Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Coaching Employees to "Go the Extra Mile"










What about the employee who does just enough work and does it well enough and nothing else? How do you motivate that person to go the extra mile?

The manager wonders of this person, “Why not try just a little bit harder? Why not do just a little bit more? Instead, the manager should explain this “extra mile” expectation to the employee in question, in concrete terms, as regular part of their ongoing one-on-one dialogues. 

Often managers balk at that advice: “That misses the whole point! I shouldn’t have to tell them. But should your employees be reading your mind?

Managers often say. “I want this employee to fully meet the formal expectations and even exceed them. And then—on his own initiative—to see what else he can do to help, and then—on his own initiative—to do it!” A better approach would be to explain to them, frequently and enthusiastically, that ‘going the extra mile’ is the expectation.

Start talking about going the extra mile in your regular one-on-one dialogues. 

1. Make an “extra mile” list for yourself. What would it look like for you to go the extra mile in your role? After you do your job very well, very fast, all day long. In those extra moments. What are some extra ways you can add value? This will give you a bit of perspective.

2. Ask every one of your direct reports to make an “extra mile” list for themselves. 

3. Review each employee’s “extra mile” list. Perhaps talking through it together you will learn a few things. Sometimes managers are surprised to find that items on the employee’s “extra mile” list would have been on the manager’s list of basic performance expectations. Together, create a working “extra mile” list for that employee. Remember, this is always a work in progress.

4. Encourage employees to keep score for themselves on how often they complete items on the “extra mile” list.  Take note of those who do and those who don’t score a lot of “extra mile” points. For those who do, provide recognition and reinforcement whenever you can. For those who don’t, ask once is a while, “Why not?”

By making the opportunity to go the extra mile concrete, you give a lot more people the chance to excel in ways they might not have ever come up with on their own. They might not ever have realized it was something they could do or that you actually expected them do to do. Now, you are telling them, “These are concrete opportunities to excel. Go get ‘em!”


Remember, "Sooner or later you get what you expect."


To your greater success,
Peter Mclees, Leadership Coach, Trainer and Performance Consultant
SMART DEVELOPMENT

Take the Next Step... 

Interested in learning how leadership training and coaching can benefit your organization? We begin with a collaborative discovery process identifying your unique needs and business issues. To request an interview with Peter Mclees please contact: 
Email: petercmclees@gmail.com  or  Mobile:323-854-1713
Smart Development has an exceptional track record helping service providers, ports, sales teams, restaurants, stores, distribution centers, food production facilities, nonprofits, government agencies and other businesses create a strong culture, leadership bench strength, coaching skills and the teamwork necessary for growth. 

Having worked with several companies throughout their growth cycle, we have valuable insights and strategies that would help any late stage startup, small or medium sized company achieve sustained growth and prosperity.




Friday, June 15, 2018

Becoming a Confident, Compelling Speaker














Whether we're talking in a team meeting or presenting in front of an audience, we all have to speak in public from time to time.

We can do this well or we can do this badly, and the outcome strongly affects the way that people think about us. This is why public speaking causes so much anxiety and concern.

The good news is that, with thorough preparation and practice, you can overcome your nervousness and perform exceptionally well. This article and video explain how.

The Importance of Public Speaking
Even if you don't need to make regular presentations   in front of a group, there are plenty of situations where good public speaking skills can help you advance your career and create opportunities.

For example, you might have to talk about your organization at a conference, make a speech after accepting an award, or teach a class to new recruits. Speaking to an audience also includes online presentations or talks; for instance, when training a virtual team, or when speaking to a group of customers in an online meeting.

Good public speaking skills are important in other areas of your life, as well. You might be asked to make a speech at a friend's wedding, give a eulogy for a loved one, or inspire a group of volunteers at a charity event.

In short, being a good public speaker can enhance your reputation, boost your self-confidence  , and open up countless opportunities.

