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PIVOT it’s what everyone’s talking about

Everyone is talking about how important it is to pivot right now. Blog posts, webinars, articles, the word “pivot” is EVERYWHERE.

It’s almost like people are afraid to use the word CHANGE. Hey, I get it! Change is super scary.

I’m going to start out by telling you a story.

A friend told me about a frustration at home. Her husband was re-assigned to the noon to 7 p.m. shift at work. To keep his job, he needed to accept the new schedule.

My friend was very upset.

“We have eaten dinner together for our entire married life,” she explained. “Dinner is the time when we share our day, discuss what’s going on in the world, and make decisions about our family.”

With the new hours, her husband was getting home around 9 o’clock, sometimes later. The guys at work were inviting him out for a beer and snack after work. He wasn’t hungry by the time he got home – even if my friend waited to eat with him – and he wasn’t in the mood to dissect the issues of the day.

He told her repeatedly, “Go ahead and eat dinner at your normal time.”

Everything seemed upside down in her world with this change. Even worse, her husband was getting impatient with her attitude about a situation he already felt guilty about.

My friend was heartbroken.

“I can’t change my attitude about this,” she said. “I know I should, but all I can feel is sorry for myself.”

The way she described it I thought was very similar to what I often see in the sales profession:

We get ourselves locked into one attitude that we just can’t seem to view in any other way.

“It’s like looking through a dirty window,” she said about her husband’s work schedule. “Everything is muddled and distorted, and I can’t find the tools to clean it. Every time I look out through that dirty window I am reminded of how much I hate this.”

A few months later we were having coffee.

Her attitude had changed.

“I knew I had to see things in a different way or it would affect my whole life,” she said.

Here’s what she and her husband did:

On Sundays they go to the grocery store and enjoy a leisurely shopping trip (“we actually buy healthier food when we shop together!”). They plan a menu that allows her husband to eat the same meal at work as she is eating at home. At 4:00, when he has his lunch break at work, he calls her, and she takes a break from work as well.

“I have a salad and a bite or two of dinner, although I usually eat the rest of it around 6 o’clock,” she says.  “We have a chance to catch up while he is feeling relaxed. We don’t talk as much as we used to during dinner, but it is working.”

I congratulated her on the solution.

“What changed?” I asked.

She told me she knew she couldn’t change her attitude without changing the window she was looking through.

“I needed to pivot,” she explained. “I found a new window, one that was already clean.”

She told me she decided to focus on the desired outcomes:

  • A strong relationship with her husband
  • A chance to talk each day
  • A peaceful feeling about his new schedule
  • Acceptance of his social time with friends
  • Quality time together (grocery shopping)

By focusing on the big picture, she was able to see other ways of looking at the situation.

“You would think,” she said, “as adults we would be able to re-frame our attitude whenever we want. After all, we’re always telling our kids, ‘change your attitude!’ I have a new appreciation for how hard that can be.”

She told me more: “In our case, we had a lot of things influencing that attitude. Ingrained habits. What our friends thought. What society tells you about what married life should be. Feeling defensive because my husband was coming home late. Feeling like I deserved something better. Feeling left out.”

Of those, she said, their longstanding habit of eating together was the hardest adjustment. Even now, when the sun is going down and her husband isn’t home yet, she feels a little twinge.

“I still wish he could be home for dinner,” she admits.

Changing an attitude isn’t a perfect switch, she reminds us. It’s hard work to frame things in a positive way and to keep your eye on the bigger goals.

It DOES take effort! Controlling our attitude is daily work.

I invite you to look at the parts of your life that are giving you frustration and see if you can find a cleaner, clearer window to view through.

It’s amazing what clarity can do for our attitude. Whether it’s a re-frame, a refresh or simply a reminder each day to count our blessings – our attitude is one of the four things thing we salespeople hate to deal with…but we do anyway…because we know it will help us be successful.

Here’s to a sparkling clean window today…and your greater success tomorrow!


ps. If you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe a structured discussion about your goals and how you can pivot to achieve them would be helpful, all you have to do is click reply to schedule our conversation.

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