By Laura Jozwiak, Senior Vice President of Sales & Client Relations, Wheels, Inc.
Another new year, another round of resolutions! I’m a goal-oriented person and have been documenting my short- and long-term terms goals for more than 20 years. When looking back, I’m amazed how much I‘ve been able to accomplish on goals I set for myself all those years ago. Some of them, I thought, were audacious. Nonetheless, I set them as my intentions, would reflect on them, and ensured my actions were following the journey I wanted to create. My favorite part of achieving the goal is the act of crossing it off my list!
Every January 1, my family knows I’ll ask for their goals for the year. Probably with dread. But this year, I found a new way to make it easier to be more flexible instead of absolute on your goals.
Instead of a list of goals that we feel bad about breaking by the time you read this article, create one word that inspires you for the year. Focus your thoughts, actions, goals on this one word to guide you throughout the year. For example, if you’re just starting a new job and you’re caught up in trying to learn while also trying to add value, your word may be “patience” or “absorb.” When feeling that you should be doing more to contribute to results, this word will remind you to take time to learn so the value you bring later will be more impactful to the team.
As I thought about what I wanted to accomplish in 2020, the word that came to me was “present.” This is a great word to consider in a customer-driven world! What brought me to this word was the efficiency of being one word, with two meanings. It allows me to have an internal and external view of my behaviors. I get to cheat a little bit by selecting a broad word for my 2020 intentions, with both meanings important to ensure I’m focused on what matters most—you.
The internal behavior definition for “present,” for me, is to be present. Be in the moment. When you’re talking with someone—your client, your co-worker, or your family and friends—be present. Don’t look at your emails while you’re listening to their needs while on a conference call. Don’t look at your phone while having breakfast with your kids or in a meeting. Be present. Only when you’re present can you be fully focused on the conversation and body language to understand what is being said, or not being said. People can feel the difference. Have you heard someone described as “they made me feel as if I was the only person in the room” or “they made me feel important and heard?” Those comments are a good indicator that “they” were in the moment during that interaction. Nothing was more important than that conversation because they were present for it.
Everything else can wait.
The external behavior definition for “present,” for me, is to be a present. That’s right! Be a gift to someone instead of a drain. Come forward with your passion, your energy and your ideas. Find out what it is they need and fill that gap for them. Give your time and commitment. If you recall in the previous article about the law of reciprocation, just giving someone a smile, holding open the door and saying “good morning” is a simple, yet powerful gift.
So, what will your word be? Reflect, decide and act!
About the author
Laura Jozwiak is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Client Relations at Wheels, Inc. She oversees Wheels’ Sales, Account Management, Client Services, Client Relations and Client Analytics teams, which provide strategic guidance and analytic resources to assist Wheels’ clients in making informed decisions that improve the performance of their fleets.