It has been a week to reflect, amid the turmoil of another busy time in work. I have had a chance to review the events from the past 15 years within my current role. Throughout the week I have looked at everything from what the state of the world looked like in 2001 through to all the colleagues that I have known. Today, I feel it is only right to round the week off by looking at what I have learnt from the decade and a half.
Sadly, when I was chatting to one police officer this week I suddenly realised he was still at school when I joined Greater Manchester Police. This is quite a scary thought and probably explains why I have recently invested in some anti-wrinkle cream! But on a positive note I have learnt so much from my time in the organisation.
I have always thought that communication was essential in the world but the years have shown me how critical it is to keep things running well. Without effective communication people get confused, lack understanding about events and society becomes fractured. When it exists people can understand each other and there is the ability to develop cohesion within communities. It might sound a bit far-fetched but I really think this is the case. Communication is what brings us together or can drive us apart.
The past 15 years have made me realise that the best communication teams are the ones that work together. Teamwork is critical and as I have mentioned earlier this week it is like a dysfunctional family. We always work best when we work together, each person playing their own part, bringing different skills and experience.
I have realised that I am more resilient and stronger than I ever thought I was. I have faced so many things and so far am still standing. There have been major tests of my communication knowledge and experience, and times when the work was almost 24/7. I have survived some weeks with only four hours sleep a night. I have worked weekends and turned out to deal with communication issues when everyone else is celebrating holidays. I have seen some terrible things and still find a way to identify what communication is required. Throughout the years I have continued to find ways to cope and deal with the tough days. I am still learning.
Above all I know now that if I love what I am doing and can see a real purpose for it, where it helps people, then I will give 24 hours of my life to doing it. Sometimes I do need to take time to regroup, recover and refresh myself. But while I have a passion for the work I will give 100 per cent. Fifteen years have flown by and in some ways I have changed. I am older, possibly a little wiser but even more dedicated to developing world-class communication. I wonder what the next 15 years may bring?