EPMEPM: Productivity

Word Up : Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney looks at the magic of language and how one little word can have a massive impact on your entire year.

I am a Dragon. Before you’re quick to agree, which dragon do you think I’m referring to? I’m talking about the Chinese zodiac sign.

With the healthy arrogance of a Dragon, let me be the one to tell you that the Dragon is highly regarded in Chinese culture. Some Chinese even consider themselves descendants of the dragon.

A Dragon is lively, intellectual, excitable, can tell right from wrong, is frank, can be a bit arrogant and impatient, and the female Dragons tend to be overly confident.

Really? No! They hate hypocrisy, slander and gossip. They are not afraid of difficulties and do not like being controlled or used by others. Sound like me?

When it comes to real estate agents I’ve met all types: Pigs, Snakes, Monkeys, Rats and Dogs. So much meaning in one little word! How awesome is language?

I love how the selection, use and interpretation of the words we communicate with can be so diverse.

I love how a single word can mean so many different things to different people, and I love how powerful words can be when used well, not just on others but on the conversation we have with ourselves.

Whilst some take the zodiac seriously and others just for fun, I have my own approach when it comes to naming my year.

Each year I literally choose a word of the year. My word becomes my theme; it forms the basis for my decision-making and guides me as I navigate the world towards my goals.

If you’re wondering what the process is, when I first started selecting a word many years ago I sat down with pen and paper and brainstormed.

Identifying words that encapsulated all I wanted for the year ahead. Nowadays the word seems to rise naturally to the surface without prompting.

At the end of 2018, each time I was asked what the new year had in store, ever present was the word ‘consolidation’. To my mind, 2019 was to be a year of no shiny new objects, a little retraction, yet so much growth.

The family is full (five’s enough, thanks), the business needed a smart haircut to grow healthier and I was clear after a challenging time keeping balls in the air with the newborn. I wanted things to be simpler.

I thought I’d better look up the technical meaning of consolidation for us. Wow! It couldn’t be a more accurate reflection of my intention for this year.

To consolidate has several meanings: to bring together two or more separate parts into one; to discard unused or unwanted items and organise the remaining; to make solid or firm.

When you’re rolling out your word of the year, including and discussing it at every opportunity, you’d be well advised to create an application statement to go with it (yes, I did just make that term up).

My application statement is, ‘Growth through consolidation’. Without it, it would be fair for someone to assume this year was about making my business smaller, which is the opposite of my intention for smarter growth.

With consolidation now firmly in motion and a couple of months of activity and change under our belt, it’s not been without risk or temptation to follow a new idea down a rabbit hole.

Consolidation is proving to be a strong word by which to be making some tough decisions. Relatively speaking, the painstaking cupboard consolidation of my wardrobe at home was the easiest; but, gee, so many clothes; so many memories!

Consolidation is a 365-day project, and for today I’m off to wake the Horse and the other Dragon. It’s time for them to consolidate their toys.


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Fiona Blayney

Fiona Blayney is the founder and director of Real+, an industry first Property Management learning platform. For more info visit realplusonline.com.au.