However, while good skills can open doors, poor ones can close them. For example, your boss might decide against promoting you after sitting through a badly-delivered presentation. You might lose a valuable new contract by failing to connect with a prospect during a sales pitch. Or you could make a poor impression with your new team, because you trip over your words and don't look people in the eye.

Make sure that you learn how to speak well!

Strategies for Becoming a Better Speaker
The good news is that speaking in public is a learnable skill. As such, you can use the following strategies to become a better speaker and presenter.

Plan Appropriately
First, make sure that you plan   your communication appropriately. Use tools like the 7Cs of Communication to think about how you'll structure what you're going to say.

When you do this, think about how important a book's first paragraph is; if it doesn't grab you, you're likely going to put it down. The same principle goes for your speech: from the beginning, you need to intrigue your audience.

For example, you could start with an interesting statistic, headline, or fact that pertains to what you're talking about and resonates with your audience. You can also use story telling   as a powerful opener; our Expert Interviews with Annette Simmons and Paul Smith offer some useful tips on doing this.

Planning also helps you to think on your feet  . This is especially important for unpredictable question and answer sessions or last-minute communications.

Tip:
Remember that not all occasions when you need to speak in public will be scheduled. You can make good impromptu speeches   by having ideas and mini-speeches pre-prepared. It also helps to have a good, thorough understanding of what's going on in your organization and industry.

Practice
There's a good reason that we say, "Practice makes perfect!" You simply cannot be a confident, compelling speaker without practice.

To get practice, seek opportunities to speak in front of others. For example, Toastmasters is a club geared specifically towards aspiring speakers, and you can get plenty of practice at Toastmasters sessions. You could also put yourself in situations that require public speaking, such as by cross-training a group from another department, or by volunteering to speak at team meetings.

Find Out More 
If you're going to be delivering a presentation or prepared speech, create it as early as possible. The earlier you put it together, the more time you'll have to practice.

Practice it plenty of times alone, using the resources you'll rely on at the event, and, as you practice, tweak your words until they flow smoothly and easily.

Then, if appropriate, do a dummy run in front of a small audience: this will help you calm your jitters and make you feel more comfortable with the material. Your audience can also give you useful feedback  , both on your material and on your performance.

Engage With Your Audience
When you speak, try to engage your audience. This makes you feel less isolated as a speaker and keeps everyone involved with your message. If appropriate, ask leading questions   targeted to individuals or groups, and encourage people to participate and ask questions.

Keep in mind that some words reduce your power as a speaker. For instance, think about how these sentences sound: "I just want to add that I think we can meet these goals" or "I just think this plan is a good one." The words "just" and "I think" limit your authority and conviction. Don't use them.

A similar word is "actually," as in, "Actually, I'd like to add that we were under budget last quarter." When you use "actually," it conveys a sense of submissiveness or even surprise. Instead, say what things are. "We were under budget last quarter" is clear and direct.

Also, pay attention to how you're speaking. If you're nervous, you might talk quickly. This increases the chances that you'll trip over your words, or say something you don't mean. Force yourself to slow down by breathing deeply. Don't be afraid to gather your thoughts; pauses are an important part of conversation, and they make you sound confident, natural, and authentic.

Finally, avoid reading word-for-word from your notes. Instead, make a list of important points on cue cards, or, as you get better at public speaking, try to memorize what you're going to say – you can still refer back to your cue cards when you need them.

Pay Attention to Body Language
If you're unaware of it, your body language   will give your audience constant, subtle clues about your inner state. If you're nervous, or if you don't believe in what you're saying, the audience can soon know.

Pay attention to your body language: stand up straight, take deep breaths, look people in the eye, and smile. Don't lean on one leg or use gestures that feel unnatural.

Many people prefer to speak behind a podium when giving presentations. While podiums can be useful for holding notes, they put a barrier between you and the audience. They can also become a "crutch," giving you a hiding place from the dozens or hundreds of eyes that are on you.

Instead of standing behind a podium, walk around and use gestures to engage the audience. This movement and energy will also come through in your voice, making it more active and passionate.

