Coasting Only Happens Downhill

Coasting Only Happens Downhill

Written By: Donna Cutting – A Senior Living SMART Partner

As Mike Rayburn spoke these words from the main stage at the National Speakers Association Convention last month, they hit me like a ton of bricks! How very true. Coasting does only happen downhill.

While it can be fun, and even necessary, to coast for a while and appreciate all the work you’ve done, there comes a time when you must stop yourself. Otherwise, you keep heading down while those around you (your competition) keep reaching new levels of success.

Learn Something New

We only grow when we allow ourselves to be uncomfortable. If we only do things we absolutely know how to do well, we become static, bored and, well, boring. Instead, pick up a book you wouldn’t normally read. Take a class that’s always intrigued you. Practice a new and challenging piece of music. Get out of your comfort zone and expand those horizons.

Set and Achieve New Goals

There’s always a new level of possibility worth reaching. Perhaps there’s a place you’ve always wanted to visit, or an experience you’ve always wanted to have. Break your big goal into little milestones and start chipping away at it now. Stop coasting and start accomplishing.

Revisit Relationships

I’ve personally been blessed with a pretty terrific marriage. However, when I came home and repeated Mike’s words—“Coasting Only Happens Downhill” —to Jim, he and I both took heart. We have been so content that we’d stopped some of the fundamental practices that made our marriage work in the first place. The very next day we re-instituted weekly family meetings to discuss finances, health, and other related matters. No more coasting for us. Where are you coasting in your relationships? Perhaps it’s time to start walking uphill together again.

Communicate Consistently

If there is one common denominator that all our clients have when we begin our work with them, it’s that workplace communication needs to be improved. It’s time to stop coasting; stop complaining and start communicating. Establish (or re-establish) 15 minute stand-up meetings so everyone knows what’s going on for the day. Resolve to communicate in three different ways to ensure the message is received. Perhaps it’s time to get more creative with your communications so they stand out among the noise. Say no to coasting, and yes to communicating.

Revive Service Levels

Maybe you already give an amazing red-carpet service experience to your customers. Or, maybe you’re coasting on this assumption. There’s always another level of service, or consistency, or WOW that can be achieved. Is it time to regenerate some excitement around service delivery in your organization?

In what other areas might you be coasting? Ask yourself: 

  1. Do I regularly let the people in my personal and professional lives know that they are appreciated?
  2. Do I strive to become the expert in my profession and take advantage of opportunities to learn?
  3. Do I stay in the comfort of my office, or do I walk out on the floor to see what’s happening with my team and my customers?
  4. Do I work to hire team members that are the perfect fit for our organization, or do I coast by hiring for numbers?
  5. Do we (as a team) provide an exceptional orientation and onboarding program for new team members, or are we coasting on the one we have?

This list can be as long as the ideas you have. What hits you in the gut—both personally and professionally—when you read Mike’s words?

“Coasting Only Happens Downhill”

Want to hear more from Donna?  Click here to watch her recent SMARTWebinar!


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