This past week I had the opportunity to spend some quality time on a phone call with our sage leader here at EcSell. Working remotely, I really relish the engagement I have with my colleagues. With the distance between us, the interactions are usually purposeful rather than spontaneous. Regardless, I always leave with a better understanding of the discipline of sales, more energized about the work we do and, while it may seem basic, more happy.
As plainly stated by Aristotle, “man is by nature a social animal.” People are elevated when they engage with other people. While our definitions of engagement and elevation may differ, I’m guessing that most of us could agree with this statement. We change and progress based on our interactions with others.
I’ll be brief in getting to my point. Think about your recent interactions with your team. When and where are the relationships that are strong and impactful created? Do they occur during the routine activities such as team meetings or feedback sessions? We all participate in these such events. They comprise line items in our weekly list of to-dos. When they’re done, we get to satisfactorily check the box that indicates they have been completed.
But is that check mark enough? Think back to the interactions where you have felt the best engagement, connection, and symbiosis between you and your team. Did you simply show up and then check the box? I’m guessing there was something else there. It could be that you shared a personal story, worked through a challenge, asked questions beyond the obvious or immediate, played the devil’s advocate, or brainstormed about the future. You likely did more than just check the box that you met with another person and words were exchanged. You did something beyond. You engaged. You elevated.
I started this by mentioning that I chatted with Bill this week. I had a few questions for him that were pretty much checkbox questions. Would simple answers to these questions have elevated me? Sure. I would have walked away with more knowledge. Sometimes check box interactions are needed. This, however, was not the course of our discussion. We both asked questions, shared family events, asked follow up questions, and we both theorized and explained. I can only speak for myself, but I left the call feeling like I had benefited in many realms from our discussion. At the core, however, I was happier.
We are social people. We should make every attempt to move beyond seeing our interactions as boxes to check off. Instead, use them to elevate each other. You don’t need hours to make this happen. Sincere engagement can take just a few minutes. Ask questions. Share your experiences. Take genuine interest in the experiences of your team. Challenge others by asking for ideas, clarifications, or personal assessments. Push. Brainstorm. As a sales leader, these interactions elevate not only your reps but yourself as well.