Happy New Year

D+A New Year’s Resolutions

“My resolution is to invest more in the wellness and skills development of people doing the work of public engagement. I have come to realize that engagement is really about human connection and democracy, and so it’s really difficult if your colleagues, clients, staff or partners are feeling beat up, tired, and suffering from a lack of respect. So I resolve to look for ways to support people doing the hard, heart-work of engagement.”

Jessica Delaney, Principal, Strategic Communications + Engagement

I am going to be less concerned about making an impression and more concerned about building trust next year. The best way to deal with uncertainty, anger, fear or confusion, in an engagement or training setting, is to build trust.  Everything happens after that.”

Valerie Delaney, Principal, Learning + Development

“Many times while preparing for a session, a client has told me, ‘Watch out for so-and-so; he’s a real troublemaker.’ What I have found is that this individual, in every instance, has proven to be the most informed, passionate and engaged participant of all. In 2019, I resolve to go beyond facilitating meaningful conversations and to work extra hard building trust in that moment between our clients and their stakeholders.”

Richard Delaney, President and Principal, Collaborative Decision-Making

“I am NOT going approach this coming winter with dread and irritation. I want to embrace the cold, snow and beauty of the season as a gift for living in a beautiful city, in a beautiful country – one that offers me four seasons to experience. When I look ahead – at winter or whatever – with fear of the unknown and worry of how I will be affected, I might miss all the good things being offered to me. And, I might forget how my attitude can affect the people around me at work or at home. This winter I resolve to be positive and open to the gifts of the season. ”

Brenda Kortekaas, from Ottawa (The coldest capital in the world), Community of Practice Coordinator

“I don’t typically make New Year’s resolutions, but in 2019 I will continue focusing on letting go. At D+A we like to say we’re “process control freaks” and that suits me to a T. I’m 100 per cent on board with all the careful planning work that goes into our engagement plans, our detailed session agendas and our learning frameworks for training. For me, the challenge is in investing so much in the plans and then learning to let go a little when things inevitably don’t go according to plan. And let’s be real – in engagement we’re working in complex, human systems where change and emotions are often involved. Despite all the planning in the world, things are going to change and shift, and we need to be nimble.

“Let go” has been a theme for me in the last part of 2018, and something I will continue to work on in the New Year. I have a quote up at my desk: “Create an outcome… and then hold it lightly.” I’m making this my motto for 2019.”

Jennifer Miller, Director, Engagement + Communications

“My resolution for 2019 is to push the boundaries on follow-up and reporting back to stakeholders. It is a step that is often easy to forget, skip or undervalue, and yet nobody likes loose ends; we all need and crave a sense of closure. And, if reporting back can include clear, easy-to-understand, visually interesting information, I will be very happy with myself a year from now.”

Emina Dervisevic, Director, Engagement + Communications

I have a resolution that I resolve to each and every year: it is to act from love and not fear in everything I do – all my professional and personal goals all fall out of this and having this “true north” makes it easier to find the right decision when those challenging moments arise.

Abbey-Jane McGrath, Specialist, Engagement + Communications

“When it comes to making resolutions I like to ask myself ‘over the past year, what do you know to be true?’ Asking this question prompts me to reflect which is a process that is too often overlooked. When I reflect on 2018 what I know to be true is this: holding space for a process and decision to unfold is more difficult than it sounds and is essential to a beneficial outcome. I’ve held space as a facilitator for years and am used to exercising this skill in tense situations; in 2019 I would like to bring this approach to more of my one-on-one encounters and see how it affects outcomes in my professional life.”

Naomi Devine, Senior Designer + Digital Engagement Specialist