My Word of the Year: "Poise"
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
After completing a recent Ninja Sales Training class, we were asked to select a Word for the Year for 2020. The selection of a theme word was designed to address a behavior you are trying to improve. We were instructed that the word or phrase should be in your consciousness every day and should serve as a memory jogger for correction. While I have always set measurable goals at the beginning of each year, I had never considered a theme word for the year.
I chose the word "poise"... and here is why:
I practice yoga, where we are constantly reminded that what we do on the mat translates directly into how we react in life. Breathing through any difficult poses and keeping your focus, called "drishti", is a key take away that I bring in to my life off of the yoga mat. Remaining as poised as possible despite maximum exertion is the goal both in my yoga practice and at work.
I was reminded in yoga class yesterday that some of the the yoga poses where you look like you are doing nothing... that is when you are working the hardest. All of your muscles (and your brain) are working together to stand perfectly still in a difficult position, while controlling your breathing and anticipating the next move. If you really do it right, you time your breath so that your next move is seamless and you aren't even thinking... you are just doing. It's a moving meditation despite the grueling poses. You are in what we call "flow"
Translated into sporting life, I would call this preparation for flow, poise. Ever see a sprinter who is poised and ready at the starting line, a gymnast waiting for the music to start for her floor routine or a golfer's pre-shot routine... this is the pause before the magic happens... the routine of being poised and ready to start being in "flow".
You can apply these same poise principles to the CEO getting ready to walk out for his company-wide speech, the sales person who presents the solution after carefully listening to his clients needs and the chef who has chosen the perfect seasonal offerings paired with the perfect wine for a swanky dinner party. No one is aware of the preparation and chosen mindset that allows for poise in these situations.
In my case, at work I was finding myself doing the training, the hustling, the negotiating, the running around like a chicken with my head cut off... but I wasn't poised, prepared and ready every day to be "in flow" in my work. I had no real routine... yes, I was getting it done (insert fist pump emoji), but it certainly didn't feel (or sometimes look) seamless or in balance. So, this year, I am going to practice "poise" by:
taking a little more time in the mornings to go through a routine to prepare myself for the day physically, mentally and spiritually
overcoming my tom-boy tendencies to pay more attention to my daily personal appearance... ensuring that I present my best self-assured, yet feminine personality
arriving early to meetings... poised and ready to learn and communicate clearly
ensuring that I have really listened to my clients to evaluate the Why's along with the What's of the life change that is initiating their move to a new home
pausing to compose my thoughts before I speak
frequently evaluating where I am in each area of the Wheel of Life and take steps to remain more balanced in each of the eight categories.
taking time every morning to contemplate the things that I am grateful for
taking time every evening to give thanks for the miracles, big and small, of the day
By focusing on being poised... my work will appear seamless in spite of the great deal of thought and activity that went into it. Just like performing a difficult yoga poise, remaining balanced and focused while coordinating all of the moving parts provides the clarity needed to best execute the next move.
Remaining poised while all of the marketing plans and negotiations come together during the sales process also helps my clients remain calm and clear headed during the often stressful experience of buying or selling their home. In the end, a potentially stressful situation has turned into a win-win because everyone remained calm and the client is now poised to start the next chapter of their lives in their new home.