From wrapping up Q4 tasks and futures planning to holiday shopping and attending events, December is always a busy – and often hectic – time of the year. There’s a lot of joy and happiness, but there’s also stress and pressure. Over the years, I’ve found a great way to stay grounded and focused is to remind myself of this simple truth: I’m not going through all this alone.
I have family and friends who are willing to help. I have a great staff and colleagues who I can lean on. At the end of the day, we’re all facing similar challenges and working toward similar goals. So, with that in mind, I do my best to occasionally press pause and shift my focus outward. I try to step back and ask myself, how can I be supporting and encouraging others in this moment?
This is no easy task, but the most powerful and meaningful acts are usually the ones that aren’t easy or convenient. When we go out of our way to help make the lives of others a bit simpler, more productive, and less stressful, everybody wins. It’s the gift of simply being available, and it’s one that never goes out of style.
As a business owner, I want to finish the year strong. I want to enter 2022 with momentum and hit the ground running. I’m sure you think and feel the same way, as do your customers and prospects. So, I’d like to share a few ideas of how to be that supporter and encourager through the final weeks of December.
Be proactive in connecting with customers and prospects.
A simple yet impactful gesture is proactively reaching out and asking how we can be of service. Your customers are so busy in their own lives that they may not think to reach out. By taking that initiative, even if we don’t get a response, we are expressing a willingness and a desire to deliver value. An effective and scalable way to go about this is sending out a quick “How Can We Help?” pulse survey.
Just a few quick questions presenting an opportunity to submit service requests or provide open-ended feedback can go a long way. Not only in terms of understanding their needs and providing support, but also building and strengthening relationships. We all know how good if feels when people offer to lend us a helping hand. Deliver that feel-good moment to your customers and prospects by making yourself available and showing you care.
Hold one-on-one with your team members.
Throughout the year, we have two weekly team huddles; every Monday we discuss our week’s objectives and every Friday we share our week’s accomplishments. But during the holidays, with people on vacation or tied up with other tasks, attendance at those weekly huddles can be thin. But it’s still important to maintain communication with our team to make sure they have everything they need to be successful.
Setting up periodic one-on-one meetings gives us a chance to hear from our team and communicate our appreciation for the effort they are putting in. Even though we hold two weekly meetings, that environment may not feel like the right time to voice a need or concern. By scheduling time for more focused and intimate conversations, we’re able to identify and address team needs on an individual basis.
Remember that the most powerful actions might be the least convenient.
If we’re going to ask how we can help, we need to be ready to say, “Yes, I can do that.” We’ve all been on the flip side of that coin where someone offers to help but isn’t available – or willing – when needed. When we support the efforts of others when it’s not easy or convenient for us, that’s when we’re truly being of service. I’ve found that when I press pause on my own to-do list and set aside my own objectives in favor of others, I feel less stressed and overwhelmed upon returning. Getting outside ourselves can be as helpful and productive for us as it is those we’re helping. We just need to be mindful and willing to make the priorities of others a priority of our own.
It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – we can’t be everywhere and do everything. Maintaining a healthy mental and emotional balance is always important. But remember, whatever your thinking, feeling, and experiencing, others are likely thinking, feeling, and experiencing something similar. So, if we can be there for each other, even if only for a moment, that can make a world of difference.