Think Positively
Positive thinking   can make a huge difference to the success of your communication, because it helps you feel more confident.

Fear makes it all too easy to slip into a cycle of negative self-talk, especially right before you speak, while self-sabotaging   thoughts such as "I'll never be good at this!" or "I'm going to fall flat on my face!" lower your confidence and increase the chances that you won't achieve what you're truly capable of.

Use affirmations   and visualization   to raise your confidence. This is especially important right before your speech or presentation. Visualize giving a successful presentation, and imagine how you'll feel once it's over and when you've made a positive difference for others. Use positive affirmations such as "I'm grateful I have the opportunity to help my audience" or "I'm going to do well!"

Cope With Nerves
How often have you listened to or watched a speaker who really messed up? Chances are, the answer is "not very often."

When we have to speak in front of others, we can envision terrible things happening. We imagine forgetting every point we want to make, passing out from our nervousness, or doing so horribly that we'll lose our job. But those things almost never come to pass! We build them up in our minds and end up more nervous than we need to be.

Many people cite speaking to an audience as their biggest fear, and a fear of failure   is often at the root of this. Public speaking can lead your "fight or flight" response to kick in: adrenaline courses through your bloodstream, your heart rate increases, you sweat, and your breath becomes fast and shallow.

Although these symptoms can be annoying or even debilitating, the Inverted-U Model   shows that a certain amount of pressure enhances performance. By changing your mindset, you can use nervous energy to your advantage.

First, make an effort to stop thinking about yourself, your nervousness, and your fear. Instead, focus on your audience: what you're saying is "about them." Remember that you're trying to help or educate them in some way, and your message is more important than your fear. Concentrate on the audience's wants and needs, instead of your own.

If time allows, use deep breathing exercises   to slow your heart rate and give your body the oxygen it needs to perform. This is especially important right before you speak. Take deep breaths from your belly, hold each one for several seconds, and let it out slowly.

Crowds are more intimidating than individuals, so think of your speech as a conversation that you're having with one person. Although your audience may be 100 people, focus on one friendly face at a time, and talk to that person as if he or she is the only one in the room.

Key Points
Chances are that you'll sometimes have to speak in public as part of your role. While this can seem intimidating, the benefits of being able to speak well outweigh any perceived fears. To become a better speaker, use the following strategies:
  • Plan appropriately.
  • Practice.
  • Engage with your audience.
  • Pay attention to body language.
  • Think positively.
  • Cope with your nerves.
If you speak well in public, it can help you get a job or promotion, raise awareness for your team or organization, and educate others. The more you push yourself to speak in front of others, the better you'll become, and the more confidence you'll have.


To your greater success,
Peter Mclees, Leadership Coach, Trainer and Performance Consultant
SMART DEVELOPMENT

Take the Next Step... 

Interested in learning how leadership training and coaching can benefit your organization? We begin with a collaborative discovery process identifying your unique needs and business issues. To request an interview with Peter Mclees please contact: 
Email: petercmclees@gmail.com  or  Mobile:323-854-1713
Smart Development has an exceptional track record helping service providers, ports, sales teams, restaurants, stores, distribution centers, food production facilities, nonprofits, government agencies and other businesses create a strong culture, leadership bench strength, coaching skills and the teamwork necessary for growth. 

Having worked with several companies throughout their growth cycle, we have valuable insights and strategies that would help any late stage startup, small or medium sized company achieve sustained growth and prosperity.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

