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Executive Coaching

Sales Lessons Learned From This Year’s Super Bowl

Last month, we watched the Patriots and the Sea Hawks battle it out in Super Bowl 49.  Just 8 minutes into the game, it was obvious that second efforts would be the rule of the day.  Then, with less than two minutes left to play, we witnessed THE CATCH - requiring a fourth or perhaps even a fifth effort - that put the Sea Hawks in a position to win.  But it wasn't meant to be, as the Patriots came up big on defense with a key interception to earn the victory.

Second efforts, and more. Which brings us to selling.  How many salespeople do you think make appropriate second efforts?

I'm not talking about when salespeople are pestering prospects who have no interest.  I'm talking about when salespeople are told they lost; or when a salesperson closed the deal and then lost it when the prospect had a change of mind.

  • 54% of Salespeople have Need for Approval - A salesperson's need to be liked prevents them from asking a lot of questions beyond a no, and especially tough questions or challenging their prospect.
  • 86% of Salespeople are Too Trusting - A salesperson who is too trusting will accept at face value what their prospect says and when they hear it's a "no", they accept that and won't consider a need to push back.
  • 72% of Salespeople Have Difficulty Recovering from Rejection - Salespeople who struggle to overcome being rejected are typically in no kind of shape to quickly bounce back and make a second effort.
  • 18% of Salespeople Lack Commitment - It takes tremendous commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed in sales.  Salespeople who possess only conditional commitment -- the salesperson agrees with what must be done, it's not too difficult, and it's not too scary - will totally bail out after a "no".  It's too difficult for them to overcome.
  • 84% of Salespeople have Self-Limiting Beliefs - When salespeople are told, "No" and they believe that it's "Not polite to push back," that belief will stop most salespeople in their tracks.
  • Want to find out how your team stacks up and what you can do to increase revenue growth? Learn how here

Contributed by Dave Kurlan

Quick Ideas for Motivating Employees with Quirky Personalities

art 1Posted by Aoife Gorey 

Motivating employees can be one of your biggest challenges as a manager and leader, but learning how to inspire each individual - especially those with quirky personalities - is the key to a successful organization.

Whether it’s a raise, a promotion, or simply the chance to work on a new project, all people are motivated differently - that is undeniable. People have different priorities in the workplace, the intern is hungry for experience, the young sales rep trying to meet goals for that juicy bonus, the VP struggling to balance home and work life.

Of course, money is not the main reason we all get up to go to work in the morning, but even motivational theories such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs stemming back to the early 1900s outline how so many other factors come into play in regards to motivating people.

Unless you know your workers' differences, the music they make together may sound more like a cacophony than a symphony.

There are many different segments of employees in the modern workforce, and most organizations likely employ a combination of them. Various books and blogs define these groups in unique ways, but here are some of our examples:

1. Fair and Square Traditionalists - who want their work to provide stability and a secure future. Motivate them by:

  • Asking for and giving them feedback
  • Talking to them frankly
  • Discussing the company mission and their role in making it happen

2. Accomplished Contributors - who prize teamwork. Motivate them by:

  • Nudging them toward team leadership roles
  • Giving them specific measurements of their success and growth
  • Asking for their input

3. Stalled Survivors - who see work as work, not life. Motivate them by:

  • Focusing on work-life balance
  • Putting them on teams that provide support, empathy, and role models
  • Helping them plan their career future

4. Demanding Disconnects - who are easily disengaged, need constant feedback and recognition. Motivate them by:

  • Giving them non-routine tasks
  • Discovering their strengths to use on the job
  • Paying attention to their ideas
  1.  Maverick Morphers – who are enthusiastic and like trying new things. Motivate them by:
  • Providing a congenial work environment
  • Letting them know what's going on
  • Discussing their progress

6. Self-Empowered Innovators - who like work for the sake of work. Motivate them by:

  • Giving them responsibilities that allow for learning and growth
  • Ridding their path of obstacles
  • Allowing them to stretch the company's vision

Whether a leader, manager, or supervisor, the key to motivating employees is to understand what drives them. Understanding the core of who a person is, how they are wired, what motivates them, and what they enjoy doing, is key to motivating and engaging every type of employee.

Talent solutions and employee assessments can help managers understand the core of who a person is. Their work style and what motivates them is quickly revealed in the DiSC assessment. You will no longer need to group your employees into categories like the ones listed above; simply evaluate for job fit, and compare prospective and existing candidates to those top performers in your organization.

Take a free demo from our specialists at SmartMoves to learn more!

Coaching Employees When They Don’t Want to Be Coached

Posted by Ty Hall on Thu, Sep 25, 2014

coachingEvery effective manager knows that coaching employees is one of the most important tasks on the job-description list, but sometimes, employees are reluctant to accept coaching. Maybe they’re a high performing employee who thinks they don’t need additional coaching, or maybe an employee who has experienced bad or ineffective coaching in the past. Maybe the employee is passive, putting off meetings or appearing open to coaching opportunities but never changing their behavior. Perhaps they’re upfront and direct about their non-existent desire for help. Whatever the case may be, it is important to find the root of the problem, and convince the employee that training will be beneficial for everyone involved. The Harvard Business Review offers some do’s and don’ts to assist in employee coaching.

