My thought process was to try to give them something that may help them in life and that might even get them to thinking about their future. Most of our salesmen are in their 20s and every once in a while I try to train on something that gets their mind away from work and possibly on something that may be more important and even more beneficial.
So, I handed each one of them a sheet of paper and asked them to fold it in half. At the top of the paper I asked them to write down some key words about themselves. In other words, if someone were to search for you online, what key words would you hope they would use to search for you? Key words are primarily what you would use to make sure that your product or service may show up in an online search. I gave them that example and asked them to write down a few. Some of the results were honest, trustworthy, good father, straightforward and loving and there were many others. These were all key words they came up with that they felt they would want to be searched by and these are ones I would say as well.
Once they were finished I asked them to write at the bottom of the page a description of how they want to be remembered in life or what they want people to be able to say about them if they were gone. It didn’t have to be long at all and might even coincide with the key words that they had already written. Sure enough it turns out that many of their key words they wanted to be searched by were also how they want to be remembered.
We talked about their responses, if they wanted to share, and then I posed a question to them. I asked them to look at what they wrote and honestly ask themselves if they lived these words out daily. Basically asking them to evaluate themselves to see if their key words actually represented their life. Were their key words a good description of how they are living their life now? Only they know those answers.
The primary reason I asked them to do this is because we often think more about ourselves than we should or someone else might think. Many people can look at the way we are living our lives and pretty much tell what we are all about. We often try to put on a facade just to make people think we are something or someone we are not just to impress. The same goes for us. We often want to look at ourselves in a positive light and in no way are we living like we want to believe we are. It’s sometimes very hard to give ourselves an honest evaluation of our character and therefore end up living a life that is opposite of what we want to be portraying to others. I really wanted to see what they thought about themselves and if they would be honest when they evaluated themselves. I totally agree that no one is going to be perfect and living that standard of life all the time but it’s all about the direction and not necessarily perfection. If you can take an honest evaluation of your own life and character then there is a great chance that you are willing to work at trying to be a better person and actually desire to live up to your key words.
I know that they possibly weren’t really wanting to be honest at that moment when evaluating themselves because what 20 something year old does right? But what I was hoping might happen is it would get them to thinking about where they are currently in life and maybe even where they might be heading or wanting to go. Sometimes just dropping something for them to ponder and think on a little could maybe just maybe get them started on a better path than they are currently on.