Kim closes keynote with a song to summarize the program and thank the audience. Kim Ratz Logo Kim Ratz Kim in workshop

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3665 Woody Lane
Minnetonka, MN 55305

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Covid-19 update ...

We're now many months into what I'm calling "The Great Pandemic Pause," a time when a lot of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands than we're used to, or want, and we're able to think about who and what's important, and what we value. Yet even as things are gradually re-opening, I'm still dumb-founded by the closure of schools, services and stores nation-wide, including the conferences and in-services I was supposed to speak at until they were cancelled. Not to mention the dumbfounding challenge of SAFELY re-opening schools! I'm having thoughts and discussions and making plans I never imagined. It's uncertain when a vaccine can be made available to enough people so we can be protected from this virus, and we wonder when will things get back to "normal" and what will that be like, and what new routines will we need to adopt in a post-covid world? And if that was not enough, shortly after our world got turned upside down by a virus we'd never seen before, our world got turned inside out due to an act of violence we've seen too many times before when George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

You and I are being asked to do things most of us never expected or considered. ALL of us are struggling to come to terms with this new risk and how to deal with it because most of us have never experienced anything like this pandemic before before. Many of the people I provide training to in the fields of public education, health and safety, and other "helping professions" have been deemed "Essential Employees" and asked to continue to report to work or work from home so that your service can still be provided. You are asked to do this at significant personal risk to yourself and family members, so Thank you for your dedication and professionalism! And many people like myself have not been able to work during the pandemic because it involves working with larger groups of people than physical distancing can safely allow, so Thank you to you too for your patience and professionalism! And now in the wake of George Floyd's death we are all being called upon to find ways to create a more just and safe society for everyone, which will be a heavy lift, yet one which is much needed and long overdue ...

The purpose of my keynotes, workshops, articles and conversations has always been to remind you that you have skills, strengths and abilities that enable you to do amazing things when you face adversity -- if you set your mind to it. My goal continues to be to support and encourage you to continue to strive to do your best in your important life roles and goals, even when you're not in the workplace, and especially when you are! So here are a few thoughts I'm sharing as reminders of how to manage your own morale in times of adversity, like now, and be ready for when you do get back in the saddle again:

  • If you're still working less, or not at all, it's especially important to take advantage of the opportunity to do something for you. Take the class, read the book, and do anything that you've wanted to do but haven't had time for. And do something that brings you joy every day. Hopefully you'll be very busy again soon and you'll be glad you did it!

  • Find the positive take-aways -- the lessons learned. What can you do better the next time a "black swan" (unexpected events that have huge consequences on society, like the COVID-19 virus) occurs and affects your work and the people you serve, and what new innovations and ideas can you bring back to your team when your program re-opens? Lots of people have come up with great ideas, often followed by the thought: "why didn't anyone think of this before?!"

  • What other silver linings did you find in this dark cloud? One silver lining for me was the chance to do weekly online activities with our grandkids while they and their parents were schooling and working from home. This gave their parents a much-appreciated break and me a chance to teach my grandkids how to play a guitar or ukulele, or write silly songs, or do a Lego-build, and they all brought me joy. Another "silver lining" is after 27 years of presenting to groups of people in the same room, I'm sharing my message online using various networking platforms. While I prefer being able to interact in-person with the people I'm presenting to, this online method works too, although it requires me to adapt many methods I've become very comfortable with, and even adopt some new techniques. Yet even when we are able to resume larger group gatherings and I'm speaking in-person again it will be helpful to also have the online option because I know it will be utilized more often.

  • This too shall pass. Each and every one of us have faced and made it through adversity before and we can do it again.

    These take-aways help me manage my own morale and keep things in perspective, and I hope they're helpful reminders for you as well. Please take care of yourself so you're ready to get going again when circumstances allow; you can't help anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. We're all in this together, and we can do this!

    Gratefully & Positively yours -- Kim

    In addition to sharing some serious skills to help you succeed even more in your important life roles and goals, my keynotes and workshops include stories and original songs to keep it fun and engaging. Each presentation is customized to ensure you and your team find ways to improve your:

    • Attitudes, Aptitudes & Actions in your job,
    • Ability to positively influence others,
    • Ability to deal with change and transitions,
    • Teamwork, Customer Service, & Leadership,

    And here's my promise to every customer since I started in 1994:

    You must be at least satisfied with my services or you don't pay my fee, only travel expenses.
    I'm proud to be able to state that 100% of my 500+ customers have paid me since 1994, and it's my plan to sustain that record until I fully retire!

    And for added clarity in our post-Covid-19 world - - - If you are concerned about booking one of my presentations for your team once things resume, in case the virus comes back and you need to cancel your event, I want you to know I don't require a deposit or prepayment and I don't charge a cancellation fee. So if your event is cancelled for a legitimate reason like a virus, then you can't be satisfied with my service because I couldn't provide it, and therefore you don't owe my fee. I just want to state this as part of my "customer satisfaction promise."

    "What led us to invite Kim to present at two of our annual conferences this year is -- he asks questions and listens, he pays attention to detail and customizes his programs so people can see right away how to apply his content to their jobs, and he gets to know attendees and listens to their stories and questions. That, and his awesome songs he wrote to sing our praises; very unique." - Lyn Peterson, Director, Student Transportation Assn. of Massachusetts

    "One of many things I appreciate about working with Kim is his genuine concern for our needs and goals, and his attention to detail in the customized programs he brings to our team. He understands Head Start and early childhood very well, and his extensive experience helps him hit the ground running with very responsive presentations; our team really appreciates his sessions." - Bonnie Riedel, Director, Laramie (Wyoming) County Head Start

    Kim Ratz, Speaker-Trainer-Troubadour-Author
    Successfully sharing stories, songs and skills since 1994.