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  • Mark Berridge

Value Every Step

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

2020 has been a year of incredible collective disruption - socially and economically. Many implications of the Covid-19 pandemic are already apparent, but the full extent will take time to assess. As with confronting any challenge, the negative impacts are typically more apparent at first whilst the positives that arise take longer to appreciate.

More locally, disruption is constantly occurring around us to varying degrees. Industry disruption is a regular consideration for businesses considering their strategies, whilst crises also cause dislocation of work plans, triggering the need or opportunity for change. Often in these challenging work periods we find it difficult to appreciate the moment - it is a case of survival. As we emerge we are able to reflect on decisions made and lessons learned, and we soon recognise that these difficult steps in our lives are extremely valuable to our development and probably the fabric of who we are and become.

Sometimes the lag between disruption and moving forward to resolution can seem slow or frustrating. This can be true in negotiations, where it can feel like you are stuck in a phase of the negotiation sequence. It is valuable to understand what stage of the negotiation you are in, and what skills you should utilise to find a way forward. Listening diligently and taking action on what you hear (or see) is important. Life is like that too: experience, positivity and hearing (or reading) advice can all be instrumental to regain momentum after a setback.

Disruption is regularly personal, but we mainly have a limited appreciation of what our acquaintances, friends, colleagues or even family may be going through in terms of financial, emotional or physical challenges. It is why checking in on those around us has always been an important aspect of humanity.

My disruption commenced early on 10 March 2019, when my bicycle deviated from its cornering line, forcing me to make a controlled crash decision. Instead of flying to Salt Lake City that evening to co-lead a valuable workshop, I was in hospital digesting the news of 2 crush-fractured vertebrae, potential spinal cord damage and emergency surgery.

I am grateful my helmet (MIPS technology) did its job so resolutely, affording me the opportunity to contemplate the uncertainties ahead. I am indebted to Australia's public health system for 7+ weeks of acute and rehabilitation unit care. I feel privileged by the array of physiotherapy expertise I have been exposed to - their guidance and motivation has been fundamental to the gains I have made against the series of SMART goals we have set together. And of course the many priceless moments of encouragement and love from acquaintances, friends, colleagues and family checking in over the journey.

Like the current global situation, I can't yet assess the extent of the long term deviation resulting from my disruption. All advice is that physically I am unlikely to ever be back to normal - but I firmly appreciate that I am extremely fortunate to be where I am. I have grown my resilience. I am far more aware of the less than fair hand of health dealt to others, and those that work tirelessly to support them. And as with those work and other challenges I have faced, I know that I am able to reflect and learn from the journey. And that is the essence of this article, to value every step.


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