Aspire for More with Erin

A Powerful Question that Can be Asked to the 3 Groups of People We Serve

August 15, 2023 Erin Thompson
Aspire for More with Erin
A Powerful Question that Can be Asked to the 3 Groups of People We Serve
Show Notes Transcript

There is 1 question that we can ask to 3 different groups of people: 
1. Ourselves
2. Our tours
3. Families/residents moving into our community

This question gives us clarity, confidence and courage to do what it takes to feel and be successful. 

I know I have you sitting at the edge of your seat. So, press play and find out what the questions is, how it can be used and why you must implement the answers in order to build trust with yourself and the people you serve.

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Welcome to another episode of the aspire for more with Erin podcast. I am Erin Thompson and I am excited to talk to you today about one question. A question that you should be asking yourself consistently. And not only yourself, the people you serve, the residents, the family members. Um, your tours. It's a great closing question. What is that question? What does success look like to you? It's a simple question. Isn't it. One with. Big ramifications. What does success look like to you? So there are three ways that I have used. This question. Um, two ways. I was really good at. One way that I am improving. Um, For myself. But you should be asking yourself. What does success look like to you? That should be on a personal and professional level. Then, if you are a senior living leader or if you're in sales or, any type of leadership position throughout the sales process, you should be asking your prospect, the person that you're trying to sell something to what does success look like to you? And then if you have a resident who's moving in or you're in an industry that you have prolonged contact with this customer. When they're signing the paperwork. For my example in the senior living industry, when the family members were signing the residency agreement with me, because I made that a priority for me. The question is,now, what does success look like to you? That question is full of curiosity. It's full of respect. It's full of grace. It is a question that let someone know how much you care. And it's not enough to ask the question, although that's a huge step in the right direction. You have got to act on that question. If you choose to not act on the answers to the question. Then whenever confidence whatever trust you're trying to build isn't being built in fact, It's doing the opposite. So it's really important to be prepared to ask the question and then do something with the answers. That is important. So let's dive into what does success look like for you? If you are a leader, if you are a parent, if you are a caregiver, If you are just a human being on this planet. You need to know and understand what success looks like because otherwise we're just walking around this world waiting to feel success when we don't even know what success is. We could be going off of somebody else's definition of success. Um, and then we ask ourselves why we don't feel successful when we reach that achievement. When, you know what success is to you, you know what to avoid. And what to focus on. You can not feel the emotional impact when somebody else reaches milestones, that may be, you don't want. This is an important point, especially if you are a parent or a leader in, in the idea of comparison. How many times have we been in a situation where somebody gets something seemingly that we want or that we think we want. And the power that, that has over us with our self doubt or judgment of ourselves, the meaning of perceptions that we put on that comparison weighs us down. Stops us, creates a story in our mind that's talking negative about ourselves. When the truth is you didn't even want that. If you didn't even want it. Why are we thinking negatively about ourselves? That's where comparison becomes, very toxic. In our lives in every personal and professional way. I mean, it just becomes awful. So when, you know what success is for you. It doesn't matter what anybody else achieves. You know what success is for you. And so therefore you don't have to compare yourself at a toxic way to anybody else. I'm trying to think of a great example here. A specific example could be. If somebody, you know, and this would be a personal example. Is traveling the world. And having all of these great experiences in life. And you look at that and you think, you're suppose to want that. And therefore, because you don't travel and do all those things, you feel like your less than. Well, You may not like to fly. Flying is not successful to you. Or you may not like to eat adventurous food, so you're not going to go to places that would serve you adventurous food, because that is not success to you. Right? So all of a sudden that comparison isn't apples to apples. It's apples to bananas. Or plantains, right. So when we compare. It's only healthy. If you know what success is to you. Because if you find somebody who is on the path of the success definition to you, then that is a healthy comparison because it makes it real, like that can actually happen for me. I need to watch this person. Because if it makes you feel motivated to succeed, that is, where you want to be. Because when you know what you want. You are in control of where you go. What your focus is how you operate, how you move, what decisions you make. All of that is important. Because you're in the driver's seat of opportunity. And if you don't know what success is to you. Then you have no end destination. And certainly there are times where we can feel the waters of what we want for success. You know, I have a special needs child and I have a typical child. So success for him is very different than success for her success for him is very different from other kids his age. And if I were to continue to compare. His journey to someone else's I would lose out on the joy that he brings to my life and the opportunity of allowing ordinary moments to be extraordinary. That is such a gift. That he brings to our life. And I will never want to lose sight of that. And so, because I can define what success is for him. And for me and for our family. There's a sense of peace with that. I don't have to be anything that we're not, and that takes a little bit of mindset work to get there. That takes intentionality and willingness to accept where we are to be aware of it. And then to create what what makes us happy and what makes us peaceful and what makes us a unit, a family unit. Anxiety comes in when we start trying to create something that is just not possible or not even in alignment with what we want. And I think it's very important for you to listen to your intuition, to listen to your gut when it speaks to you about alignment. Because you only know alignment issues or alignment fit. If you know what you want. And that is what's really, really important. One time we took a trip