Anthony Bourdain and Sales







Dear Sales Leaders:
What we do is not complicated.
There are many experts who would have you believe that sales in the B2B world, first and foremost, is a process that is freighted with complexity.
While process is unavoidable, to a degree, in selling, it does not define sales. People do.
Technology will continue to exert enormous influence over the manners in which buyers and sellers interact. However, the bottom line is that sales is driven, and will remain driven, by people. And the relationships between them.
This past week was a tough week in many respects. Not the least of it was the untimely passing of Anthony Bourdain. I liked his writing and TV shows. He was a man whose sublime talent was finding the story in everyone he met.
Reading about Bourdain’s death recalled to my mind a quote from him that I'd read 12 years ago in an article in the New York Times.
I've kept the quote in my files because it so clearly captured the essence of how to build productive relationships in sales. And in life.
Bourdain said: “What I do is not complicated. Any stranger who shows an honest curiosity about what the locals think is the best food is going to be welcomed. When you eat their food, and you seem happy, people sitting around a table open up and interesting things happen.”
Think about this quote in the context of what we do as sellers.
If you meet a new prospect and show an honest curiosity in her/him, and the things that are important to them, then you will be welcomed.
If you meet a new prospect and default to the rote interrogation of them with your list of scripted questions, then that door will be closed to you.
And, when the prospect responds to your curiosity, opens up and talks about the things that are important to her/him, then interesting, unexpected things happen.
What we do is not complicated.
We find the story in every one of our customers.
And prepare for the unexpected.

Good selling,

Peter C. Mclees, Sales Coach and Trainer
Smart Development
petercmclees@gmail.com
Mobile: 323-854-1713



We help sales reps and sales organizations accelerate their development and as a result their sales.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

How to Hire People Who Repeatedly Succeed











Good job candidates have skill, experience, and knowledge. Great candidates have coachability.

Do you want to hire people who repeatedly succeed?   (Is the sky blue?)

Of course you do. But here’s the rub — past success isn’t necessarily the best indicator of future success.

“But Peter,” you might say. “If not past success, what should I be looking for?”

“Coachability,” I’d tell you. Easy question; easy answer.

“Okay. So how do you spot it?”

How to Hire Coachable Employees

First, you can’t necessarily rely on skill, experience, or knowledge.

Candidates who have hit certain levels in these areas might win once or even a couple of times in their efforts to contribute by bringing what they already have to the team. But they won’t keep winning—achieving new and bigger career goals and producing the right results for your company—unless they keep improving.

The one behavior that defines serial achievers, the people who are most likely continue to contribute in a constantly changing business environment, is coachability.

So what do you look for in an interview? Here are three ways to spot coachability in your candidates.

1. Improvement
They acknowledge that they’ve been coached in the past.

People are usually afraid to admit that they haven’t always been the perfect package sitting before an interviewer. Talking about coaching they may have received implies that they needed it, which means that they weren’t great at something or maybe—the horror!—they’ve actually made mistakes.

To be coachable, you have to be humble and willing to admit that you need to improve. Look for people willing to admit it. They should do so in a positive, growth-oriented way by mentioning changes or challenges that required them to take on new responsibilities or adjust how they worked.

A truly coachable person might say something like: “When I was at company X, I worked for a great woman who helped me realize I needed to develop my Y skills. I had recently been promoted to Z position and it presented new challenges. What kind of support do you offer people when they’re promoted or given new responsibilities?”

2. Eagerness
They responded to coaching with eagerness and appreciation.

One of the first traits to look for in new hires is not only their willingness to be coached, but their eagerness and appreciation for it. It tells you that they’ll work with you, that every point of potential improvement won’t be an arm wrestling match, and that you won’t be wasting your experience, knowledge, or systems on somebody who won’t use it to make progress.

If a candidate hints that he thought the coaching he received was unnecessary, lacked value or reflected a flawed assessment of his skills, he may be uncoachable. Instead, look for a candidate who describes the value of the coaching he has received and how he engaged with his mentor or coach to keep growing.

A truly coachable person might say something like: “I received a lot of helpful advice from a colleague and mentor at B company. I would meet with him occasionally to talk about areas where I felt like I was struggling. I’d keep him updated on how I was incorporating his suggestions. By the way, do you have a coaching program here?”

3. Initiative
They describe their “next steps” after coaching.

Being coached isn’t a passive activity. You have to actually do something with what you’ve been given. Highly coachable people are given a few ideas or insights and they’re off to the races. They do their own research, find their own development opportunities, and find others who can help with specific challenges.

