Our company went through a re-branding this past year. For those of you who have embarked on this adventure, you understand it is not as easy as it may seem. This was a journey in and of itself, filled with extensive research with our clients, their relocating employees, our supplier partners, and industry experts. Through this process, our eyes were opened to new insights on the customer experience and the impact we can have as an organization.
With relocation being the third most stressful event a person can go through, following death and divorce, you can imagine it comes with its share of emotions – excitement, anticipation, confusion, frustration, and even fear. As service providers, we often are involved in just one part of the overall journey. We have our processes, our to-do lists, and we go through the motions in silos. It works for us, but what does it look like from the customer’s point of view? Are there opportunities for us to make the journey smoother? What would that mean to our customers and how would that impact their experience with our organization?
Interestingly, understanding the customer experience has become one of the top issues for companies today. To that end, we recently created a customer journey video called In Their Shoes. It allows you to walk alongside the relocating family and experience the journey through their eyes. Our goal is to help others look at mobility in a new light and walk away with a better understanding of the customer’s experience, so that they may identify opportunities to provide more meaningful and effective support.
After walking in the customer’s shoes, what would you start doing? What would you stop doing?
Visit the In Their Shoes site today to start your journey!
I take life one day at a time, because the thought of trying to take even two days at once is nothing short of exhausting! I’ve often been asked, “How do you juggle your career and raise a family?” My answer was and still is that I live by the motto “Be Present.” This is a motto that I need to remind myself of every morning, if not every hour. You see, I am no different than anyone else; we all have too many things coming at us on any given day. And if we are truly honest, we bring many of these things on ourselves.
Sure, we may have times during the day that are dictated by someone else, but I have found those to be the minority. The majority of our day’s activities are choices we make, such as volunteering for this or that, being unwilling to delegate, wanting to control your environment, not saying no to things we don’t want to do and let’s not forget the number one time waste: worrying.
I know I have given my father credit for this in a dozen or more blogs, but it really does make a difference on how we approach life. His motto for life is “worrying is a waste.” How much of your day (or in my case, middle of the night) is spent worrying? And for what? It has zero impact on the outcome of a situation. To truly embrace the “be present” lifestyle and live only for the next 24 hours, I know I cannot waste my time worrying about tomorrow, next week, or even next month, because today is really all I can handle. The fact is that I have to take each day one at a time. All I can do is give my best to what is at hand. If I stay present, I find that I can handle a lot more. I have clarity in my thoughts, and I am not crippled by the weight (or proposed weight) of the tasks in the future.
Being present is not about foregoing your future or throwing out the inevitable task list. It is really about changing your thinking.
After writing my post last week in about our "Come From" state of mind, I was reminded of something I wrote years ago that can help separate our feelings from our motives. Because sometimes, believe it or not, emotion should be trumped by logic.
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you would like to give someone advice, but feel like you don’t have the authority or confidence to do so? Perhaps it is with an office peer, a client, or even a friend that is overburdened and could use some guidance. Because you are not that person’s manager or because you question your own expertise on the matter, you choose to keep quiet. In these situations, rather than feeling guilty or overanalyzing whether to say or not say something, I have learned to take a moment to check my own intentions before proceeding.
Maybe you can’t relate to this, but for those of us who sometimes let our mouths runneth over, it is an important concept to remember. And while I can’t think of a particular situation, I am confident there have been more than a few times when I have given my opinion to someone not necessarily because it’s what I feel is best for them but because it is what is best for me, or is my way of trying to control the outcome. Either way, my intentions are not always in the right place. Yes, I admit that I am human and make mistakes, but that doesn’t give me an excuse not to improve.
However, there will be times in which you have the courage to share your opinion and it either falls on deaf ears, or worse, offends the receiver. While we hope for a different outcome, this is okay. As long as you are confident that your intentions are not for your own self-satisfaction, you should hold your head up high and recognize that sometimes people are just not ready to hear what you have to say. On the flip side, giving this same latitude to others when you are on the receiving end of advice is just as important.
There are certain things in life I always enjoy:
And then there are things in life I do not like doing at all:
Unfortunately, life doesn't happen when we focus only on the easy stuff. Life requires us to deal with both good and bad. However, it is not just the events we need to consider; an equally important factor is our "come from" state. In other words, we need to start with a close examination of our frame of mind as we approach each situation.
"Come from" state of mind for the fun stuff:
"Come From" state of mind for the tough stuff (initially):
I know I often spend an excessive amount of time thinking about an event and give little consideration to my mental state going into that event. Herein lies the problem. In the absence of understanding how we are truly feeling, we often get surprised by our reaction to the situation. On the good stuff, I don't really need a "come from" temperature check; good feelings make everything fun. On the tough stuff, not understanding how I am entering a situation often results in miscommunication, poor listening, lack of compromise, etc. However, if I’m aware that my "come from" is not particularly positive at the outset, I can take steps to change my strategy or, at a minimum, a pause and redirection of attitude.
How do you deal with your "come from?”
I have come to the realization that, as a mother, I am doing a less-than-stellar job of teaching my kids to do basic things around the house, like doing laundry, changing a light bulb, or unloading the dishwasher. Posting a sign above the toilet that reads, "Changing the toilet paper roll doesn't cause brain damage," hasn't even made a dent in behavior. In all honesty, most of this has to do with my complete lack of patience in taking the extra time to teach them, as well as my desire to have things done to my standards. Thankfully, it has dawned on me that in less than one year’s time, my son will be off to college (fingers crossed!) and that if I don't modify my behavior, I will have to hire a maid to clean his dorm room everyday. Time is running out. I have to teach 'em how to fish!
Not surprisingly, my behavior at work used to be exactly the same. Back in the day, I fell into a pattern of doing things myself because it seemed easier than taking time to teach someone else. The irony was that half the time I was irritated that I was stuck doing the work. In essence, I wouldn't let go of my need to control, but somehow I expected others to do it for me. It's a little absurd when you really think about it. Once again, I just needed to teach 'em how to fish!
Take a minute to think about the last time you said, "I guess I'll just do it myself!" I would bet that there might have been a hint of frustration or sarcasm in your voice. If you can recall that moment, ask yourself whether the activity was something only you could do or if you just hadn't taken the necessary time to teach someone else.
Two things happen when you teach 'em to fish. First, you remove things from your to-do list that others are completely capable of taking over. Secondly, you empower others by expanding their skills and allowing them to take pride in their newfound accomplishments. I have definitely changed my style at work – some might even say I delegate everything – but I still have some serious work to do at home.
Do you teach others to fish?
Networking is a great thing to do for your business; giving back is a great thing to do for your community. That’s why, in lieu of a standard networking event, Plus Relocation was proud to host an outreach event at last week’s ERC® Global Workforce Symposium.
With the help of more than 60 global organizations, we were able to build and decorate more than 50 Little Free Libraries, which will be distributed throughout Chicago neighborhoods. The Little Free Library philosophy is “take a book, return a book,” and they are diligently working to increase the amount of literature available for children in poor neighborhoods. The current ratio is as low as one book for every 300 children in some places.
KMOVE Radio created a beautiful video recapping our outreach event. Thank you, Clay Goodman, for capturing the event, and the real reason behind hosting it, so perfectly.
Enjoy the video!