to Orlando to visit my husband who was working out of town. And. When you take a trip to Orlando, everybody wants to know what you did and where you went and all these other places. And so that immediately makes you feel less successful because you didn't go and do all the things that you do in Orlando, right? Like the Disney and the SeaWorld and all those things. And so to avoid that mind drama in my own experience. I said to myself, this is what success looks like for this trip. We are here to spend quality family time. And quality family time looks like this. And so we will take one day and do one fun thing. And the rest of the time we are going to be at the condo, which was a really nice condo swimming in the pool and having quality family time. When that trip was over. I felt so successful because I. Achieved. The goal. I understood The assignment. And we had a great time. There was no pressure about doing anything other than spending time with each other. Although we were literally three miles from SeaWorld and so I almost said we need to go to SeaWorld too, but I didn't. So, from a personal standpoint, know what success is for you in every situation. And what, especially when you work in senior living, where do you want to go to be successful? In your personal life and your professional life. When you work in senior living, you know, That you are going to have to sacrifice time to be successful. And so it's important for you to have a clear understanding. What's important to you personally, and how you can work professionally within those boundaries. And boundaries and intentionality with those boundaries is how you remain successful without overwhelm and burnout. For a longterm, senior living career. Ask me how I know. I have never, ever been. 100% confident in the ability to keep boundaries, set boundaries, and enforce boundaries, that is currently the process of my life that I am in. And it starts with knowing what success looks like to you. From a personal standpoint, what's important to you. What's a, non-negotiable define success in every event that you're in, in every phase of life that you're in. So you can feel success. Because the overwhelm and the burnout comes with not knowing, not feeling successful, not knowing what success is to you and not understanding what's important to you and keeping that first. So that's my advice. Of knowing what success is for you from a personal standpoint. When you work in senior living and you're a sales director, or you're an executive director, or even if you're a nursing director. I take that back. All directors and you have a new family. Or you have an opportunity that presents itself. For you to build trust to overcome a mistake that was made. A question that you can ask that would really set the standard of the goal of rebuilding that trust or continuing on the journey of trust is What does success look like for you? In a tour. That's what you would want to say in an issue where we're trying to overcome a mistake that was made. in this certain situation, what does success look like for us? How do we get to a place where both of us feel like success has happened. That is a powerful question. If asked appropriate. an authentic way. When you are on tours, people come to you to tour your community because they see a problem. Either a current problem. A problem that may happen. A problem that in the future is going to happen. They may not be able to necessarily communicate what the problem is in the moment. But when you ask questions filled with curiosity. You help them see what the actual problem is, and that's important. So when they come in, and they start talking and you're doing the sit tour sit. And you're in that discovery part of a tour. You've got to realize they are coming to you for competency. You can solve the problem, but in order to solve the problem, you have to figure out what the problem is. And by asking what success looks like in your current situation. You can kind of deconstruct what we think the problem is. The goal here is clarity. It's clarity for you. Is clarity for them. And that really helps us along the decision-making process when they know what success looks like to them. What does success look like for your loved one at home? What does success look like in helping you make your decision. What does success look like when you do make a decision. Helping them go down the journey of understanding what they really want for their loved one and their current situation, and for them themselves is very, very, very important. When you ask yourself, what does success look like for you from a professional standpoint, when you know what success looks like for you in a personal level. That's a question for tours, but that's also a question for every department head, every single associate inside of your community because when they know what success is for them. Then you can help them feel that consistently. But when we're just all trying to make something happen. Nothing happens because we don't feel like anything's happened because we're all trying to make everything happen. Which then again makes it feel like nothing happens. An example that I have, from a nursing director that I worked with. She was amazing at getting to work at 7 45 and leaving at 4 45. And I was not that amazing at that. I was still in the stage of martyrdom. We've all felt that way at some point inside this industry where we feel like the amount of hours that we work is the sign of success inside of a community. But that's not true folks. It is not true. You can be busy. And not productive. And I have had too many managers that have been very, very busy and yet not productive. And that's a sign that we have a problem. Okay. But this nurse was not that she was productive all the time. Her desk was always neat. And when she walked out the door at 4:45 PM every afternoon to pick her daughter up, Her job was done. There were no loose ends. Everything was completely complete when she left and I didn't have to fill in the gaps for her. And I resented it. Honestly. I resented the fact, that she could work like that. I felt,my mindset was, you can't leave work that early. How dare you leave work that early. You need to stay at least until 5: 30. And that was the wrong mindset to have. As we worked closer together, I realized just how powerful her processes were. And it was because she knew what success looked like to her. And she knew what was important and she had boundaries set. To where she had to get all the work done. So she could go home as a single parent and pick up her kid. I did not have the ability to do that at that point. And I learned from her how to focus on tasks that matter. And how to let go of tasks that don't. And I started measuring my ability to get things done by prioritizing. By understanding what moved the needle, what had to get done versus what didn't have to get done. And there are things that you have to let go of in order to make success work. And a lot of the marketing fluff with vendors