The A Word: Behind the Mask

Chapel Porth, Cornwall

Life is St Agnes is great.  The weather has been amazing, and our work has started to pick up too which is really good news.  Our Hampshire house is nearing exchange and we’re just waiting for the searches to come back which have taken longer than normal due to the backlog from lockdown.  We’re anticipating completion during August, but Jamie and I admit it will be very difficult to tear ourselves away from Beech cottage.

We do miss our family though and will probably head back “up country” before we complete on the house to see our family and grandchildren.  We were back two weeks ago to welcome our new grandson; we now have three which is wonderful, a girl and two boys.   The journey from Cornwall takes just over 4 hours which isn’t too bad, especially with a few good podcasts.

Like everyone else, I’m wearing my face mask for shopping.  The evidence seems pretty clear to me that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the more people wearing masks for indoor activities will help.  I also understand this is not about “me”, as there is strong evidence to say that the best benefit of wearing a mask is for people who have COVID-19 to protect them from giving COVID-19 to other people.

However, masks and makeup don’t mix 😊.  I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but I do wear some and its now covering the inside of my mask.  There are many YouTube videos advising us to emphasize the eyes; it’s definitely all about the eyes and not about my red lipstick! Obviously, I appreciate that looking good is not the point of wearing a face mask however, it’s just possible there’s just something attractive about a little mystery, a little obscured identity. Apparently, the masks draw attention to two of our hottest and most controllable features, our eyes and hair and thankfully I’ve now had a haircut!

Whilst the mask is not my favourite accessory, it did make me roll my eyes to see hundreds of demonstrators gathered in London to protest against wearing them days before it became mandatory. Ultimately, I think wearing a mask suggests that you actually care about the people you interact with and whether they live or die”, it’s that simple.

Moving on I mentioned earlier that our work has started to pick up and throughout my career one of my strengths has been to identify the best salespeople and hire them.  My theory was always to employ people better than me.  Some people are afraid to do this, worried that their new hire will be so good they’ll make them look bad.  I don’t agree – everyone needs really smart people in their team.  They bring a fresh perspective; they see things that you might not have seen by yourself.  Good leaders recognise their own weaknesses and limitations as I did.  Why would you recognise a weakness, and then not hire someone smarter than you who can plug this gap? It’s not only the best outcome for the team, and ultimately the business, but for your own personal development too.

So that’s why Jamie set up our search and recruitment company 12 years ago to find these top performers for our clients.  Many people ask us why we are different from the hundreds of other recruiters and that’s a great question.  We both worked in the financial technology industry and have a much better understanding than most of our competitors about the roles we are recruiting for, but there’s another, more important reason.

It’s a fact that most sales professionals perform well at interview, but research shows that 50% of sales hires underperform against expectations, a figure that is constantly on the rise in our new world.  We know that top sales performers are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence which they can’t “fake” during an interview.  Whilst a candidate’s skills are important, salespeople are very good at enhancing these and covering up their flaws.  Characteristics such as emotional intelligence are vital in identifying high achievers.  We’ve spent years comparing the profiles of top performers with average ones in sales roles, and nearly 90% of the difference in their profiles was attributable to emotional intelligence factors rather than cognitive abilities.   Hopefully, our business will continue to improve over the coming months as we enjoy what we do.  We would like to continue working for the next 3-5 years but we’ll see how it goes and, if not, find other ways of making some money and keeping our brains active.

Finally, I’ve had lots of messages asking me if the antibiotics worked.  Well, yes and no.  They cleared my chest infection so I can now walk uphill again without my chest frantically whistling at me and whilst my sinusitis is a little better, it hasn’t gone completely, so mixed results.

I’m also patiently awaiting my next Rheumatology appointment.  Most hospital departments were reallocated to the frontline during the lockdown, which was understandable, but as they have restarted, I’m hopeful I’ll be seen soon.  I was due to start on new medication before the lockdown and I also had a number of MRI scans and blood tests for which I’m waiting the results. I find it reassuring to know that my treatment is working properly and to go through the physical assessments to assess how my AS is progressing.  Without these appointments I get nervous and worry about the future.  I’m definitely the kind of person who needs to know the full picture so I can deal with it in the best way possible.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog to raise awareness for autoimmune disease.  I doubt any of us could ever have imagined we would be living in a world where its normal to walk into a bank wearing a face mask and ask for money?

Until next time, keep safe, and #stayalert!

xx

 

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