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Look Them in the Eye

Every now and then, in the middle of a busy, stressful, yet rewarding work week you have to step back and look around you. It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff that you forget to look people in the eye, to really see those around you.

I notice that sometimes when I'm working with a customer, I can get so caught up in getting their flowers or ringing up their sale, that I forget to look at them. You know, make long, meaningful eye contact. I notice that as outgoing as I am, I can sometimes be shy. It seems so intimate to make eye contact that I look here and there but not always directly at them. It's a habit I'm looking to break because the act goes both ways. They can't see the real me until I not only show them the smile in my voice but also the smile in my eyes.

So, what brought me to this blog today? I was sitting here at my desk, trying to get hyped up to start working on some wedding proposals, which are sometimes the equivalent of homework for me, you know, it's hard to start but fine once you do it's not so bad. Well, anyway, my thoughts drift back to this past week. This was one of those weeks that you get excited about, but can also dread. Having so much work to do, so many events that mean so much to the people involved, you can really loose some sleep with worry. Still wondering how my first paragraph has anything to do with my second? It comes down to "seeing" and really "knowing" those around you.

In the first case, customers, I may not know them very well but in the second case, my staff, I think I do know them fairly well. But back up to the title of this blog "Look Them in the Eye". Do I take enough time to see them, really know them? Do I appreciate everything they do for me and my company? As I sit here and think back to this past week and everything that we accomplished I'm feeling proud of everyone who works here. I'm thinking about each one and how they have developed in their careers (and yes, working at a flower shop is a career, no matter what CareerBuilders might say). I think about how far they all have come. I linger on how devoted they are to me and the Monday Morning Family that seems to have been created here.

As I check in with Kevin and some of the staff after an early morning event set up, they run over to see if I like what they have done. They tell my I look nice and that I look more rested than when they saw me yesterday. What? They are not mad that I was not out with them at 5 am? When did this turn of events happen! Employees rarely have wanted me to sleep in a bit while they handle a major event. It's just not something I have been used to. They ask me if I would like a group photo of all them standing in front of their handy work. They are proud of what they have done.

As we sit having breakfast I listen to them as they joke about having a secret MMF hand shake and talk about the movie they all watched together last night. Just yesterday as we were driving to set up an event, I observe one employee call another one on her cell phone to make sure that she did not oversleep. My event manager buys his two Saturday drivers a beer to thank them for their efforts that day. Wow! To say that I'm proud and humbled by them would be an understatement. I guess the whole point of this blog is to say, that I SEE my staff. I SEE the people around me. I vow to take the time to look them in the eye and in doing so, hope that they also see the real me. I may feel overwhelmed most of my day but they deserve the respect of being looked in the eye if for no other reason but to let them see my pride.
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