Tanio Trustee

One of my lesser known pleasures is being a trustee. Most of my career has been in the Third Sector, from volunteering and working in Citizen’s Advice Pembrokeshire to Tenovus Cancer Care. I love the impact of the Third Sector. Helping those in need is a noble cause but it takes a lot of management to do it properly. Being a Third Sector worker has shaped who I am today.

Although career has taken over and I can’t volunteer as much as I used to I have never left the sector. I have been a trustee for Community Music Wales and I’m now a sitting trustee with Tanio Cymru based in the County Borough of Bridgend. Being a trustee is different to being a hands on volunteer or worker with a charity as you don’t deal with the day to day running of the organisation. Giving myself time to help in some small way promote the arts and in my view, mental health by proxy, is good for my mental health.

During a restructure of Tanio it has been great to see more of the inner workings of the charity and the transformation to the organisation overseen by the CEO, who has been responsible for recruiting the team in place now.

It’s been a really exciting time at Tanio and now with COVID out of the way and a full team in place I am really excited for the future of the organisation and primarily the residents of the County Borough of Bridgend. There are artistic opportunities for all ages, events for the community to come together, and increasing knowledge of nature, surroundings and mental health, even if not the primary driver.

I’m excited by the increased use of Social Prescribing as an alternative or supplement to traditional medication and it is predominantly the Third Sector that are providing these opportunities for the Health Boards to fall into. Being part of Choirs For Good and leading Choirs For Good Haverfordwest is my most obvious way to give back at the moment. Leading a choir every Tuesday evening is one of my great joys.

If there’s a cause that you feel strongly about supporting, do it. If you have time or skills, there will be an organisation that will bite your arm off for those skills. Take some time and find out who to support. Donating is great, keep doing that, but giving your skills and knowledge might be just what the charity ordered.


Transactional Relationships

Is anything unconditional? The love between a family? A close friendship? A relationship?

Can you truly say that anything is unconditional now? I’ve been pondering this for a while and despite starting that post way before Random Act of Kindness Day, that day made me feel again the possibility that very little is unconditional, especially if you get over a certain age and family dynamics change.

And yet, I would argue, that doing things unconditionally could actually be advantageous. But that’s not the primary factor for behaving or doing things in a certain way (that would make it conditional).

One of the reasons many of us don’t answer phone calls anymore is because we may all be too aware that after the initial pleasantries have passed, which can last a long time and be genuine, the real purpose for the phone call shines through. It’s usually a favour to ask, certainly in this writers experience. This can have the affect of negating the feel good factor of the prior part of the conversation.

This can stretch far beyond phone calls and can be seen throughout life. We are more inclined to complete tasks for others or do things for others when we think there is a return for us. This doesn’t make us a bad person and if you’re aware that you fall into this category, it’s not inherently bad. But it may impact some of your relationships.

But what if we did change how we interact with others?

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be a need for transactional relationships. These are important for making sure things get done, the tasks get completed, that people are kept on task. But what if we did just interact, particularly to closer friends and family, with a few to not actually asking for anything back? Try it with customers and colleagues too.

The lack of expectation from the conversation could result in a greater emotional connection with that person. That could only be a good ting. But, it’s really important that the expectation of any return, whether short or long term are deleted from your brain. This is vital.

Give it a go. It will probably feel awkward for you, and the recipient of your message or call. But it’s so liberating. The easiest way to express this, send a birthday card. No offer, no expectation of a return. Something nice to do. And if you do need to quantify to a manager, depending on your circumstances, it’s a ‘touchpoint’ at least; that isn’t just another ask.

Want to make the contact even more valuable to the recipient? Because remember, this is all about the recipient, not you, make that birthday card something relevant to their life. Maybe you saw something on their social media or they said something the last time you talked to each other. Be thoughtful.

Is this truly unconditional? I don’t know. It’s the closest I can see in this day and age. I hope that the need to communicate with our neighbours and loved ones doesn’t always come down to favours. I also hope that expectation doesn’t cause rifts in relationships. And if something is falling below your expectation, communicate that need. Don’t fester, be open, be honest, be direct. We can’t assume that people know what our expectations are, so we need to speak.

In closing, don’t make everything a transaction. Don’t expect anything but give your time and thoughts to those around you. You might be surprised by what happens over the short and long term without expecting it – so it’s a great bonus!

New Social Header Photos

The eagle eyed among you, and those who follow my social media channels will have noticed a bit of a rebrand. A sharpening of an existing brand. I’ve kept the orange and the black – I like the colour combination but integrated the use of clean shapes.

I have so many hats and so many interests that it can be quite hard for others to know what it is I actually do. The truth is, I’m lots of things. Which I think is becoming the norm in this day and age.

I also find feeling confined to one role or responsibility really restrictive and it impacts my ability to fully enjoy and deliver on another task.

I love task – finish roles. Projects with beginnings and definite end dates. It’s why I like performing so much. I know each show does eventually come to an end freeing me to move on to the next project.

My hope with sharing these social cards is that those who may want to work with me can do so with confidence and that it is within my realm of expertise. But don’t get me wrong, I’d take on anything if I thought I could be meaningful in the role.

So what are you waiting for? If you want to work with me – get in touch!

Or if you want to enjoy the projects I’m working on tune in to Pure West Radio weekday mornings and sign up to my newsletter where you’ll be the first to know of all that I’m getting up to.

The branding even lends itself to social cards for guests and news updates. This makes me happy.

%d bloggers like this: