Building Team ‘Awesome’ – Where Are Your Strengths?

Focusing on building the right team to get the job done often makes us forget one thing … ‘change’ happens!

Focusing on building an ‘awesome’ team to deliver solutions to solve problems embraces the most important thing to remember … ‘change’ happens!

team

Introducing Team ‘Awesome’

  • Team ‘awesome’ is agile enough to be able to be responsive and proactive to change.
  • Team ‘awesome’ is able to recognise and resolve problems by making smart and informed decisions.
  • Team ‘awesome’ delivers relevant and real solutions for customers rather than delivering products and services to customers

How to Start to Build Team ‘Awesome’

Focusing on the behaviours you see, and the problems they present, instead of focusing on what strengths team members may have that are unseen, underutilized or untapped is where the secret to building and ‘awesome’ team lies.

Do you recognize any of these behaviours in your team?

The Procrastinator

Do you have team members who are indecisive and never seem to finish what they start?

  • Are these team members lacking confidence in the tasks they are expected to complete? If so, ask them why they feel this way and how you can help them to believe in themselves, particularly if the expectations in their role have changed.
  • Are these team members expected to complete tasks that they are under-skilled for?  Have you assessed your employee’s capacity and capability before having an expectation of them? If not, they may procrastinate to avoid being seen as incompetent.
  • Are these team members lost in the detail and cannot concentrate long enough to tick all the boxes to get the job done?  Find out if this person needs lots of information to commit or decide, and if so, how can you support this need?
  • Have you spent enough time explaining what you expect from these team members and the timeline you want them to complete tasks within?

The Antagonist

Do you have team members who create havoc and are sometimes a thorn in the side of other members of your team?

  • When this team member behaves this way are they aware of the impact on other team members?  Determine if this is a subconscious behaviour or one that is deliberate, and if so why?
  • Have these team members always behaved this way or has something changed that made their behaviour change, and if so why?
  • Are your antagonist team members bored and creating situations where they are the hero to challenge themselves?  How can you challenge them to refocus their attention?
  • What is the reward that these team members get by behaving this way?  How else can you reward them for other behaviours that are more appropriate, and in ways that will deliver higher productivity and is conducive to a healthy work culture?
  • Are other team members encouraging these behaviours by submitting or even enabling these team members?  Is being seen as having influence and authority the driver for these team members?

The People Pleaser

Nothing is too hard for these team members.  Give them any task and they will do their absolute best to see it through.

  • Are the team members that you identify as people pleasers capable of the tasks they attempt? How can you make these people feel that their contribution is valued while ensuring they are performing the tasks fit with their skill set and experience?
  • What are these team members looking for in your workplace?  Approval, a sense of belonging, popularity, or other drivers compel people pleasers to behave the way they do.  Identifying what the motivation is for the individual is key to ensuring that the potential of that employee is not lost in the effort and whether their behaviour may be more for personal gain than business productivity.
  • People pleasers often behave the way they do through fear and insecurity in the possibility of losing their role. By pleasing others they may feel that they will be liked and needed by the business, protecting them from their role being compromised.
  • If you channelled the energy that people pleasers spend on pleasing, into tasks that enable them to work to their strengths and give them a sense an opportunity to build a reputation on what they accomplish rather than what they do and say, what difference would that make to your business?

The ‘Accidental’ Leader

Have you got team members who have become accidental leaders? The role they are engaged in is not a leadership role but due to the team dynamics, they have had to stand up and take the lead, or maybe they were appointed into a leadership role but it is not their strength?

  • How can you identify who you natural leaders are, and when you do, how can you create an environment where they can lead, creating a more efficient and effective workplace?
  • Role misalignment can see accidental leaders thrust into an environment with an expectation that they are not engaged to perform.  How do you recognize natural leaders and appointed leaders who are misaligned?  When you do, how do you approach the dynamic of the workplace to take advantage of these leaders skills? Consider that working with these leaders strengths may alter or enhance culture with increased productivity and profitability.

The Quiet Achiever

The quiet achiever comes in, puts their head down and gets on with the task at hand.  Often this silent force pushes through workloads that others avoid, without complaint.

  • Is your visibility of the quiet achiever low?  Are you aware of what they have to offer, and if you are not what is your business missing out on?
  • Are your quiet achievers working to their capacity or just pushing through a workload?  Think about how you can start to introduce incentivization for these people to encourage them to challenge themselves and how you will do this.
  • Do your quiet achievers pick up the slack for other team members who may be taking advantage of their goodwill?  If you change how you measure the performance of your team and focus on their strengths to introduce key performance indicators, will this identify gaps in performance and open up opportunities?

The Whinger

Have you got team members who are never satisfied, never happy and always complaining no matter what you do for them?

  • People often whinge because whining about something is often easier than working to fix problems.  You need to discover why this behaviour keeps occurring to be able to establish a new purpose for these employees and to give them a reason why they would want to change their behaviour.
  • Is there a real reason for the whining that is being caused by the work environment that can be addressed rather than being dismissed?
  • Are their triggers that set off the whining, and if so what are that triggers, and what chain of reactions do these triggers put into motion?  Often taking the time to understand why people believe they need to behave a certain way is a great investment in discovering what motivates and what demotivates individuals and your team.

The Clock Watcher

The clock watcher’s timesheets are regimented and this is reflected in when they arrive at work and when they leave on time every day.  The clock watchers in your team may also be the ones who come in on time and then proceed to make their breakfast or socialize, procrastinating before they start work.

  • Why is your clock watcher disengaged? If they are bored and unhappy is it because their role does not challenge them, or are they only there to collect the weekly pay?
  • Clock watching is not only negative for the business but also impacts on the employee and the team collectively, with productivity suffering and everyone is affected. How can you help these employees to re-engage and take ownership of what they contribute?
  • Enriching the clock watchers job and time managing the activities may shine a light on their strengths and weaknesses, helping you support these employees and improve and enable their level of job satisfaction and value of the contribution they make to the business.

The ‘Big Picture’ Person

When it comes to getting things done it may be a challenge for the ‘big picture’ employee. They can see what needs to happen and inspire others to help them understand how this will happen but they may struggle to focus on making it happen.

  • The big picture person is important to encourage the team to work to achieve long-term goals and projects incrementally.  If you have a balance on your team with members who enjoy detail and process, these people will align well with the big picture person.  Who is on your team and is the mix right?
  • How can you embrace the vision of the big picture person to know where the business direction is going at an operational level? If you do this how will this make the employee feel, and what difference will that make to their level of engagement?
  • Often the big picture person is seen as a dreamer and not a doer. Finding the right vehicles for the big picture person to dream and deliver may help your business continue to gain momentum.  Is this important to help your business remain relevant and provide more insight for other employees?

The Manipulator

The manipulator is often the employee who feels that they have to position other team members by any means to make them look good.  This can be harmless or they can be very destructive.

  • If you have identified a manipulator the default is often to discipline them or spend time putting out fires they have started.  What if you looked at how they are manipulating to identify what they are trying to achieve by doing this?
  • If the manipulator is trying to make themselves look like a hero, how can you give them ownership of a task or project or offer them professional learning to teach them how to do this without creating collateral damage.
  • Often the manipulator’s behaviour is a cry for help.  They are feeling insecure or incompetent and this makes them fearful of their longevity and value to the business.  They often do not understand that they are being destructive or causing the behaviour that they do and may be horrified to think that this is what they are known for.  Showing the manipulator how to demonstrate value, how that is measured and rewarded is a learning process that can realign what once was a challenging employee into a champion employee.

The Follower

The follower just wants to be told what to do, how to do it and get on with doing it.

A follower can become stuck in a rut with little thought or attention to detail when they go through the motions to get the job done.  What if you changed some of the tasks or the ways they were to be done and supported this with training and guidance?

  • Often followers are motivated by basic safety needs and not by incentives and rewards.  Reframing their roles to expand what they do may challenge this. If you leverage the strengths and apply them to new job duties they may respond positively because they see themselves as team players. This will only work if they believe you are not trying to take them away from where they know they are capable. This process, if successful, reinforces their roles rather than changes them in their eyes.
  • How often do you see too many followers and inadequate leadership in teams?  When this happens you have a ‘pack mentality’ that is not conducive to productivity or profitability. If you identify the strengths of all your team members could this help you to change this dynamic?
  • Followers need guidelines or they operate by habit.  Is your business structured to facilitate this or do your team members just operate as they see best?

The Bully

These team members are your human resource nightmare.  This type of employee has the potential to create staff complaint or churn.

  • The typical reaction to a bully is negative and often this may just reinforce the bully to keep doing what they are doing. Likewise, calling them on that behaviour could also create a challenge.  Find out why this behaviour is happening in a non-confrontational way and you might find what pieces are missing that is causing this so you can remediate.
  • A bully often behaves this way because they feel inadequate and they are trying to compensate for what they are lacking.  Find out what is lacking and you may be on the way to defusing that behaviour,
  • Bullies often push to get their own way to validate how they think and how they behave.  Creating a collaborative work environment that is KPI’d on both individual and group efforts may help the bully to conform to achieve outcomes or be seen as the problem if they don’t.

The Innovator

Every team needs innovators to shift thinking from delivering services and products to delivering solutions.

  • Innovators are only an asset to a team when they are given the space and opportunity to discover and innovate.  How will you support this?
  • Innovators need to be measured to ensure that they focus on what the business needs to achieve.  How will you measure your innovators’ input and contribution to solutions and team performance?
  • Innovation can detract from the core business.  How can you structure your team aims and objectives to keep that focus while embracing innovation to remain relevant and competitive?

The Attention Seeker

Everyone likes attention but some employees seek it more than others.  These people can consume time and resource if left unchecked.

  • Why is your attention seekers attention seeking?  Are they looking for acknowledgement or recognition, and if so, why?
  • When you identify what the attention seeker’s motivation is you are able to understand what they need to perform effectively without feeling the need to find reassurance and reinforcement.
  • Rewarding autonomy and initiative may assist to reaffirm worth and value for the attention seeker.  This may work so long as that recognition is visible, and positions them as important in the team environment.

The Social Butterfly

Some employees see the workplace as a social environment.  Although it is good to create healthy relationships in the workplace balance is key.

  • What does the social butterfly want from the workplace?  Are they lonely, have low self-esteem or see their workmates as their friends first and foremost?  Workplaces can satisfy the need to belong, but it is important to nurture a culture where an employee feels they belong and are accepted, but are focussed on delivering what the business needs.  How will you elevate the social butterfly from someone who is perceived as someone who spends too much time around the water cooler, to one who is recognized as a productive and valued team member?
  • Harness the social butterflies talents!  Maybe they can run the social club or coordinate events?
  • Tightening the parameters around time management with performance measurement is another option, shining the light on what is really getting done.

The Reclusive

When an employee feels confronted or intimidated they may become reclusive and go within themselves.

Finding out why your team member is reclusive is the first step to understanding how to change that circumstance.

Being reclusive does not have to mean being unproductive, however, you need to be able to have transparency as to what these team members are actually doing.  If this assessment shows a strong work ethic it may not indicate any overarching challenges that exist but may indicate a person who prefers to work this way.

Respecting the reclusive team member is important, regardless of why they are reclusive, as this suggests that this is their natural default behaviour or by circumstance, they behave this way.  Tread carefully to encourage these team members to have a voice and you may learn a lot from what they have to say.

The Imposter

These team members often get promoted or secure a role without really having the qualifications or experience to perform in that role.

  • Imposters spend their time trying not to get found out.  Symptoms of this are poor performance, delegation and micromanagement.  Treating those symptoms may mean professional learning and mentoring or realignment of their roles. Be careful not to treat only the symptoms.  Focus on true change management.
  • The longer an imposter goes unchecked the more they are likely to impact the productivity of the team performance.  Regular team health checks are important.
  • An imposter will have more impact the higher their level of responsibility.  When you look at your team do you see an imposter impeding decision making and actions?  If so, how will you address this?

Team ‘awesome’ is a work in progress!

Profiling your people and making them feel supported as you go through this process will build trust and confidence and allay fears.

This is not about changing the job description but rather changing the job design. Emphasise and measure the strength and offset the impact of weaknesses by enabling other team members who demonstrate that those weaknesses are their strengths to align the team dynamic to compliment.

 

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10+ Leadership Language Styles: What Are You Communicating As A Leader?

The leadership language styles you choose to adopt set the tone and expectation for your employees to follow.

leadership

 

How are you communicating and what impact is your leadership language style having on the employees you lead?

Where do you sit on the Leadership Performance Spectrum, and how can you improve the language you use as a leader to communicate?

10+ Leadership Language Styles to Explore

Verbal

‘Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.’

Not always true…

As a leader, you are often judged by what you say and if your words are misunderstood or misinterpreted they may become ‘mud’ that inevitably has a way of sticking.

How you choose to articulate your leadership has the ability to define or destroy you as a leader.

Think before you speak, and speak only after careful deliberation, and with a full understanding of the meaning and impact of your words.

Visual

The visual language you communicate, as a leader, sets a precedent for not only what your employees believe now, but also what they will continue to expect from you as a leader.

What your employees see, establishes a strong association with what they believe.

Virtual

The language you communicate virtually, through various channels, and on different platforms, tells the story of your leadership approach and gives insight into your emotional intelligence.

Your virtual footprint as a leader, gives you a voice to narrate and  accentuate how you want to be seen as a leader

How you choose to position yourself will leave an impression and will impact how you are perceived as a leader, whether that be real or imagined.

Written

The way you craft your words can have different meanings for different employees.

Investing your time to understand how to harness the power of the written word as a leadership language tool can only enhance the power and potential of your leadership and its reach.

Recognizing and realizing what you write as a successful leadership language tool may create an opportunity to establish influence and authority, by demonstrating knowledge and experience.

Contextual

The way you speak, your tone, words and the messages you are delivering, should be contextual with your goals, objectives, and actions.

The employees you lead and the market you operate in, will become confused and disillusioned if the way you behave and the actions you take do not align with what you say you are going to do.

Collaborative

Adopting collaboration as a native leadership language enables you, as a leader, to align yourself with others who have strengths that you do not possess.

This allows you to focus on what you do best.

Collaboration gives you an opportunity to showcase your strengths as a leader, rather than your weaknesses.

Body

Your body talks louder than your subconscious self is aware. The story your body language tells others is often more revealing than any words you say.

Becoming aware of your body language as a leader is an important tool to present yourself as an open and transparent leader who listens, and encourages engagement and interaction.

Your body language can mean the difference between you, as a leader, being seen as approachable or unapproachable.

Tactile

In today’s world, it may seem strange to suggest being tactile as a leadership language tool.  The interpretation of the term may appear to be politically incorrect, however, in the context of the task that the employee undertakes, rather than the employee themselves, being tactile takes on a completely different meaning and context.

A leader who engages in a task that an employee is expected to do demonstrates that he, or she, is prepared to be a hands-on, involved leader who wants to understand and relate to what they expect from their employee.

Behavioural

Consistency and calmness communicate strength and decisiveness as a leader.

Your behavioural leadership language style has the power to communicate in a way that is conducive to creating trust and sincerity.

This positions you, as a leader, to gain consensus to accelerate progress, momentum, and productivity.

Knowledge

Demonstrating that you, as a leader, have deep knowledge and what you are asking for, or expecting from your employees is understood, establishes a belief system in your employees.

As a leader, if you want your employees to follow you it helps the employee if they can see you understand, can influence, and have authority when you communicate.

Experience

Innovation and ideation can often be seen as interruption if your employees believe you do not have the experience to make things happen.

Experience echoes in your language and the way you choose to communicate can amplify this in what you communicate.

If that message fails to convince, confirm or convey your experience the consequences can negatively impact what you are trying to achieve.

 

Your leadership language style of choice can easily become your leadership DNA by default.

What is your leadership language style, what story are you telling, and is that a true reflection of you, as a leader?

 

 

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If It Ain’t Broke … Innovate It ~ 15 Reasons Why You Should

The old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ was a famous catch cry of yesteryear. Unfortunately many still live by it.  What if they were to replace ‘don’t fix it’ with ‘innovate it’?

Innovate

Change is often seen as difficult, confronting and easier to avoid, rather than embrace

15 Reasons Why You Should Innovate

Competitiveness

The world as we know it is becoming increasingly more competitive. The way people are now looking at solving problems and the way they are delivering solutions is becoming more attractive for customers to try different options.

If your business is not in a position to compete, you may not lead, win, place or even be in the running for your customer’s loyalty or dollar.

Training your people and business to be competitive is like training an athlete for a marathon.  You must plan how you will run the course, develop a strategy to overcome obstacles, and understand your competitors to know how to position yourself to take advantage, and gain market share as you run the race.

Relevancy

Do you remember when you used to buy something that you now refer to as a ‘so yesterday’ way of doing something?  At the time you probably thought you would never do without it, and it was the only way to solve your problem.  That was until someone came up with a smarter way of solving your problem and now you would never do it the old way again.

