December 29th, 2012
Welcome back to Word of the Week! Using the same words all the time because they come easily are lost opportunities, each and every time.
When you use a truly right-but maybe unexpected-word, listeners really hear what you say. They can connect on a different level, and you elevate yourself, and the conversation.
I love the power of ordinary, but under-used, or forgotten words for SO many reasons; so for the New Year I am re-focusing on this series of powerful words and this Word of the Week is CONSTRUCTIVE.
Today, it was every sixth word used in press conferences to describe the deal-making machinations that were going on regarding the Fiscal Cliff. Spot-on in any negotiation situation, but PERFECT for the housing industry-think of all the parallels: Reconciling opposing needs and often strong beliefs, the mix of many personalities, MONEY, and delays (with simultaneous deadlines!)-so that each side is satisfied. CONSTRUCTIVE is common ground.
Positive and non-inflammatory, it’s a buffer word. Both neutral and a sign of engagement, it doesn’t tip anyone’s hand, or tell you anything specific, other than both sides are still talking, trying to work things out. CONSTRUCTIVE finds what is agreed-on, and builds on it.
An adjective, CONSTRUCTIVE is defined as ‘serving a useful purpose, tending to build up. Also-helping to improve, promoting further development or advancement’. It can dial things down, and it’s a great choice to bring sides closer to center, without sounding judgemental or prissy.
CONSTRUCTIVE keeps its eye on the prize, and focuses on completing a task-NO WONDER The Refreshed Home likes it so much!
June 15th, 2012
Word of the Week: INDECISION
Came across this picture this week, and after the initial giggles-yes, the cold ocean waves of the Cape are always are on my mind this time of year-I really looked at this photo.
WOW, what an amazing illustration of an internal process .
Approaching the edge of something new, or a big decision, we are unsure. We retreat…dance around it…maybe do a one-eighty. Maybe a few times. We’ll observe, re-group, and re-approach.
Defined as inconclusive, hesitant, or lacking resolution, indecision doesn’t feel good. It’s psychic energy hitting a wall. Effort without movement or resolution. Unlike thoughtful consideration, or a quiet pondering-indecision is less about the decision, and more about the fear and uncertainty surrounding it.
Like a paralyzing fog, it rolls in and holds you captive, occupying your brain, making you feel miserable and stuck. Indecision is probably the #1 factor behind procrastination.
A truism in sales is that an objection is just a question that has not been answered yet. I would extend that, and suggest that in many cases, indecision is fear that has not been addressed. All that “HOME” represents, all the choices out there, and the current market have created a perfect storm of sorts for many homeowners. Helping clients sort things out, and see their choices clearly so they can get on with their lives is rewarding, and productive for both of us.
Acknowledging you are in it is the first step to getting out of it. After that, an activity to distract or shake up the mindset-like working out, or seeing a movie can help. Sleeping on it works for some. Looking for, and at the fear helps others.
Despite The Refreshed Home’s creative nature, I am a fairly analytical thinker. Asking clients ‘what is the worst that could happen?’ and have them either either write down, or verbalizing the scenarios deflates a lot of the what-ifs, while adding perspective.
As I get older, I am more and more aware of how fleeting , and precious time is. Time spent going round and round in that hamster wheel of indecision is time forever lost. Recalling a quote I read once by German artist, playwright, politician and philosopher at large Johann von Goethe is what nudges me out, every time:
“Then indecision brings its own delays.
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.
Are you in earnest?
Seize this very moment.
What you can do, or dream you can-begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”
January 15th, 2012
Each Word Of The Week looks at the extraordinary power of a familiar word, this week that word is TRUST.
Lot of bantering about this word lately. It’s a word that is so universally understood, yet hard to define, and with many manifestations.
It feels strong and established, sturdy and dependable…yet still fluid.
Trust is not a manufactured modular house, created quickly, and dispassionately in parts that are trucked to and assembled on site. No, it is a stick-built home, that starts with the foundation, and is built up, upon that foundation, piece by piece. As in our relationships, each new piece rests on the integrity of what went before.
I think that’s why trust betrayed is so hurtful, you question everything that went before. But like a physical structure, if a part does fail, repair can make it stronger, but timeliness is urgent, so damage doesn’t grow.
