#Reverb14 Day 11: Ritual & Routine

What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?

I don’t know exactly how long ago I started this; but, I start each work day by preparing a To Do list.

I get to work early, before phones start ringing or emails start bubbling up. I have a little pad of paper and I write out the things that need to get done. They’re in no particular order, and the list serves more as a reminder or guideline than an actual demand. My job is such that multi-tasking is mandatory and no day is ever the same. If I get to cross off half of the items in a day, I consider the day to be extremely productive.

At the end of the afternoon, I typically put the phones to voicemail and set about clearing my email inbox. It allows me to complete little tasks, send out last emails and make sure that I haven’t missed anything.

I get pulled in a lot of different directions in a day. By using these rituals at the beginning and the end of my work day, I’m able to juggle several balls at once.

I am participating in Reverb 14. We are taking time to pause, reflect and release this year gently. If you’d like to join us, we would love to have you. Just go to I Saw You Dancing to sign up.

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#Reverb14 Day 8: Connections

The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside.

How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?

In high school, I had two BFFs, Karen and Lesley. Together, we were the Three Musketeers. We had our own jokes, nicknames for each other, and we’re inseparable. We were friends with a group of guys that went to another high school, and we spent a lot of time bowling, going to movies, and chasing around.

With college, we went different ways, and tried to stay in touch. Time, distance and changes big and small created a divide; but, there was always a place in my heart for those girls.

When our 20th high school reunion came around, we got to reconnect and reestablish our friendship.

This year, both Karen and Lesley happened to be in Arizona. Karen came down with her family in the spring for a wedding, and Lesley detoured here after a business seminar in Vegas.

I met up with Karen for lunch and got to meet her beautiful little girls and her husband as they played in the hotel pool. We talked non-stop and the time together was too short.

Lesley and my mom have become friends, too. Mom had us stay at her house for a girls’ weekend on Halloween weekend and it was wonderful. Our lives are so different, and we have such different experiences to share that the time flew by.

It sounds funny to say this, but I’m so proud of the women that they have become. Both are smart, funny, decent people . I’m so glad that they are still a part of my life.

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I am participating in Reverb 14. We are taking time to pause, reflect and release this year gently. If you’d like to join us, we would love to have you. Just go to I Saw You Dancing to sign up.

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#Reverb14 Day 6: Biting Back

Despite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual.

While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment.

Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?

I am one of those people who is mild-mannered and pleasant…until I’m not.

My biggest trigger has always been a bully; and, I’ve run into enough of them in my time that when push comes to shove, I’m going to put you on your heels.

Because of this sense of…what? Self-righteousness? Seeker of justice? I don’t exactly know, it’s not often that I won’t eventually speak my mind.

Typically, it’s when dealing with a client that I end up with a tongue that is raw from biting it. Only once, and only because I was too far from the door to walk out did I regret not being able to say what I really thought.

This was a long-time client, and one who routinely questioned our competence, our recommendations, and our patience. We had put together a full presentation, and my boss has gone through it beautifully. We had good options for them, with some potential to save them money.

During this type of meeting, I would stay quiet, taking notes. It was a good practice for our follow-up, and Marcie and I would go through them during a debrief, to make sure we heard the same things.

At the end of this particular presentation, the client turned on me and began berating me regarding my follow up on claims that he had disputed. I had followed up…he just hadn’t liked being told that he did, in fact, have to pay his deductible. From there, he moved on to something he felt very strongly about. Apparently, I had not spent enough time talking to his wife. Yes…my job description was supposed to include spending precious work hours calling his wife just to chat. He mentioned that another broker called her all of the time.

This went on for several minutes before my boss could redirect his attention. I sat through the rest of the meeting, stunned.

We left the meeting, rode down the elevator, and walked out to the car before either of us said a word. Marcie burst out laughing; but, I didn’t think it was funny! She was just glad he hadn’t vented on her!

I’m not even sure how I could have handled it differently…telling him off would have cost us the business. Instead, we just went on like nothing had been said. The next year, I asked Marcie to go without me; but, we both knew that this was the type of client you don’t go see alone…you need to record things so that they can’t say you promised something you hadn’t.

This was the year I tried roller derby and promptly broke my elbow. I showed up for the meeting in a sling, and what do you know? The client was the most pleasant he’d ever been. When we got to our cars afterwards, I said, “Next year, I’m coming in a wheelchair!”

I am participating in Reverb 14. We are taking time to pause, reflect and release this year gently. If you’d like to join us, we would love to have you. Just go to I Saw You Dancing to sign up.

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