heard.
It is good to be seen, but please hear my voice. And when I say “hear me”, I am seeking understanding, validation and empathy. I consider it a central purpose for my role as President of our Association to listen to our members and – when I can – to see them, too.
To that end, I began a journey this week. In the months since March, we have learned that there is much we can do virtually. We have found that technology really is a remarkable and brilliant substitute for our traditional methods of sharing and exchanging experiences – almost.
In recent weeks of Town Halls, Coffee Connections and other conversations with members, we’ve discovered an emerging appetite for the novelty of ‘creating moments of person-to-person contact’. Many are famished and ready for this, both inside and outside our membership.
So, heeding the rumblings of my own appetite, I began to ponder the wisdom of travelling to Chapters around the province in COVID times. Is it ‘essential’ to meet that need for person-to-person connection? Much depends upon your point of view and your circumstances, and a lot depends on where you’re heading, and if you are welcome.
With much care and the highest level of respect for local circumstances, I confirmed an itinerary of connections that dot the Yellowhead Highway as I travel to join our Chairs in Prince George for Connecting Leaders 2020: The Changing Nature of Leadership. In my imagination, the encounters with members along this journey will be distinctive and will feel particularly celebratory, as if we are winning a point against COVID and adding a plank to our post-pandemic lives.
In carefully planning my visits with members around the province, I feel that I can bring the microphone a little bit closer to you. But remember that we now have many avenues of connection, and that your voices can travel to me in different ways. And be sure that I can hear you. Wherever we may be, I’m listening.