It is not a solitary pursuit, it’s always about a RELATIONSHIP…even if you can’ trust yourself’ with, say cheesecake in the house (!!), you create another, evil, cheescake-snarfing bad-twin, because your sane self would know, and behave better.
Trust requires open and authentic communications, so LISTENING is important. To be trusted, you need to know what is important to the other side.
Implied is a suspension of belief, so there is also RISK in Trust. It is taking LOGIC as far as you can, then letting go. Ernest Hemmingway once said the only way to know if you can trust someone, is to trust them.
Little known fact: Regan’s famous ‘Trust, but verify’ comment to his Soviet counterpart actually came from a Russian parable that Lenin himself used to quote.
I have a number of random thoughts about TRUST, but one thing I know for sure, TRUST cannot occupy the same space where HURT, ANGER or FEAR exists.
January 6th, 2012
Welcome back to Word Of The Week, where an image, and a new take on an known word has given pause for thought, and in this case, action. This weeks’ word is PIONEER, and comes to us all courtesy of Santa Fe Realtor, and online pal Emily Medvec.
We had a short online back and forth at the end of the year…the topic was new things for the new year, and I had a few things I wanted to bounce off her.
Was describing the collective consciousness of Staging in this area as ‘toddler’ , meaning a known entity, and with some motion, but not really defined or able to stand on it’s own. Emily-who came to Santa Fe a long time ago, by way of Connecticut-took it out of the juvenile, and said I had pioneer spirit to make what I wanted to happen.
OK-I didn’t CONCIOUSLY visualize myself in a ten-gallon hat or boots (I’m neither a hat or a boot person…but maybe I just never had the right boots…), or think- PUSH FORWARD TO NEW HORIZONS!!- but this word was rattling around in my subconscious.
The very next day there was a story on a local newscast that-TO ME-screamed opportunity for one of the things I wanted to accomplish…and immediately I trotted upstairs to shoot an email to the producers. What-if anything-will come from it-who knows? My point is that pioneer today is a state of mind. Further, we also each have our un-explored territories, just Google ‘images of pioneers’ to see what I mean.
Pioneer is basic and impactful. It feels more physical than it’s seemingly more intellectual cousin innovative. But it’s not in-you-face-forceful and proud of it like the modifier ‘guerilla’. It’s more solitary. In my mind it’s not getting by taking; it’s more proactive, getting by doing, or going where you want to, even if that means you need to make up the plan as you go along.
It is simultaneously curious, confident and humble. There is also uncertainty, so some bravery is involved… but it’s not putting your life in danger type of bravery. Because pioneer does not push up against anyone else: it’s you, challenging you to grow.
So-pardner-wishing you HAPPY TRAILS this week, and may the pioneer spirit be with you as you face whatever lies before you, and continue your journey to make 2012 your best year EVER!
December 31st, 2011
Welcome back to Word Of The Week: where I explain why a certain word has caught my attention this week. Today the word is MANAGE.
When I first started my work life, I thought being a manager was a good aspiration…it seemed easy enough, you just tell people what you want them to do…did I mention I started work when I was very young??
There are two types of takes on the word manage. One is an idiom for coping, or getting by…‘whatever happens, I’ll manage’…pretty passive.
The other is an all-encompassing Snugglie of a job description (not exactly sure what it does encompass, and very fluid boundries) that is much more pro-active.
Earliest roots come from the Italian ‘maneggiare’-to handle, especially as in horses, or French ‘manege’ -horsemanship. The Latin, of course is ‘manus’-hand, as in manual, manacle.
The parallels of directing the path of a large and powerful creature and overseeing all aspects of a project are intriguing; bringing both to their safe, complete and intended destination-even more so.
And NOW I might have a clue as to why John Maggiotto-the camera artist and photographer extroidinaire who took my professional head shots, and kindly allowed me the use of his artwork here-often uses horses as subject matter, and a wild stallion as his avatar on his business cards and stationary. But I digress….
The image of hands, used in several financial and insurance institutions, are meant to convey and assure personal safety and security, but it’s a reminder too of the very basic ways that things get done.
Managing is an absolute hands-on, up close and yes, sometimes personal endevor. Successful managers know there is give and take. There is a need to both listen, and the ability to take charge.