Listen for signs that a candidate took the coaching she received further, on her own. It shows that she’s not only coachable, but also willing to go the extra mile to contribute.

A truly coachable person might say something like: “After getting feedback from our team leader that I should focus on improving M, I signed up for a course with ABC professional organization that really helped. I’m exponentially better at M because he helped me see how it would improve my performance and career path. Do you offer employees a professional development program?”



Know What to Look For
Not every coachable candidate will deliver a pat answer on queue (nor would you want them to), but you get the general idea. Candidates should be willing and able to talk about the fact that they’ve been coached, their eagerness to continue to be coached, and how they found opportunities to learn and grow on their own.

A cautionary note: If you want to hire coachable employees, you have to be willing to coach them. People who sustain and elevate their success seek out coaching. When they can’t find it, they’ll often move on to an environment with more growth opportunities.
Increase your odds of hiring a successful candidate by looking for these qualities of coachability and watch your turnover rate drop and your ROI in new hires soar.

Questions to Ask to Determine Coachability 

These interview questions measure a candidate’s ability to learn and their receptiveness to coaching. As an interviewer, here are questions you might consider when evaluating candidates for their coachability: Does the candidate learn from past mistakes? Does the candidate actively seek help or mentorship? How does the candidate receive and apply feedback? Is the candidate open to learning new things? 

  • Tell me about the hardest lesson you've had to learn in your career. What was the situation? What made it hard? How did that lesson impact you? What did you learn from that situation? How do you apply what you learned from that lesson?
  • Tell me about a time when you needed to ask for advice or coaching. What was the situation? What made you decide to reach out for advice/mentorship? What did you learn from the situation? How do you apply what you’ve learned from that lesson?
  • Tell me about a time you received feedback from a manager. What was the situation? What was your initial reaction to the feedback? What did you do after receiving the feedback? Did you apply the feedback? If, so what was the result? How do you apply what you’ve learned from that feedback?
  • Tell me about a time when you received tough feedback from a customer. What was the situation? What did you do with the feedback? How did you use the feedback to improve? How do you apply what you’ve learned?
  • Tell me about a time when you needed to learn a new skill. What was the situation? How did you identify what you needed to learn? How did learn this new skill? Did you ask anyone for help or support? How have you applied what you learned?
Increase your odds of hiring a successful candidate by looking for these qualities and asking these type of questions to assess the person’s coachability. If you do watch your turnover rate drop and your ROI in new hires soar.


To your greater success and fulfillment
Peter Mclees, Leadership Coach, Facilitator and Performance Consultant
SMART DEVELOPMENT
Email: petercmclees@gmail.com  
Mobile: 323-854-1713

Smart Development has an exceptional track record helping service providers, ports, sales teams, restaurants, stores, branches, distribution centers, food production facilities, nonprofits, government agencies and other businesses create a strong culture, leadership bench strength, coaching skills and the teamwork necessary for growth. 

Having worked with several companies throughout their growth cycle, we have valuable insights and strategies that would help any late stage startup, small or medium sized company achieve sustained growth and prosperity.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Avoiding Micromanagement











Helping Team Members Excel – On Their Own

You've assigned an important task to a talented employee, and given him a deadline. Now, do you let him do his work and simply touch base with him at pre-defined points along the way – or do you keep dropping by his desk and sending e-mails to check his progress?

If it's the latter, you might be a micromanager. Or, if you're the harried worker trying to make a deadline with a boss hovering at your shoulder, you might have a micromanager on your hands – someone who just can't let go of tiny details.

Micromanagers take perfectly positive attributes – an attention to detail and a hands-on attitude – to the extreme. Either because they're control-obsessed (Which is based on fear), or because they feel driven to push everyone around them to success, micromanagers risk disempowering their employees. They ruin their direct report's confidence, hurt their performance, and frustrate them to the point where they become disengaged or even quit.