Can your business afford to be seen as irrelevant in the way you solve one or more problems? How can you think differently to solve other problems, or solve the current problem you are already solving differently, for existing and new consumers?

Opportunity

If you open your eyes and assess the market you play in, and consider other markets that have adopted innovative approaches that may bring opportunity for your market, what do you see?

Being aware and open to change and the opportunity it can bring seems to be common sense, however, many still choose complacency and fear that opening the door to opportunity may create more problems than it solves.

What are you doing in your business to discover opportunity, and when you do discover it, what are you doing with that knowledge, how are you applying it, and where can it lead your business?

Viability

At first glance the word viability might seem odd when referring to an established business, however, it is a crucial word to consider.  Your business’ viability is only as robust as your business mindset.  If you encourage or allow complacency or cost-cutting as your primary option to remain viable, you are setting your business up for performance to decline.

Is your business mindset one that focusses on growth and expansion rather than cost-cutting and contraction to solve challenges caused by the changing market you operate in?  Balance is important, but it is how you think about this question that determines the direction of your business.

Diversification

Do you have only one revenue stream that powers your business? One speed revenue models can limit business potential and will create vulnerability in operational capability, capacity and stability.

If that revenue stream diminishes or dries up how will your business survive?  How can you diversify what you offer to solve your existing, and new customer problems?

If you tap into how you can innovate your products and services to diversify what you offer your customers, how will this create an opportunity for your business?

Collaboration

You know you can’t do everything yourself, but despite this, more often than not, we continue to try to deliver solutions that are better done by someone else.

  • How does your business collaborate with other businesses, individuals and organisations?
  • What have you learnt, and continue to learn, from these relationships?
  • What value does your network offer, and how does this benefit your business and those you work with?
  • How do you collaborate to accentuate the strengths of both parties to innovate and create?

Redundancy

The fear factor of the possibility of redundancy of a business in a marketplace is often hidden under a blanket of ignorance.  Ignorance to the fact that unless the business chooses to evolve and innovate, it will rapidly lose worth in the eyes of the customer, and risk becoming redundant.

What do you do in your business to ensure that you will not become an ‘industry dinosaur’?

Scalability

To be able to scale, your business needs a strategy to guide you.  That strategy must be agile and intuitive to change and embrace innovation to enable success.

Understanding your customer, who they are, what they want, how they want to be communicated with, and where they want to engage and interact, must underpin your business strategy.

Are you building a customer-centric business strategy that demonstrates your plan to scale? If so, what framework and benchmarks are in place to measure that journey and accelerate that growth in a timely manner?

Responsiveness

Customers like to be seen, heard and feel important.  We should now consider replacing the old saying ‘Content is King’ with a new saying, ‘Customer is King’.

The reality is that without your customers you do not have a business

If your customers do not feel like you are hearing them, or they feel like they are invisible to your business, they will react by not engaging with your business.

How do you talk to your customers and where do you engage and interact with them?  Is this by your design or theirs?

When you deliver your products or services to your customer they will judge you on how responsive you are to them, and how you make them feel.  Investing in finding out how your customer thinks, and responding accordingly, tells your customer you are putting them first.

Intuitivity

When your business plans how you deliver your products or services do you do you think like your customers think?

This question is an important one to ask if you haven’t done so already.  Creating an intuitive customer journey for each of your customer types communicates to your customers that you have recognized, acknowledged and are delivering what they want.  When done well this creates ‘customer utopia’.

Investment

Do you have an exit strategy and why is this important?  An exit or/and an acquisition strategy helps communicate growth and innovation for investment.  Cash injection through investment is a necessary tool to innovate and scale, to establish an attractive investment opportunity to make acquisitions, to diversify or expand or to innovate, nurture and grow to scale and exit.

How attractive is your business to investors?  What does the evolution of your business look like and how are you planning to make this happen?

Capability

What are your capability gaps?  Like your regular doctor check-ups, analysing your business capabilities gives your business a health check and insight into where your business needs attention and where your offering is not being optimized for your customers.

This process also identifies where you can identify trends and innovate to increase not only capability but also capacity, to solve problems that you may not have realised needed solving.

When did your business last make an appointment for a business check-up to discover how healthy your business really is?

Culture

Culture can make or break a business’ ability to reach its potential.  The challenge is always to bring your people along on the journey with you.

Traditionally we create top-down hierarchies which may only serve to create divisions and disconnect.  Consider flatter hierarchies based on operational competencies and strengths that are measurable. This can enable you to innovate with agility.

Do you structure your work environment to create open communication, transparency, collaboration, engagement and ownership of tasks and processes?  What yardsticks do you use to measure performance based on responsibility and accountability?

By structuring your teams to become empowered, and not just to engage, you are able to create an environment that is collaborative and conducive to setting goals and achieving outcomes.

Appeal

We live in a world of lots of bright and shiny things that capture people’s attention and imagination.

How do you inspire, excite, shock and delight your customers?

If you are creating an experience that your customers will enjoy, remember and share, then you are building brand engagement and evangelism.

To continue to enjoy this relationship with your customers you must innovate.  Immediacy demands innovation, to not only get the attention of existing and new customers but to convert that attention into a relationship that is reciprocal, and satisfies the needs of both your customer and your business.

Sustainability

Business is facing becoming more transient than it ever has before.  To remain in the game your business needs to determine how to sustain existing customer patronage and understand how to entice new customers to come on board to grow your business.

To do this you need to have a business strategy that has sustainability at its core.  This simply means that you need to build a foundation that is true and pivot off this proactively to innovate and behave in an agile manner, to take advantage of change, trends and opportunity.

If it ain’t broke… break it and put it back together differently.

Chances are what you will find is that doing business in different ways may bring better and more measurable results than the way you have always done business before.