Sometimes you need a light touch, other times… not so much. It requires simultaneously living in the circumstances of the moment and looking/thinking ahead…often far ahead, and in all sorts of directions. There is responsibility, and should be mutual respect.
Lots of talk this week of what the future ‘holds’, and- for me, anyway-reflection of this past year. In times of economic uncertainty, there is reluctance to acknowledge or seek the value of the intangible; so many perceive value to lie solely in the lowest dollar figure, or the finished-visual-product.
Ours is a world where little is simple…sometimes by evolution, sometimes by design. Relying on someone else who is very smart about something is not a bad thing. I will continue to make how I manage projects, and the process for clients my highest priority. And I will continue to also learn how to do it better.
I thank the readers, and clients of the refreshed home for a challenging, and rewarding 2011. I appreciate your faith and trust this year, have enjoyed sharing your excitment as your projects have unfolded, and look forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring us all.
2012 is going to be great…pass it on!
December 24th, 2011
I love the power of the right word. Every week I write about a particular word that has been resonating with me, and this week the word is GRACE.
Because of some projects and several conversations this week I actually had another word ready to go today, but it just didn’t feel right for this Saturday, Christmas Eve.
“Grace” has several definitions, and all of them good. As a noun it’s a physical condition of elegance. As a verb, it adorns and embellishes. I read that is is mentioned 170 times in the Bible, and that one definition is that it is unmerited favor.
I am a person of faith…not just mine, but others’ faith as well, and I really love that last definition. If we are connected to the moment, I think we can find grace through the smile of a stranger, or another driver letting us go in front of them.
I don’t think it’s showy or loud, but it’s not small, either. I believe grace is goodness, and that it’s always around us, it doesn’t exist just when we see it…or remember to be grateful for it.
In my mind, I see and feel grace as an all-encompassing warm glow. It’s a gift, reassurance that big-picture, I am being looked after, and all will be OK.
What I call grace transcends all the demographics.
There has got to be other words to describe this in other faiths and cultures, I just don’t know what they are. What are your word(s), and how do you define them?
Meanwhile, wishing you the realization of how much goodness and light surrounds you, 24/7.
December 9th, 2011
Word Of The Week: ENGAGE
This is a very interesting word for me. Like the others, it has depth and is nuanced, and I think this might even be a theme for 2012.
First, it’s an action word.(YAY for action!)
Second, it’s an interactive action-you can’t ‘engage’ by yourself, you need someone else to engage with.
Third, it implies mutual benefit and interest. Sure, one person has to start it, but it continues because it’s a choice.
Fourth, it has a nice, light and balanced touch. Nothing hard-sell, or one-sided. It’s about attraction, not persuasion.
All these things bode really well for the new year. In the last few months, I have seen smart and strong people regain their voice, and their confidence. Sanity has started to return to the market, as well as civility.
By and large, we have been collectively coming from a place of fear in the last few years, it’s great to see people coming out of it-no matter how tentatively-choosing to move on with their lives. I’m very excited about what the new year will bring.
November 14th, 2011
Maybe it was the change of weather here in Westchester this past week…coming off a shocking 10″+ snowfall the week before…
Or MAYBE, just MAYBE it had to do with THREE of my staged properties accepting offers on last Monday…
The most common use of ”bask” denotes relaxing in, and enjoying some type of glow-most often sunlight, but sometimes intangibles, like the afterglow of a compliment.
This week, I felt it to be downright cellular. It was a week full of vivid seasonal color, warm sunshine, happy thoughts AND positive energy surrounding and wrapping all around me.
Bask is not an obvious, in-your-face type of thing. It’s not winning the World Series type of exuberant. It’s more personal. You keep it close, like a lucky quarter. It’s your own private filter, protecting you from the yammerings of malcontents, the corrosive nature of negativity. It’s you, both happy, and allowing yourself to take your time, enjoying being happy.
The copper-colored leaves never looked crisper as they did against the impossibly blue November sky. New, potential clients-who all called ME-hung on every word (Stager-nip , in itself!!). The real sign, though came when I got an insurance snafu straightened out in record time at the DMV!!
Abraham Lincoln once said that most people are as happy as they make their minds up to be. I don’t know if deciding to be happy will always do the trick, but having the grace to know to look for the happy whereever you are is BIG!
Have a good week everyone!