Sales Coaching Blog

Next Steps: Don't Become Complacent in Your Work!

Posted by Kathy Collins

October 12, 2015

Next_Steps-1

Today is one of those days where I’m all caught up. This phenomenon doesn’t happen that often, but occasionally I check the last item off my list, sit back in my chair and think “whew!”

What to do next?

This is really my danger zone professionally. It’s that moment when I cross a finish line with an initiative, project or area of development.  And on days like today, I just want to rest in the moment of being done for a time.

But…I can’t let that happen.

Here’s why. If I let my mind rest for too long I am in danger of becoming too comfortable. Becoming too comfortable is not good for me, for my team or for the organization. This is where I need to be sure that I am injecting some “complexity” in my work.

At the EcSell Institute we teach and model internally that it’s critically important to stay in the high-performance zone as a goal. What does that mean though?

It means being able to put thought into action when urgency isn’t even demanding it.  Being able to master moving one into complexity in the platform of business is what truly differentiates average or exceptional team members. It's vital to one’s performance growth to move out of your comfort zone and into more complex situations. The short and long-term effects of mastering a move into complexity cannot be more valuable.

The catalytic factor, or the C-Factor, is defined as creating or embracing a catalytic element that pushes people into the high-growth zone of complexity. In other words, to truly harness the most out of your performance. You also need to harness the collective power of team members’ knowledge and abilities.

And, exponential growth is in the unknown, not in the order of daily routines.

To do the above effectively, you must understand how to challenge yourself beyond perceived limitations by this idea of the catalytic factor. Are these settings being used to regurgitate metrics or are they being used to challenge and explore new ways to grow? Ultimately, the catalytic factor (pushing into the unknown) causes team members to approach challenges and opportunities with new perspective and confidence, leading to different outcomes.

In Olympic sports psychologist Dr. Peter Jensen's best seller, Igniting the Third Factor, it speaks to the advantage of deliberately creating adversity (a form of complexity) to test and build a performer's resilience. Regardless of whether one is an athlete or sales executive, growth is accelerated by having to perform under pressure or under a new set of circumstances. Let’s face it, either created by a deliberate action (think new product or goal), or by some external force (change in market condition or new competitor), complexity will occur. And, according to Dr. Jensen, as a coach there are different ways that we can help ignite rather than extinguish the positive outcomes for those on our team, that can come with complexity. 

They include:

  1. Manage Yourself First: We can sometimes be our worst ally when we get in our own way when tackling a difficult situation. Take time to acclimate before setting the wheels in motion for yourself and/or your team--adjust to the situation, before you ask your team to adjust to it as well.
  2. Build Trust: Depending on the person, trust can be earned in one conversation or for others perhaps its conversation #100. Every person trusts at their own speed and by their own internal compass. If a team member believes that you care, are competent, and engaged, that helps build engagement from the team and belief that they can trust you as a coach.
  3. Encourage and Use Imagery: Create clear pictures for your sales performers. It is nearly impossible to accomplish what you cannot imagine. To do this the coach needs to: Paint clear pictures so that they are able to gain clarity as to expectations.
  4. Create a line of sight so the team is able to create a commitment and are also able to see a direct connection in what they are doing and how it will affect the team's end goal.
  5. Encourage team members to translate--provide feedback. As team members, we need to be able to 'see' what they are seeing in order to create a dialog as to how complex situations can be mastered.
  6. Uncover and Work through Blocks: We often discover performance road blocks in the coaching process, and how you deal with uncovering these 'blocks' is significant in your role as coach. Patience is key in this process. Developmental blocks are normal and provide us with an opportunity to view a situation from all sides--problem solve with collaboration from the team and experience the process together. You only can get better at the things you work consciously work on. Road blocks provide an excellent opportunity to do just that.
  7. Embrace Adversity: Easier said than done, right? Exceptional team members channel adversity in a manner that elevates the performance of the team as a whole. Challenges happen, that's just the way it is. Your team is watching you closely to truly establish trust by seeing if you practice what you preach. Turn adversity into advantage...the converse of that is truly not a desirable outcome for any of us, right? It's important not only to survive in the world of sales performance, but in life in general.

So, there it is, there is always that decision to make at the end of a project, initiative or reached goal. What do I do next? My advice is to celebrate the win, take a deep breath, and then dive back in to the next adventure. Boring is easy, anyone can do it. The ability to inject complexity or the C-Factor into a new situation is what will truly differentiate you from the pack.

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Topics: sales leadership, sales coaching, Sales Managers

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