Luckily, though, there are ways to identify these overzealous tendencies in yourself – and get rid of them before they do more damage. And if you work for a micromanager, there are strategies you can use to convince him or her to accept your independence.

First, though, how do you spot the signs of micromanagement? Where is the line between being an involved manager, and an over-involved manager who's driving his team mad? This article and the video, below, will answer these questions and provide you with strategies that you can use to avoid micromanagement.

Signs of Micromanagement
What follows are some signs that you might be a micromanager – or have one on your hands. In general, micromanagers:
  • Resist delegating.
  • Immerse themselves in overseeing the projects of others.
  • Start by correcting tiny details instead of looking at the big picture.
  • Take back delegated work before it is finished if they find a mistake in it.
  • Discourage others from making decisions without consulting them.
What's Wrong With Micromanaging?
If you are getting results by micromanaging and keeping your nose in everyone's business, why not carry on?

Micromanagers often affirm the value of their approach with a simple experiment: They give an employee an assignment, and then disappear until the deadline. Is this employee likely to excel when given free rein? Possibly – if the worker has exceptional confidence in his abilities. 

Under micromanagement, however, most workers become timid and tentative – possibly even paralyzed. "No matter what I do," such a worker might think to himself, "It won't be good enough." Then one of two things will happen: Either the worker will ask the manager for guidance before the deadline, or he will forge ahead, but come up with an inadequate result.

In either case, the micromanager will interpret the result of his experiment as proof that, without his constant intervention, his people will flounder or fail.

But do these results verify the value of micromanagement – or condemn it? A truly effective manager sets up those around him to succeed. Micromanagers, on the other hand, prevent employees from making – and taking responsibility for – their own decisions. But it's precisely the process of making decisions, and living with the consequences, that causes people to grow and improve.

Good managers empower their employees to do well by giving opportunities to excel; Bad managers disempower their employees by hoarding those opportunities. And a disempowered employee is an ineffective one – one who requires a lot of time and energy from his supervisor.

It's that time and energy, multiplied across a whole team of timid, cowed workers, that amounts to a serious and self-defeating drain on a manager's time. It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with analysis, planning, communication with other teams, and the other "big-picture" tasks of managing, when you are sweating the details of the next presentation.

And remember : "The true test of leadership is what happens when you're not there."

Escaping Micromanagement
So now you've identified micro-managerial tendencies and seen why they're bad. What can you do if you know you're exhibiting such behaviors – or are being subjected to them by a supervisor?

From the micromanager's perspective, the best way to build healthier relationships with employees may be the most direct: Talk to them.

It might take several conversations to convince them that you're serious about change. Getting frank feedback from employees is the hard part. Once you've done that, as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith recommends in his book What Got You Here Won't Get You There, it's time to apologize and change. This means giving your employees the leeway – and encouragement – to succeed. Focus first on the ones with the most potential, and learn to delegate effectively to them. 

Tip:
Part of being a good manager, one often lost on those of the micro variety, is listening  . Managers fail to listen when they forget their employees have important insights – and people who don't feel listened to become disengaged.

As for the micromanaged, well, things are a bit more complicated. Likely as not, you're being held back in your professional development – and probably not making the progress in your career that you could be if you enjoyed workplace independence.

But there's a certain amount that you can do to improve the situation:
  • Instead of judging your micromanaging boss, be helpful by saying something like, "Pat, what's one thing I can do that would raise your confidence in me so that you would feel more comfortable checking in just once a week rather than maybe daily?”
  • Help your boss to delegate to you more effectively by prompting him to give you all the information you will need up front, and to set interim review points along the way.
  • Volunteer to take on work or projects that you're confident you'll be good at. This will start to increase his confidence in you – and his delegation skills.
  • Make sure that you communicate progress to your boss regularly, to discourage him from seeking information just because he hasn't had any for a while.
  • Concentrate on helping your boss to change one micromanagement habit at a time. 
Remember that he's only human too, and is allowed to make mistakes!

