Chocolate or plain there is one thing that is clear about a Hobnob and that is they are the most robust of biscuits. They are also the biscuit of choice when communicators were asked which characteristics they had in a crisis. It is not surprising really as Hobnobs are tough and strong. You can dunk them for a long period of time and they will still hold up and keep their shape.
When faced with a crisis we all want to be the tough person who can absorb huge amounts of pressure without crumbling. I am sure many communicators have been doing just that for four months now. But is this the best thing?
Yes when a crisis happens the best position is to keep a cool head, refer to your plans and work that hopefully you have already done. This gives some certainty and structure when chaos is surrounding you. If you rush around in a random way it is going to amount to wasted energy. The problem is that this tough facade is only sustainable for a short period of time.
I talk from personal experience as someone who believed they were indestructible. I had seen so many issues, been through so many crises and come out the other side that I thought I could breeze along being tough, using the plan, making the decisions and being unaffected. Wrong.
If we don’t recognise that we are human, and if we are ensuring there is a human response, we will be affected by a crisis. Dealing with the impact, and accepting vulnerability, is crucial. It doesn’t matter whether you do it in the immediate aftermath or some weeks or months later. It does matter that you recognise and reconcile what has happened and what it has meant for you.
I think I realised I am more of an Oreo biscuit. Looks quite robust on the outside but has a soft centre. It has taken many years to start to be comfortable with this and to see that it doesn’t mean I can’t function effectively under pressure. It just means that I know I will be affected and that is not weakness it just makes me human.
So if you are a Hobnob or you are trying to become a Hobnob just recognise that this should be a temporary experience. We may need to be a Hobnob at the start of a crisis but in the days and weeks that follow it will be time to show other characteristics – the heart of a Jammy Dodger, the reliability of the Custard Cream.
The four months we have been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic have put us under immense pressure professionally and personally. Looking after ourselves and making sure we are in the best position to face the future is a priority. This will lost for some time and being a Hobnob is not going to be the best thing.
Great biscuit analogy, not thought of it before, but very true!