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IoIC Fellows

Jo Hall, a transformation mentor, joined IoIC’s impressive list of Fellows in 2019. In this Q&A, Jo shares what it means to her to be an IoIC Fellow, and the importance of being our own best friend. 

What does it mean to you to be an IoIC Fellow?
I aspired to be a Fellow for a long time. For me, being recognised by IoIC in this way is the pinnacle of our profession. 
I didn’t have a classic route into comms, so I’ve battled with self-limiting beliefs and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I wanted my peers to recognise what I could accomplish – that’s why I also did my Masters – and I thought it would help me to prove that I’m worthy of being in this field. 
I put a lot of effort into the application, so when I got the result through it showed me that I was good enough. On reflection, however, I was always good enough, and I should never have doubted myself, but there’s always an aspiration of wanting to be the best you can be. 
Where do you see internal comms heading in the future?
Like a lot of people, I see it going in a slightly different direction more quickly than anticipated. 
I know that IC practitioners have been thrown into the thick of it because of the pandemic, but I also see the external and internal worlds merging. I think comms is becoming much more holistic and aligned across businesses in order to achieve an integrated comms view. 
I know lots of IC professionals who have been working much more closely with corporate, marketing and external-facing colleagues, and they’ve all come together as a force to be reckoned with. I think the value of this is being seen as critically important by leadership and employees.
What does IoIC need to do to support IC professionals through future challenges, and how would you like to get involved?
IoIC has done an awful lot for building up the credibility and professional standards of IC and for championing the value of the profession in the world of business and beyond. 
I think one thing that is still missing, however, is the building up of resilience and helping IC professionals to deal with the great demands that they are often faced with. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a prime example of how quickly things can spiral, and there has been a huge pressure on people’s abilities to cope. 
It’s a common theme I’ve seen from so many people I’ve mentored, networked with and worked with – it has a knock-on effect on their own self-belief. I think there is an opportunity for IoIC to support IC professionals with that self-esteem element and help them to recognise their worth and value for themselves. 
Running my own business has taught me that your success is 90 per cent reliant on your mindset and I’d love to help more people realise this and focus on their mindset. You can have plenty of experience across different roles and have different qualifications, but unless you can recognise your own value and self-worth, you’re going to limit your potential. It will also limit your influence with the executive suite if you don’t believe in yourself and your work. 
Often in IC we hold ourselves back – people still think IC isn’t as established as other professions and that we’re still growing, but actually, we have all the skills and experience that we need to sit at that table and advise. 
What has your biggest achievement been in regard to your professional development (outside of becoming a fellow)? 
Understanding myself and how my mind works. It’s given me the ability to cope with the ups and downs of life more easily, but also to align my business and my life with what I need so that I can be a better mentor, mum and everything else! 
Life seems so much calmer, more balanced and easier because I’ve got that alignment. I’m much kinder to myself and I’m a much more compassionate person. We can be our own worst critic, but what we need is to be our own best friend. If not, life can be limiting instead of limitless. 

'You can have plenty of experience across different roles and have different qualifications, but unless you can recognise your own value and self-worth, you’re going to limit your potential.'

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