survival skills workshop: supporting you in the year ahead
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Darren Caveney in coaching, comms, comms2point0, communications, cuts, emotional intelligence, leadership, mindfulness, pr, public sector, stress, survival skills workshop: supporting you in the year ahead, training events

Cuts, restructures, organisational change. Our working worlds have never been more full of challenge and change. You’re resilient, you get by. But are you properly supported through these tough times? Possibly not. An all-new workshop aims to change all that. 

by Darren Caveney

One thing I've been struck by these past few months is the growing pressure being placed upon colleagues as budget cuts continue to bite. Who is supporting you through these difficult times? How can you maintain enthusiasm and creativity in challenging times? Where can 'self-help' and mindfulness play a part in supporting you?

I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve spoken with who are going through difficult times right now, and having to make real hard decisions about where to go next with budget cuts, restructures and changes.

I’ve been in that very place myself during 10-years as a head of communications. And when I reflected back on how well I performed during tough times it struck me that I pretty much did all of it without much in the way of support.

Of course when you’re a manager, a leader or a budget holder you’re paid to make decisions. It goes with the territory. And that’s fine but is that really the best way to support colleagues in making the good decisions and in genuinely putting ‘people first’? We’re sometimes placed in positions where we are having to make decisions which literally affect people’s lives and livelihoods. That can be a hidden pressure which can take a toll over time. Sleepless nights, snappy, irritable. You might recognise the signs.

What I actually needed was a space to breathe and talk with others in a similar place, to share lessons, experiences, challenges and dilemmas. A safe place where it’s possible to talk without fear of recrimination or judgement. A place where self-help is encouraged and a space to put those making tough decisions first.

So after a lot of thought and discussions with a colleague, who’s work in this area I really respect, I’m pleased to be able to launch an all-new ‘Survival Skills’ workshop.’

Designed with comms and PR people in mind the Survival Skills workshop will provide the skills to help you not just survive but thrive despite organisational change and stresses. It will give you tools and techniques to develop your mental resilience, helping you to maintain your focus on the things that matter.

Whether it’s demanding targets, your own job being under threat, being asked to make tough cuts in your team or generally being asked to do more with less again and again, mental resilience is the quality that largely determines how people deal with these challenges and pressures at work. I believe it’s vital that you’re supported and not left to face these challenges alone, without proper time being invested in helping you.

Objectives of the workshop…

Outcomes for you and for your organisation

Who will lead the workshop?

The workshop will be led by two experienced, award-winning Heads of Communications - Carole Appleby and myself. Carole is a member of the Association of Coaching, an accredited coach and someone with oodles of experience in advising comms people on dealing with stressful situations.

What will the day look and feel like?

The workshop will be open to a small number of you. It will be a ‘safe’ space where you’ll be free to talk openly without worrying about anything leaving the room. We’ll encourage you to switch your phones off and we’ll not be live tweeting from the workshop. The day deliberately sets outs to focus on you and to support you in the year ahead.

We’ll also explore ways in which the group can keep in touch beyond the workshop to carry on that aim of supporting and helping each other.

Where and when?

The Survival Skills workshop will take place on 19 April 2016 and will be held at The Studio in Birmingham, just a three minute walk from New Street Station.


The workshop will be limited to just 15 attendees and costs £249.

If you’d like to reserve a space email Darren now

Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0

Image via the New York Public Library Digital Collection

Article originally appeared on comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people (
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