What motivates you? What drives you? It’s different for each of us. But figuring out this driving force — your Why It Matters — can have a huge impact on your personal and professional life. This was one of the many takeaways for me when I had the privilege of attending the recent W.I.S.E. (Women Industrial Supply Executives) Summit. A network of ISA, the personal and professional development group is for executive-level women in the industry.
Master Sherpa Coach Jenn Chloupek spoke to attendees about how we can each find our Why It Matters. As Chloupek said, we don’t often take the time for self-reflection, but allowing yourself the time to find your personal Why It Matters serves as a driver that helps you to make healthy choices, both at work and at home. In the workplace, when applied to teams and organizations as a whole, the company can hit a sweet spot. “When you stop and listen to people, you find out what motivates them and then you can step into healthy relationships,” she added.
What distribution sales team wouldn’t benefit from this reminder?
So how do you find your Why It Matters? Start by going through the points of a compass that each represent something about your life. Chloupek uses the directions on a compass to discover and describe it, as your Why It Matters steers the direction you are going in life, she said. [Check out the Sherpa Executive Coaching website for more in-depth information on the Why It Matters concept.]
North represents exposure. Your experience. People, places, things and values that shape who you are. For example, your parents gave you messages growing up in what they said to you that you likely carry with you to this day.
South represents evidence. Strengths and weaknesses, words you say and the stories you share. Chloupek noted that strengths, when overused, can be weaknesses.
West represents excitement. This is your flow state, when you’re doing something you love. Time evaporates, the activity gives you joy, excitement and motivates you. It drives and satisfies.
East represent essence. What brings you peace. It is your brand, what you’re known for when you walk into a room and out of a room. If you don’t know, ask people, Chloupek recommended.
Why It Matters is a guiding principle that influences where you direct your energy, efforts and passion. If you can identify and explain your own Why It Matters, you’ve achieved a level of self-awareness and intentional space to be reflective about your actions. Chloupek broke it down into an equation: Meta cognition (reflection, thinking about your thinking) + action (doing) = behavior changes (results).
Our first response to a situation is usually coming from a reactionary place, and often it’s not the right response, Chloupek said. Our second response is typically better, but the third is often the best.
An “absolute truth” to note: Your Why It Matters can produce uneven results, both good and bad times and outcomes. “It’s your super power when used correctly,” Chloupek said, “but also your kryptonite when you’re not aware and reflective.”