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Build your ‘sales’ muscle to enhance your performance

Would you agree that to be good at anything you need to exercise and hone your approach to get the performance you are looking for?  Sales is no different! Building up your sales muscle to be stronger, flexible, resilient and competitive is integral to becoming a successful sales person.

sales performance

All it takes is knowledge to understand and the discipline to persevere to get your sales ‘six-pack’ or maybe just a little bit of sales muscle to give you the edge you are looking for in the market.

The sales formula for success is not a ‘one size fits all’ remedy but there are a number of things you can do that will improve your sales performance and help you reach those budgets!

 

The sales ‘warm up’

limber-up-flexibility-sales

Limber up to prepare before you sell.  How you prepare before you even make the appointment with your customer is even more important than the sale itself.  If you prepare well you will position yourself to know who your customer is and why they would be interested in talking to you.  This sounds straightforward but it is amazing how many sales people do not do this and therefore do not have enough insight into who their target customer is.  They are also often blissfully unaware as to what would compel customers to engage with their business to secure and retain ongoing sales.

You must invest in research, analysis, strategy and planning to establish a strong ‘core’ to work from.  To facilitate this process you can gain advantages by strategic networking, partnering and collaboration with the right people to better understand the right approach.  This will help you to align what you are offering with the right customers.  This approach helps your ‘sales muscle’ to be more flexible and resilient to attract the right customers.

Sales Goal Setting

reach-high-sales-stretch

Once you have limbered up you can start to reach high and set goals that you want to achieve to increase sales engagement, interaction and conversion.

If you have done your homework and leveraged the right resources you will have an idea of what trends and insights will impact on your sales performance and will have learnt where your strengths and weaknesses lie and where those of your competitors lie.

Strength in Strategy

strategy-and-poise-sales

 

Now that you are informed you must determine what your strategy will be to not only secure new customers but also to retain and grow existing customers.  You must conduct yourself with poise and confidence in how and what you are offering as your unique value proposition to expect your customers to become true believers.  If you are convinced what you are offering is a good thing and you can project positive and measured outcomes that are credible and realistic you will overcome any objections that you may face.

The sales performance ‘strength’ workout

go-the-extra-mile-sales

Let’s step things up and start the sales performance workout.

Now that you have an informed strategy you can fine tune your approach and practice your craft to hone your skills. This will give you some strength and focus prior to talking to ‘real’ customers.  Find  a ‘sales buddy’ who will workout with you and practice being the salesperson and the customer to get both perspectives.  This will enable you to aim high and get the most out of your workout.

Be brave and be competitive!

be-competitive-salesPush through the pain of doubt to get the most out of your sales workout.   Your customers want to get excited by what you are offering them.  They also want to feel that they are getting value in that transaction.  That value might be a saving, a bonus or maybe even a sense of belonging or exclusivity.  Remember what people see they believe.  Perception is one of the best tools you can exercise in your sales toolkit.  What you say and do will impact on your sales success.

 

The ‘sales’ marathon

sales-marathon-not-sprint

Lastly, remember that sales account management is a marathon, not a sprint.  You need to spend the time to build relationships that will last with your customers.  To do this successfully you need to be consistent in being transparent and visible.  Communicate well and often, but constructively and always with respect.  Your customers want outcomes. Your responsibility is to be able to measure and report results that matter and resonate with what your customers are looking for.   Make no mistake, your customers have more choice now, than ever before.  If you are not looking after them somebody else will be.

Make sure that there is a virtual ‘drink station’ at regular intervals along the course. This will ensure that your customers are refreshed, replenished and invigorated throughout the sales marathon. This will guarantee that they are enthusiastic and receptive and want to run the race with you and not against you.

Originally posted 2016-11-07 16:10:33.

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How To Become Emotionally FIT

Your emotions are just like your muscles, they need to be trained to get the best out of them.  Becoming emotionally fit requires discipline and dedication, however, the reward is undeniable.

Having the ability to control your emotions, rather than letting your emotions control you, is when you become truly empowered.

emotionally fit

3 Steps To Becoming Emotionally FIT?

Feelings

‘F’ stands for feelings.  We all have them, and we all deal with them in different ways.  Often we dwell on them and let them control us. This is where we can come unstuck.

Take the time to feel the emotion, but don’t indulge yourself by dwelling on it or overthinking it.  Where is it coming from, why are you feeling it and what does it feel like?

Impact

‘I’ is for impact.  Examine what the impact of that emotion you are feeling really has.  Our perception of how the emotion feels often overshadows the reality of what it means or how it affects us.

worry

  • Is the emotion you are feeling triggered by something or someone?
  • Is a pattern emerging and this is a recurring scenario?
  • Is this a ’cause’ and ‘effect’ situation that will never happen again?

Understanding the ‘impact’ is an important step to understanding how the ‘feeling’ actually changes or doesn’t change your reality, rather than letting the emotion create a perception of what that change may or may not mean.

Takeaway

‘T’ is for Takeaway.  After you have felt the emotion and understood its ‘impact’, the next step is to determine what the learning is so that you are able to realize it as a ‘takeaway’.  This is critical to making the most of the process.  What you learn will help you to not repeat the process, and instead grow from the experience.

The FIT process is best undertaken with a journal or notepad.  When you write down your ‘feelings’, their ‘impact’ and your ‘takeaways’ on paper you are documenting the experience in a form that you can keep, re-read and reference. This will help you to keep your eye on and address patterns or repeat behaviours.

Remember this is a marathon that you are training for, not a sprint.  Skills you learn to tone your emotional fitness will serve you throughout your life as you grow and evolve as a person.

feeling

Flex your emotional muscle.  You may surprise yourself by discovering how emotionally unfit you really are and how, by tweaking how you behave, you can improve and strengthen your emotional fitness to be the best version of yourself.