had to stop for me. And I had to focus on my associates, my residents, and my families. And on occasion, I was able to entertain vendors. But her actions taught me that her ability to be successful with working eight hours, nine hours a day, and being able to leave. Knowing that she did everything she could to set up for the next day to be a success was a powerful experience in my life of understanding how to make sure success happened. And she knows that I resented it. We have this story all the time. She and I are very close. And it was a great life lesson in me. And one that I hope you take away with. You can be busy and not productive. You have to focus on the things that have to get done. And let go of the rest that doesn't. Being busy is not successful. Being productive is successful. Focus on being productive. What does productive look like for you? It's something that you have to look at and be aware of and also asking your regional director, it's getting on my calendar and talking about what are those productive tasks that help you move forward? And circling back to the sales process when you know, The pain points of each prospect that comes. And then, you know what success looks like to them? Then all of a sudden you have made yourself more valuable. To this prospect because you're helping them solve the problems. And each problem that you solve gets them closer to move into your community. The more value that you offer, the more valuable that you become. problem solving is certainly a very valuable asset in people's lives, especially during their caregiver journey. And that's the same concept, if you're a leader, and you're trying to influence your team to do great things. To be great at taking care of our residents. When you make the effort to know what success is to your team in each department. And for you to communicate what your definition of success is to each team in your community. Then people start working towards that definition of success. That question alone, bridges the gap, of negative self-talk. Realizing what actions need to be taken to be successful. We cannot assume that people can read our minds. We cannot assume that the night shift is going to understand the policy changed because we talked to the first shift. The more you communicate. The, the amount of over-communication that happens is very, very important. And knowing what success is. Gives you the path to take, to feel success. So if you're turning a community around with occupancy, culture, and, financial. Your definition of success, your vision of what to do and the success along the path is a very pivotal conversation to have with everybody that will listen. And yes, at the beginning, you'll have to tell people the sacrifice is going to be great in the short term. But in the longterm, we're going to get it back. We're going to have to put our heads down and we're going to have to grind for the next six months. That's what success looks like, so we can figure out what's busy, what's productive. And then how can we do better in the future? That is how we define success in this short term. Who doesn't respect a conversation like that. Who doesn't value a conversation like that? And it eliminates a lot of drama. Unnecessary drama. That could Show up due to the lack of communication. And the last way to ask this question is when the family member or when you get the customer. And they're moving in. I always made it a priority, success to me was,for me to be the one as the executive director to sit down with the family and sign the residency agreement. I wanted that time for them to understand me as a leader. To understand my vision for the community. My passion and changing the lives of their loved one. And them as a family. And how my team can do that. The question then becomes after, we signed the residency agreement and we talk about my vision and my passion and my experience and all the transformations that the community has given, what does success look like to you through this move in process? Now, that is a question that when you get the answers, you need to write them down and you need to immediately go and communicate these answers to the people who can deliver. And when you make that move in process exactly the way they communicated success looks like to them. You have set yourself up for success. You have deposited massive amounts of emotional money into their emotional bank account. Most of my family members wanted help in communicating the move in making sure that when they walked in that they felt greeted or maybe it would be too overwhelming if we all greeted them at the same time. And so we created a plan. That would stagger the welcoming committee. We made sure that we had a drink waiting on them and their favorite snack, their favorite meal. We ensured that their bath schedule was in the morning time instead of the evening time. Whatever it was, we made it happen. If they liked their bed a certain way, made a certain way. I ensured that the caregivers knew how to make their bed. If we knew that laundry was going to be important to them, we created a plan to ensure that laundry was going to be a success for them. And a certain way. A Dr. Pepper at five 30 at night. A glass of wine at night. These are the things that, the details that matter. And when you get the answers to that question. As a leader set your team up. Because when you don't communicate the answers to that question, You let your team down. You cannot over communicate. The more you communicate, the more trust that you build, the more you communicate, the more teamwork that happens. Clarity, brings courage. It brings confidence. And you want your family members confidence in the product that you offer. You want your sales processes to be full of confidence. And if you know the pain points you know what the new family member wants, you know, the pain points. Of what would cause someone to choose your community? How to entice them to choose your community. You're winning. And then it's your responsibility to deliver. And if you already know what they want, delivering is easy. So what does success look like to you, is an open book test in order for you to pass. All you have to do is implement what the answers are. Set the boundaries,know where you got to focus, be productive over being busy and deliver on the ability to feel successful every step of the journey. That's very important. Especially in those opportunities where we get that, we made a mistake and we need to overcome it. What does success look like to you? In overwhelm and burnout situations. What does success look like for me? What am I off balance of that I can balance back? Setting the expectations for what the future holds and how we can feel success through the process of achieving the big goal that we have. That's how powerful that question is. And it can change everything. If you ask it, if you apply it, and you communicate it. Hope this helps. Hope that you aspire for more for you. And thank you for being here today.