Human beings are creatures of habit and routine. When our routines get disrupted we can become uncomfortable, agitated, anxious, and at times down right angry. Don’t believe me? Well, consider this blast from the past article that outlines the initial backlash Facebook received when they rolled out their newsfeed functionality in 2006. Hundreds of thousands of their users were upset about this new feature, boycotts were called for, and user groups were formed in protest. All this dissent in the name of Facebook being innovative and developing their product with the best interests of their users in mind. How dare they!
Of course, with hindsight being 20/20, it is easy to say Facebook made the correct decision. Their newsfeed functionality was an enormous success. It went on to be mimicked by Twitter and LinkedIn and is now ingrained in our daily lives, so much so that if we tried to remove newsfeed the uproar would dwarf the original dissent that wanted to keep it from occurring in the first place.
In his recent TEDx Talk, EcSell Institute President Bill Eckstrom introduced the “Growth Rings” to the world. The rings represent living environments that promote or hinder our growth. The overarching premise of the talk promotes the fact that growth can only occur in a state of discomfort, or the complexity environment, and that if we choose to avoid discomfort that we will limit the way we think, act and grow.
Our client research consisting of more than 60,000 coaching interactions is proving that the best coaches are the ones that are the most effective at helping their people move outside of their current comfort zones. The best managers are what we describe as Catalytic Coaches. Unfortunately, many leaders shy away from putting their team into a state of discomfort. Perhaps they want to avoid an argument or confrontation. Maybe they don’t have the time it takes to challenge their employees’ thinking.
Personally, I believe that most managers are not catalytic coaches for three reasons:
- They don’t have talent to be a great catalytic coach
- They’ve never been trained, educated, or given the proper resources to be a great catalytic coach
- They are scared to deal with the backlash of change
I mean, if so many people are going to get upset about a simple Facebook change in 2006, how are people going to respond to implementing a measurable coaching process, switching from Salesforce to Hubspot, or adapting to a new sales territory, or any significant change for that matter?
The simple answer is there will always be a noisy backlash when it comes to change. However, one of the smartest quotes I have ever heard from a phenomenal executive was this:
“If your product is disruptive, it will sell.”
He knows that to always progress and constantly obtain more growth, eventually you are going to have to do something different to get there. Change is inevitable and the individuals and companies that will thrive in the future will have coaches that have learned to get their people comfortable with discomfort, starting with themselves!
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Are you providing your front-line leaders with the proper training and resources to be catalytic coaches? Here are a couple of resources to investigate farther.
Ebook: Sales Coaching - No longer a soft skill
WhitePaper: Vital Sales Performance Metrics You Need