Want to learn more?

Complete this quick assessment to gain insight into how emotionally intelligent you are.  This can help you to gain even more insight into how you think and behave and to learn where and how you can improve.

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23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation Without Even Knowing It!

How often have you wondered why people behave in different ways when they meet with you, haven’t seen you in a while, or you both know the same person? Often it is your reputation that precedes you.

reputation

23 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Reputation

1. Dismissing people

  • Do you find that you are always busy and often people become just another source of ‘noise’?
  • Is it easier to prioritize the people that will have an immediate impact on what you, and dismiss others?
  • Are you guilty of reacting to people who become your ‘squeaky wheel’ and ignoring others?

You need to ask yourself what message this is conveying.

2. Giving people ‘lip service’

Are you telling people what you think they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear?

Often we are guilty of doing this, however, this is often because it is an easier way of keeping the momentum going and not getting bogged down in discussions that we may see as unnecessary, or that we feel we do not have enough time for.  

You need to ask yourself if your message is speaking the language your audience understands or are you speaking to them in a language that they need to have interpreted?  

If this is the case your reputation may suggest to people that you are out of touch. 

3. Talking trash

 Have you ever caught yourself listening to what you are saying to others as you are speaking, and said to yourself  …Wow!, that sounded great?

You need to ask yourself that if you felt it sounded great are you framing what you are saying to make yourself look good or are you communicating in a way that will make your audience look or feel good?  

This will leave a lasting impression as to whether your audience feels you are credible.

4. Believing your opinion matters more than others

You know your stuff right!  It is an expectation that you express your educated opinion because that is what you are employed to do isn’t it?

This is a dangerous assumption because you are more than likely to come across as expecting others to conform to the way you think, giving them the impression that their opinions are less important than yours, or worse still that you feel they are irrelevant.

You need to ask yourself what perception you are projecting and how people are interacting with you.  This will give you a good indicator of what your reputation is with the people you interact and engage with.

5. Needing to be right

We all like to think we are right, but the truth is, that more often than not, we may be trying to solve problems with solutions that are ’cause and effect’ only.

This may stem the flow of the problem initially but you will only be treating the symptom and not the disease.

Being ready, willing and able to contemplate, consider and collaborate. This is when your reputation will open doors for you.

You need to ask yourself honestly, does your need to be right means you are sabotaging you and your team’s success? 

6. Making yourself look good

This is often a fear driven behavior.  If we do not look good then people may not believe that we are doing a good job, are capable of being promoted, or of being of significant value to the business or others.

You need to ask yourself are you trying to promote yourself at the expense of others?

Are you excluding others because you feel that if you include them it will take the gloss off you?  

This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ultimately your ‘gloss’ will become tarnished because you cannot be everything to everyone. All you are doing if you are behaving this way is providing an opportunity to showcase your weaknesses.

7. Promising but not delivering

Words are cheap.

Actions speak louder than words.

We have all heard these phrases, but often we don’t pay them enough attention to them and this can be to our detriment.

You need to ask yourself when you suggest, direct or intimate something in conversation do you follow through even if the outcome is not favorable for the person you have spoken to?

 If you don’t, what is the impression you are giving to that person and how do you know that person will not become pivotal in your future direction?

The truth is you don’t know, but you can be assured that they will remember the way you treated them.

8. Not surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you

Have you ever been guilty of not employing someone because you felt that they might show you up?

Do you ever have that niggling feeling that you might be caught out as an ‘imposter’ in an area that you do not believe you perform as well as you should?

You need to ask yourself if you are missing an opportunity to showcase your leadership skills and team performances all because of lack of confidence in your own individual abilities?

9. Believing that there is an ‘i’ in team

We all joke about this statement because we have all heard it said at training sessions and in motivational speaking forums.

The  ‘i’ is really an ‘e’ and that ‘e’ stands for ego.

You need to ask yourself if you are putting you first when you lead, or the team first and if you are jeopardizing your reputation?

 

Your team will follow if you lead from the front, but will leave you, if you push them from behind.

10. Pretending you know what you are doing when you really don’t

Faking it till you make it may work in some cases but in the long run you will always get caught out and this usually happens when you least expect it.

You need to ask yourself if you are always waiting for that ball to drop, how many others are able to see your vulnerability, exploit you, or pass judgment?

11. Not asking for help when you really should

Flying solo may look attractive but everyone has weaknesses and things that they are not really good at.

You need to ask yourself what will happen when those holes in your armor appear and your team realizes you are only human.  

What message you are sending to the people who are following you? 

12. Fear of failure means you avoid trying new things

Being change-averse and risk-averse means you are stuck.

Being stuck means that others will pass you by and overtake you.

You need to ask yourself if you can afford to be left behind and seen as someone who was not forward thinking. Do you want this to be your legacy?

13. Always doing things the same way as you always have

Habit is a comfortable word.

It is so much easier to repeat the same processes than to learn something new, and often this is why we default to this, often subconsciously.

You need to ask yourself if you are guilty of complacency and recognize that people could see this as your ‘Achilles Heel’ and take advantage.

14. Worried about what others think when you determine how you act

As humans, we are very vulnerable to how we are perceived.

For some of us, this controls our behavior and can, when escalated, paralyze us to act according to what others deem as appropriate and not trust our own instincts and experience.

You need to ask yourself are you allowing your actions to be determined by others, or are you taking responsibility and setting an example.

Do you have a reputation as a leader or one who is being led?

15. Overanalyzing everything

Thinking too much can cause you to overthink and over analyze.

This can lead to doubt and indecision.

You need to ask yourself how you approach your decision making?  

Are you reticent to make any decision and procrastinate because you can’t? 

