2023 Theme

2023 The Year of Curiosity and Radical Acceptance

Happy New Year! 

January is the start of new beginnings. Of course, I do not have to tell you about making resolutions because before the new year every ad, social media post, and person you were chatting with wanted to know what New Year’s resolutions you were making. Instead of creating resolutions, I set an intention for the year. This year my intention is CURIOSITYBeing curious is the intention I will use in my professional and personal life. 

If you have spent any time with me, you know I am curious by nature, but this year I am taking my curiosity one step further. In a recent Ethos team meeting, I shared our word for the year, and I asked the team how they interpreted it and how we could apply this year.

I love how my team works! They immediately thought about the client’s needs first, expressing that each of our clients comes to us with different situations they need help with. The team discussed how they approach new clients with curiosity to understand what makes that client tick. The more curious they are, the more they learn about each company. What made the company reach out to our team? Was it a new law, an investigation, fear of a lawsuit, the need to find talent, or the need to create better processes? There are so many reasons. One comment that resonated is that, as a group, we are interested in learning about our clients’ industries. We don’t just look at one part of your business, e.g., HR or payroll. We want to learn about your industry, how your company serves your clients, and how we can help your team and company achieve their goals. If we didn’t approach new clients with curiosity, we would not ask the right questions to ensure that we can provide the services you need and that we are a good fit for your company and vice versa.

At our retreat in August, we reviewed our company values. Our company has grown, and I wanted to ensure every team member had a voice in creating or updating our values. One core value we identified is Radical Acceptance

To us, radical acceptance is the ability to keep an open mind and be curious. We appreciate everyone for who they are and work to avoid immediately judging someone, something, or a situation. We all make assumptions in our everyday life. Email is a perfect example: how many times have you read an email from a coworker or boss, assumed the tone of the email, and found out later that it is not how the email was intended? You may have misinterpreted the message because you were quick to judge. We have all been there. You can’t hold curiosity and judgment in your heart at the same time so being curious is a great state for everyone.

As a team, we avoid judging our clients when they come to us and say “I have a problem” or “I need to learn how to handle a sensitive situation.” Instead, we strive to be radically accepting of your situation, curious to understand why you have or don’t have a particular policy, report, or process in place. If we are curious and ask the right questions, we understand how clients got to where they are, allowing us to serve their needs at the highest level. This approach has led to much more robust relationships with our clients because they don’t feel judged. It creates a safe place to ask for help.

I believe if you don’t remain curious, you are missing part of the story, and that can be applied to a person or a business. Radical acceptance, keeping an open mind and remaining curious set our team apart from other companies that offer similar services. It all ties back to our tagline, The Magic of the Human Connection®. 

What is your intention or goals for the year? I am curious to know how our clients, referral partners, and business associates set the tone for the year. Let me know how you are approaching 2023.

Cheers to 2023!

Linda Duffy