Who would have known, or even thought, that I would walk away with some valuable lessons learned by serving on jury duty.
At the end of last month I was called to perform my civic duty and appeared at the courthouse for jury duty. I had hoped that I would not be selected and could continue with my normal busy January. Well, that didn’t happen and before the end of the 1st day, I was selected as a juror on a civil case. I’m not going to lie, I really was dreading the rest of the week. Since I was selected, I thought I would make the best of it. It turns out I would witness several “traits” that are key for any service profession to be successful.
As professionals, we know our products; we know our resources and continue to learn more daily. But there are some skills that aren’t so easily learned, or taught. As I observed the legal teams on the case, I quickly saw that one team was far superior to the other. This wasn’t based on their knowledge of the law, or even their knowledge of the medical scenario. It was very much based on their demeanor, personalities, confidence, and the way they presented themselves. Without boring you with any more details, here are my takeaways from watching and hearing from the various professionals during my jury week.
- Personality counts – Let’s all face it. We are drawn to those with a more warm and friendly demeanor. Those who know how to draw us in with their body language, engage in conversation, keep it going and genuinely be present and interested the entire time. While this can be learned with practice, I am a firm believer that you are born with this gift, or struggle with it.
- Confidence Sells – People can feel your confidence without any words spoken. It’s how you carry yourself, how you dress, like an aura that follows you around. If you are one that possesses confidence without arrogance, even better. It was very apparent in my court experience that one legal team exuded an abundance of confidence, with no arrogance or egos, and it seemed genuine. It was so noticeable that one time, I paid closer attention hoping to learn more.
- Our reputation is our business – We all know this to be true, but when we are in the thick of things–busy days working with clients, finalizing bookings, we sometimes lose track of the simple fact that without a great reputation we risk losing business. This really hit home when I was listening to the doctor who was being accused of medical malpractice. His reputation was literally on the line and in our hands. I put myself in his shoes and it upset me. Being a professional, I could empathize with what he might be feeling. It’s not like he decided to be a doctor one day and the next day open a practice. This takes years of education, hard work and winning the trust and confidence of others. We all work so hard to deliver perfection that it can be discouraging, and in some cases devastating, to have one incident take that all away. What can we do to protect our reputation, our business, and our livelihood?
From this experience, I walked away with some ideas of what I’d like to work on, do different, and strive for in my business. Next time I’ll share two very unexpected and touching moments that really opened my eyes, and my spark some ideas for you as well.
Stephanie Cannon is the owner of Honeymoons Designed, a home-based agency located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been a professional travel consultant since 2006 and specializes in Romance Travel. Her focus is on customizing unique, authentic and unforgettable experiences. Most of her client base consists of couples celebrating a honeymoon, destination wedding, anniversary, or vow renewal. She is a recent Certified Tahiti Specialist and currently enrolled in the CTA program.