First, consider if coaching is really the best or right approach for the unique situation. In other words, does the situation really call for the investment of employee coaching? If, for example, you require your employees to perform in a specific way, simply giving directions is the best method, which saves both your and the employee’s time and energy. Maybe a chronic underperformer isn’t worth the time at all. However, if you think coaching is actually the best approach, and the employee is still resisting, the next course of action is to try to understand why.

You need to understand the resistance. Usually, there’s a logical, reasonable explanation for why the employee doesn’t want your help. One example could be that coaching gives the impression that the other person just isn’t up to snuff, making them feel like they’re not good enough. Or, their last coaching experience resulted in little or no change, even though they tried, leaving a “why bother?” feeling toward coaching in general. Another thing to consider is the possibility that you are contributing to the resistance.

If that’s the case, be transparent about your intentions. If you haven’t explained to the employee why you are wanting to coach them, be explicit; tell them what you are trying to accomplish and why. Say something like, “I’m focusing on your performance because I want to help you meet your goals this year." This straight-shot approach is especially important if you’re typically a more directive manager, because if you suddenly start asking “Well, what do you think?” your uncertainty could cause unnecessary anxiety.

Remember that accepting coaching inherently makes one vulnerable, so be sure to build a relationship of trust. Begin by acknowledging the employee’s contributions—especially for overconfident high performers who resist coaching because they believe they don’t need it. Also, emphasize confidentiality and keep your word. If an employee discovers you’ve been discussing their progress, they will absolutely resist coaching in the future. Likewise, don’t get gung-ho about a coaching opportunity and not follow through.

Finally, don’t force it. By doing so, you’re more likely to strain the employee’s performance rather that improve it. If the employee continues to resist, don’t strong-arm them. If the performance issue is critical or time sensitive, however, consider bringing in a third party or an HR representative to help with the situation.

Coaching employees and improving employee performance is one of the most important functions of an effective manager. It can occasionally be uncomfortable and even frustrating for both parties, but by considering the situation and possible reasons for resistance, maintaining transparency and trust, and remaining respectful to all involved, the coaching process can be a success.

Coaching to Develop Employee Performance


Download the attached studyCoaching to Develop Employee Performance explores a coaching-based performance management methodology designed to improve employee performance continuously and proactively.

  • Transform your managers into coaches
  • Implement a coaching-based methodology
  • Develop the motivational coach
  • Assess the coaching relationship and team dynamics
  • Coach to develop

Leadership 101: Be a Boss, Not a Friend

Boss-Friend-e1330197491600Author: Bud Haney

I have been in the people business for over 20 years. We provide tools to help with companies’ prospective and existing employees, making it easier for managers, supervisors, and those in the executive suite to understand the people who are doing the work inside their company – which in turn helps them increase productivity and retain top performers. My partner, Jim Sirbasku, and I started our business in 1991. Today we operate in over 120 countries and service over 40,000 clients.

Needless to say, I have seen every type of leader out there. I have seen leaders rise, and I have seen leaders fall. Now, we have all heard the saying that people leave people, not businesses, and in my 20 years, I find that saying to be true. A recurring issue I see in company after company is that leaders are a friend and not a boss. Look, I get it - people naturally want people to like them. And if the saying above is true, then instinctively leaders will be the “cool boss” so that their people won’t leave them.

But, there is a difference between a boss that employees enjoy working under and a boss that employees call “buddy.” As a good leader, your employees should enjoy working under you, but you don’t have to slack on deadlines or throw an office party every day to gain their loyalty. In fact, you should do just the opposite. A good leader will challenge his or her employees to grow their skill sets, recognize and reward good work, and hold employees responsible for their professional duties and expectations.

However, a “cool boss” usually earns this reputation by being a friend – an equal. The buddy-boss will overlook tardiness, time off, tasks, and deadlines. This boss often plays favorites and may engage in the aforementioned behaviors as well. This type of behavior can destroy a business in the long term. In this situation, employees may enjoy the laid-back environment for a short time, but when the boss begins playing favorites and employees’ issues aren’t being taken seriously by their leader, a rapid decline in employee retention usually follows. This type of boss has traded productivity for temporary social harmony within the office - potentially risking the success of the entire business.

An important thing to realize as a leader is that employees want to be led. They have enough friends; they need leadership. If employees are not being challenged in the workplace, they are more likely to seek out other employment opportunities. As a boss, you are not an equal with your employees; the second you become an equal, you have relinquished your rights to leadership. Leaders must be respected by their employees in order to be successful.

Leaders, remember: you are not in your organization to be a counselor, friend, or an equal. You are there to lead – to lead your company to its greatest success, to lead your employees to their highest potential, and to lead other leaders by demonstrating what it is to be a great boss (hint: it’s not to be a buddy!). How do you lead? Let us know in the comment section below!

Request a copy of our Leadership Blook by clicking here. Our Leadership Blook is a collection of the most timely and relevant articles on leadership that have appeared on our blog in the past year. Reading the Blook guarantees that you will learn something you can use daily in your business to elevate yourself or your other leaders, something that will cause your business to rise to the next level. The Leadership Blook features articles from Joie de Vivre Hotels founder and CEO Chip Conley, and Winick Enterprises CEO and thought leader Peter Winick.