Key Points
Micromanagement restricts the ability of micromanaged people to develop and grow, and it also limits what the micromanager's team can achieve, because everything has to go through him or her.

When a boss is reluctant to delegate, focuses on details ahead of the big picture and discourages his staff from taking the initiative, there's every chance that he's sliding towards micromanagement.

The first step in avoiding the micromanagement trap (or getting out of it once you're there) is to recognize the danger signs by talking to your staff or boss. If you're micromanaged, help your boss see there is a better way of working. And if you are a micromanager, work hard on those delegation skills and learn to trust your staff to develop and deliver.


To your greater success and fulfillment,
Peter Mclees, Leadership Coach, Trainer and Performance Consultant
SMART DEVELOPMENT

Take the Next Step... 

Interested in learning how leadership training and coaching can benefit your organization? We begin with a collaborative discovery process identifying your unique needs and business issues. To request an interview with Peter Mclees please contact: 
Email: petercmclees@gmail.com  or  Mobile:323-854-1713
Smart Development has an exceptional track record helping service providers, ports, sales teams, restaurants, stores, distribution centers, food production facilities, nonprofits, government agencies and other businesses create a strong culture, leadership bench strength, coaching skills and the teamwork necessary for growth. 



Having worked with several companies throughout their growth cycle, we have valuable insights and strategies that would help any late stage startup, small or medium sized company achieve sustained growth and prosperity.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Are you a "sales person" or "life long student of sales?"












How are you disrupting the sales status quo? How are you challenging it in your day to day selling?

Why is this important? 

I believe that an individual’s ability to anticipate change is decisive to their ability to achieve their personal and career goals in both the short and long term. While it’s important to be able to adapt to change, I believe that if you want to achieve consistent, long-term success in sales then you have to become the initiator of change. 

This means you have to change how you learn, how you behave and how you envision success for yourself. You can’t wait and become a follower. Followers get squeezed.

For instance, no one can dispute the impact technology has had in disrupting how we communicate and conduct business. Yet, I find it ironic how the disruptive power of technology is being used is to demand greater conformity from its users.

This particularly appears to be happening in sales.

You get trained to a specific sales methodology. You get haltered to a process-based metric that is driven by the technology you use. Then managers use spurious data correlations generated from the technology you use to insist that you talk this way and write that way. 

Seemingly the goal appears to be to turn all sales reps into robotic clones of some idealized version of a “top” sales person that will reliably execute an unchanging sales process on buyers that will all respond in the exact same manner.

Which is the absolute wrong approach and one that you should resist at all turns.
You are your own person. The most effective version of you is not as a “ninja” of some sales methodology but as the black belt of selling like you. 

Your buyers don’t want to talk with a drone or a clone. Your customers want you to sell like you.They don’t want to invest time in the typical confident incompetent who just mimics how he or she thinks sales professionals are supposed to act. Buyers want to invest their time in sales professionals who are ready to be relevant to the goals they are trying to achieve.

So, how do you disrupt your selling?

Start by making the commitment to being a learner.Your self identification should change from being a "sales person" to “lifelong student of sales.” 

Then back it up by being curious and continuously learning about your profession, your products, your customers. 
  • Read, listen, watch. 
  • Learning 10 minutes a day would be a great start.
  • Commit to investing just 10 minutes everyday to learn something new about sales.
  • Read 10 minutes in a sales book. A chapter.
  • Read one blog article on sales. Everyday.
  • Listen to the first 10 minutes of a podcast.
  • Or watch a 3 minute sales video on YouTube.
  • And do it everyday. 10 minutes. Let’s start there.
Not every bit of information you consume will be useful to you. That’s the way it should be. Part of your learning curve involves determining what you can use and put to productive use in your personal sales method.

With the investment of as little as 10 minutes per day you will stay ahead of the change curve. You will become proactive in anticipation of change instead of reactive to changes that others insist you make.

In other words, you’ll disrupt your own selling to stay ready and relevant to your buyers. 