What impact does this have on your performance and reputation?

16. Communicating what you say will happen, and when it will happen, and then not delivering on that

This is often seen described as time management.

Don’t focus on where you aren’t going to proceed or get outcomes.

However, this approach often means that you, in good faith, promise to come back to someone, follow up, confirm a quote or offer or give them an update within a time frame with some sense of surety and optimism that this will happen.

You need to ask yourself when circumstance and timelines change are you guilty of blowing people off, forgetting to get back to them, dropping them down the priority order or just ignoring them because getting back to them is no longer as important?  

If so what if you need or want something from that person in the future and that is not something you can foresee.  

Will they be there for you?

17. Making decisions on what others say you should do

Following the crowd or winning the popular vote may make you a hero in the short term but when the consequences of decisions that are made, motivated by others opinions, inevitably, you could be the one with egg on your face.

You need to ask yourself are you band-aiding a problem with a solution that you didn’t give consensus on?

18. Making yourself a minority in your mind:  Creating the Victims Syndrome

Society likes to create minority groups, even where they weren’t in existence before.

Why then do we move into the shadow and allow ourselves to be a minority?

You need to ask yourself…

Are you a leader with conviction or a leader without a voice?

You need to be prepared to stand up for your team, be responsible and accountable, to gain their respect and the respect of your peers.

19. Looking at the problem, not the solution

This is more common than most of us want to acknowledge.

It feels so normal to complain about the problem, how it is impacting us and if you give your team a chance they will run with this approach every time.

You need to ask yourself if you are determined to draw a line in the sand.

Expect that your team comes to you with a solution for the problem and never comes to you with the problem for you to solve. 

The solution they offer does not have to be the right one, but it will start them thinking the right way. In time, more often than not, they will be on the right track and be thinking more laterally, than literally.

20. Assuming that the problem cannot ever be part of the solution

Believing that the problem is part of the solution almost sounds like a contradiction for most people, and often it is hard to understand and process.

You need to ask yourself how you can illustrate to your team, and peers, that the problem is a symptom.

To determine the solution, the symptom or symptoms of the problem,  if reverse engineered, could provide valuable insights into the solution or solutions.

The ‘problem’ needs to stop being the barrier between you and the ‘solution’.

21. Doing what you think other people think you should do

Guesswork is about as accurate as being blindfolded and asked to perform a task that requires sight to be successful.  It is not going to end well.

You need to ask yourself if you are prepared to risk your reputation by assuming what you think others think you should do, or be bold enough to find out what should be done and show initiative.  

Travelling with the herd may feel safer but when predators move in you are likely to be trapped.

22. Not investing in yourself as a unique value proposition

Do you pay enough attention to yourself?

If you value what you bring to the table you need to invest in yourself to get the best returns.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

You would do that with any depreciating asset, wouldn’t you?

You need to ask yourself what your strategy is for continual improvement to be at the top of your game or your reputation in your chosen field may suffer.

23. Not believing you can because it is easier to give up

We all get tired living in the human rat race, competing to stay on top of the pack, and to remain relevant.

Sometimes it just seems easier to concede, rather than compete.

You need to ask yourself what the impact will be on your reputation if you choose the easy way out each time.  

You might cruise along for awhile but sure enough, you will hit the rocks if you continue without a rudder to guide you in your strategic decision making.

Your business card is your boarding pass but your reputation is your passport.  If you want to reach the right destinations you need to make sure your journey doesn’t hit turbulence.

 

 

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Align your strengths for success to realize your potential!

Have you identified your strengths and weaknesses?

Take the time to identify and align your strengths and weaknesses.   When you do you will discover where to position yourself. You will also be able to realize your potential. The road to success is full of challenges however if you focus on where you believe you really make a difference, you will be almost certainly be rewarded.

align your strengthsTap into these resources to inspire yourself and take the time to align your strengths and give your career a kick start

Learn more …

Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! by Joe Sweeney

Moving the Needle provides both the “kick in the pants” and the game plan many of us need to break out of the rut and get moving to achieve our goals. This highly practical guide outlines a change process that can be applied to professional or personal goals, giving readers a concrete plan for making big things happen.

Now What? Revised Edition: 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang

In Now What? pioneering life coach Laura Berman Fortgang shares the process that she has used to help hundreds of clients make major changes in their lives. Whether it’s moving on from a dead-end job, discovering an entirely new creative outlet, or answering the age-old question “What am I meant to do with my life?” this book provides a clear and practical ninety-day program that can help you make major changes in your life.

Watch these videos and be inspired …

How to find and do work you love by Scott Dinsmore

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing. He is a career change strategist whose demoralizing experience at a Fortune 500 job launched his quest to understand why 80% of adults hate the work they do, and more importantly, to identify what the other 20% were doing differently.

CAREER: Find Your True Gift! by Tony Robbins

Uncover what truly drives you. As a result you will almost always realize what you are capable of achieving.
Recognize your inherent strengths. This is what will empower you to greatness and will therefore be pivotal to you achieving success.
Develop a greater understanding of others. You will be able to better communicate and have a greater empathy for others.

Discover where your strengths lie:  Are an implementer, innovator, inventor, visionary or a mix of some or all?

Originally posted 2016-01-02 12:57:05.

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Own Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Own your strengths and weaknesses! You will know when to lead and when to delegate when you do. This is critical if you want to succeed. Learn if you are an implementer, innovator, inventor or visionary or a mix of some or all because this will help you discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie. This  is especially relevant as it will  help you plan for your success.

personal development strengths

Tap into these resources to inspire yourself and give your career a kick start

Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! by Joe Sweeney

Moving the Needle provides both the “kick in the pants” and the game plan many of us need to break out of the rut and get moving to achieve our goals. This highly practical guide outlines a change process that can be applied to professional or personal goals, giving readers a concrete plan for making big things happen.

