Panic at the ‘GDPR’ Disco

None of you will have failed to notice the flurry of emails and correspondence informing you of important changes to data protection law. How others manage your personal information is important and in this digital age we need to feel assured that our information is in good hands. Here at The Wellbeing Collective, we too have done some work to ensure information about our Consultants and Customers is processed in accordance with the law. The big question is though is have we done enough? Are we now compliant? Or have we actually done too much and gone too far?

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As lead for Assurance in TWBC I’ve asked myself all these questions over the last week. I’ve been caught up in the zeitgeist – that point in time that captures the spirit of where we are all at! I would love to say it has been an entirely positive experience, but not so, the sense of emerging panic about needing to be within the law has been real, not just for me, but for many others. I even had a GDPR message from my yoga teacher who literally just has my name, email and mobile number. At several points in the last week it has all felt rather ridiculous and reactionary!

Having read various contrasting perspectives in the media about GDPR, including opposing views about what exactly we should be doing as a small company, I have been led to think about perspective, proportionality and positioning. How do you place yourself in situations where fact and fiction merge, where myth becomes reality and where we are all just inclined to behave and respond in the same way because everyone else is? Whilst these are big questions, they are also rather common ones in situations where every week the patter and content and quality of our conversation create new realities, or perhaps reinforce the reality we find ourselves in. This, of course, is the nature of dialogue, its ability to shape and change our perspective of things – this has been no more the case than with GDPR! It is also the case that all of our conversations do this and if we have too much of one type of conversation it can create a perspective that may not be good or healthy for us.

In each of our respective organisations, teams and services, it is important with big things like GDPR to reflect and consider the type of conversations we are having. Certainly GDPR, needs perspective – we have to all be careful not to be caught up in the zeitgeist, to panic and not just to do something because everyone else is. So, when faced with your next big challenge, step back, think about the conversations you are having. Are they balanced and insightful? Are they positive, enabling and valuing? Are they curious and forward thinking and are they actually focused on the right thing and shaped by the right priorities?

Tim Coupland, Consultant, The Wellbeing Collective.

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