Good selling,

Peter C. Mclees, Sales Coach and Trainer
Smart Development
petercmclees@gmail.com
Mobile: 323-854-1713


We help sales reps and sales organizations accelerate their development and as a result their sales.

________________________________________

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Why Your SMART Goals Template May Be Derailing Employee Productivity




















You have your pick of SMART goals templates to share with employees, and for the most part, they’re all the same, including the template we provide our clients. But despite following all the best practices on how to set goals, your SMART goals template can still fail employees, completely derailing productivity instead of doing what you want — maximizing employee performance.  

So, as you ask employees to fill out your SMART goals template, keep these hazards in mind, so employee goals work for you instead of against you.

Hazard #1: Checking All the Boxes
A SMART goals template provides five goal criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. But what if an employee’s goal doesn’t quite fit this framework? Don’t let employees spin their wheels trying to check every box on the template. Allow for some flexibility, so they can move from goal writing to goal chasing. 

Hazard #2: Playing It Safe
The third component of a SMART goal is that it’s attainable. The idea of setting realistic goals is well intended: Being realistic means employees are more likely to attain a goal, and when people meet their goals, it keeps motivation up. If goals are set too high, employees can become discouraged. However, on the other end of the spectrum, setting attainable goals can result in employees playing it safe. If they fear the failure of not achieving a goal, they might not stretch to their full potential.

Hazard #3: Ignoring the Past
While a SMART goals template can provide great guidelines for creating new goals, it misses one of the most important steps in goal setting: looking back. This is why some have added evolved SMART goals into SMARTER goals, where the “E” stands for evaluate and the “R” stands for “Rework.” What goals were set last month, last quarter, or last year? What were the results? Answering these questions can inform the goals created and make the goal-setting process more efficient.    

Hazard #4: Speaking a Different Language
A SMART goals template outlines all the components of a well written goal; however, simply including the five criteria doesn’t ensure that the goal is well written. If the goal is full of jargon, acronyms, or lingo not widely understood, this can create confusion and waste time. It might seem trivial, but an essential part of creating goals the transparency it provides the rest of the organization. If the goal uses language that’s uncommon or unclear, it can alienate team members who aren’t in the know. Use clear and concise language to ensure team members can easily and quickly understand one another’s goals.   

Hazard #5: Lacking Passion
By definition, a SMART goal is relevant, meaning it’s worthwhile. But is it exciting? Is it motivating enough to get someone up in the morning? Granted, not all work is 100% fulfilling all of the time, but if employees don’t have goals they are passionate about, they can lose focus and interest, making goals all the less attainable. A goal fueled by passion safeguards productivity.

Hazard #6: Setting Not Tracking
A SMART goals template is simply a starting point. It helps in the process of goal setting, but what about tracking progress and making adjustments as needed? At some point, one must move beyond goal setting to goal achieving. If you’re tracking goals with an employee engagement software  employees can share achievements and setbacks in real time, so managers can stay on top of progress, drive productivity, and adapt in the moment.

Don’t let these scenarios put a wrench in SMART goal setting. Use your SMART goals template, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it will foolproof your goals.


To your greater success and fulfillment,
Peter Mclees, Leadership Coach, Trainer and Performance Consultant
SMART DEVELOPMENT

Take the Next Step... 

Interested in learning how coaching employees in order to create a learning organization? We begin with a collaborative discovery process identifying your unique needs and business issues. To request an interview with Peter Mclees please contact: 
Email: petercmclees@gmail.com  or  Mobile:323-854-1713
Smart Development has an exceptional track record helping service providers, ports, sales teams, restaurants, stores, distribution centers, food production facilities, nonprofits, government agencies and other businesses create a strong culture, leadership bench strength, coaching skills and the teamwork necessary for growth. 


Having worked with several companies throughout their growth cycle, we have valuable insights and strategies that would help any late stage startup, small or medium sized company achieve sustained growth and prosperity.