Now What? Revised Edition: 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang

In Now What? pioneering life coach Laura Berman Fortgang shares the process that she has used to help hundreds of clients make major changes in their lives. Whether it’s moving on from a dead-end job, discovering an entirely new creative outlet, or answering the age-old question “What am I meant to do with my life?” this book provides a clear and practical ninety-day program that can help you make major changes in your life.

How to find and do work you love by Scott Dinsmore

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing. He is a career change strategist whose demoralizing experience at a Fortune 500 job launched his quest to understand why 80% of adults hate the work they do, and more importantly, to identify what the other 20% were doing differently.

CAREER: Find Your True Gift! by Tony Robbins

Uncover what truly drives you.
Recognize your inherent strengths.
Develop a greater understanding of others.

Where do your strengths lie?

Discover if you are an implementer, innovator, inventor, visionary or a mix of some or all.

Originally posted 2016-01-02 09:19:47.

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Implementer, Innovator, Inventor or Visionary?


Do you know if you are an implementer, innovator, inventor or visionary?  Many of us go through our careers not fully realizing our potential because we have not successfully identified our strengths. We have been too focused on being what we believed everybody else expected us to be?  Does this sound like you? Let’s look at where your strengths lie and stop being one of the crowd.

implementer

 

 

 

 

 

An implementer is

• a specialist in cause and effect
• someone who is integral to the team’s success
• one who executes processes

An innovator is

• someone who takes the ordinary and make it extraordinary
• a person who improves processes and work on efficiency
• a builder and developer of teams, products and services

An inventor is

• someone who can take an idea and make it a reality
• passionate and driven to make a difference
• a risk taker

A visionary is

• a lateral thinker
• creative and a big picture person
• able to project outcomes based on ideas and concepts

Don’t fit in any one category? You are not alone. Each of us usually is a mix of 1,2,3 or all of the categories. The key to your success is to understand where your strengths lie and tap into roles that make the most of what you have to offer. Other skills in other areas can complement your dominant strengths.

Get the mix right and you will be invincible!

Tap into these resources to inspire yourself and give your career a kick start

Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! by Joe Sweeney

Moving the Needle provides both the “kick in the pants” and the game plan many of us need to break out of the rut and get moving to achieve our goals. This highly practical guide outlines a change process that can be applied to professional or personal goals, giving readers a concrete plan for making big things happen.

Now What? Revised Edition: 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang

In Now What? pioneering life coach Laura Berman Fortgang shares the process that she has used to help hundreds of clients make major changes in their lives. Whether it’s moving on from a dead-end job, discovering an entirely new creative outlet, or answering the age-old question “What am I meant to do with my life?” this book provides a clear and practical ninety-day program that can help you make major changes in your life.

Interested to learn more …

How to find and do work you love by Scott Dinsmore

Scott Dinsmore’s mission is to change the world by helping people find what excites them and build a career around the work only they are capable of doing. He is a career change strategist whose demoralizing experience at a Fortune 500 job launched his quest to understand why 80% of adults hate the work they do, and more importantly, to identify what the other 20% were doing differently.

CAREER: Find Your True Gift! by Tony Robbins

Uncover what truly drives you.
Recognize your inherent strengths.
Develop a greater understanding of others.

Discover if you are an implementer, innovator, inventor, visionary or a mix of some or all.

Originally posted 2015-06-14 11:06:58.

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Why Purpose Is Necessary To Improve Productivity

Do you feel you are more motivated and your productivity is heightened when you have a sense of purpose?

Being purposeful is something that gives us all a sense of value and worth and is integral to what we do and why we do it.

purpose

Being purposeful has a significant impact on how productive your business is, given that it is people that make or break the success of your business.

5 Steps To Create Purposeful Employees

  1. Inclusivity –  This is an important first initial step to ensure that your employees feel part of the journey from the outset. Employees that feel like decisions are being made without their consultation will immediately become defensive and resistant to adopting change. 
  2. Brainstorming –  This is a pivotal step that kick starts the planning process with a no barriers or borders. Employees feel they have a forum to be heard and to contribute.
  3. Ownership – This gives the employee a feeling of being an integral part of the journey to solve the problem, help create and deliver the solution.
  4. Responsibility – This empowers the employee to feel that the journey is incomplete without them as they hold responsibility for outcomes that are critical to the success of the solution when it is delivered.
  5. Accountability –  This is the final step that ensures the employee feels ‘stickiness’ to solving the problem successfully as they will be held accountable, and therefore must be involved and engaged to ensure the outcome reflects positively on their involvement.

An employee who is not engaged is considered to be an ‘active job seeker’.  source

Your Top 10 ‘ Benefits of Having Purpose’ Checklist

  1. Your ‘purpose’ is a key motivator and gives you a tangible reason to plan and execute.
  2. Your ‘purpose’ enables you to set goals you want to achieve.
  3. Your ‘purpose’ ensures you are focused on solutions, not problems.
  4. Your ‘purpose’ gives you confidence that you will achieve what your objectives are and experience success.
  5. You can easily communicate what your ‘purpose’ is when asked.
  6. You talk about your ‘purpose’ with enthusiasm and joy that is infectious.
  7. Others want to become part of the solution because they can relate to your ‘purpose’.
  8. Your ‘purpose’ delivers a value that is contextual to the investment you must make to reap benefits.
  9. Your ‘purpose’ gives you clarity in your ability to collaborate, plan and execute.
  10. Your ‘purpose’ can be expressed as a value proposition to deliver multiple solutions because it helps you to think laterally.

The first question every business needs to ask is …what is the cost to your business for having employees who are not purposeful?

The defining question is… can you afford not to make the investment in your employees to ensure they are on the journey with you?

 

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