The Coaching Effect Blog

Coaching Complexity. Conundrum or Catalyst?

Posted by Debbie Menke

August 14, 2015

Coaching Complexity

by Debbie Menke

Director of Field Sales, US + Caribbean, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

Recently recognized as the EcSell Institute's 2015 New Member of the Year at the 2015 Sales Coaching Summit.

Webster's Dictionary defines complex as: "hard to separate, analyze, or solve."

What happens when we put our employees into complex situations?  The EcSell Institute refers to the term as "complexity" and further suggests that "complexity" is a necessary "catalyst" for the achievement of greater success!

Complexity is a scary and uncomfortable place to live.  Think about the last time your boss threw you into a truly uncomfortable situation and asked something from you that seemed impossible or completely out of your wheelhouse.  Did the neurons start firing in your brain until you thought a complete meltdown was possible?

If done the right way, in a matter of minutes (or potentially hours or days, depending on your mental state!) something extraordinary begins to happen: You Stop.  Breathe.  Think.  Strategize.  A new boldness takes over - "I can do this!", "I will show him/her what I'm capable of!", "Just watch me!"

Some of my best work and professional development has come out of extremely uncomfortable tasks or projects that I had no clue how to tackle at the onset. 

It is completely normal to feel a bit of panic and discomfort before something great happens.  I challenge you to think of "complexity" as the needed catalyst that will help your team rise to the next level of success!

The next time you worry about asking your sales team to do something extraordinary that you KNOW will put them into complexity, think about your own success.  Was it handed to you?  Did it come easy?  Did you grow in your comfort zone? 

Be the coach that invests in your team's professional development by putting them into complexity from time to time.  They may just thank you for it some day!  


Since joining EcSell Institute in 2014, the Iredale team has implemented numerous sales coaching best practices, using the One-Up Coaching Cloud to not only execute their coaching work, but also track and analyze it.  Now, the Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics team dedicates more than 10 hours of focused coaching time each month to each of their business consultants. This has led to an increase in business consultants regarding their manager as an excellent sales coach.


Topics: Complexity Theory, sales manager coaching, sales coaching, Sales Management

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