I think I have the greatest dog. She's a Weimaraner or "Weim" and she's perfect for me (pronounced "why-m"). Many people cautioned me about the behavior traits of this high energy breed. They’re known to be very intelligent, crave human companionship, and need regular exercise and mental stimulation. Since I live in the country, am an experienced dog owner, enjoy running and have a home office, I was not concerned.
Most dogs that exhibit bad behavior or seem untrainable are usually the result of either:
1. an owner's unrealistic expectations in relation to the breed or
2. miscommunication during the training process.
I was better equipped as an owner and less prone to frustrations when considering my personality, priorities and preferences and understanding common motivators and personality traits of Weimaraners.
How is this relevant to leading your sales team or the business world in general? Don’t be offended by my canine comparison, but leaders that tend to be frustrated with their sales team may find that it’s not the team, but their leadership that’s at fault. Like pet ownership, frustration is often a result of not understanding motivators, implementing the wrong approach, providing poor feedback or having unrealistic expectations.
Here are three things to consider as you strive to effectively coach, lead change and develop high impact sales teams. (For those sales professionals who feel their leaders “don’t get them” or have trouble communicating, these may also help you!):
1. Understand the team's motivators
There are several ways to do this and they all begin with gaining a sense of their operating reality and yours. Utilizing a Personal Assessment Tool such as a DISC assessment can provide the basis for your natural communication style and how it is perceived by those on your team.
2. Facilitating Employee Engagement
High employee engagement has been proven to deliver exceptional results. Effective leaders know that they have the greatest impact on the engagement levels of each employee and are focused on giving each of their sale professionals the right training, tools and opportunities for growth at the right times in their careers.
3. Providing Effective Feedback
Leaders are giving feedback 100% of the time. Saying nothing is also feedback so it’s happening whether you know it or not.Since this is true, why not be intentional about the feedback and coaching you provide?
Leaders that hone their skills in all three of these areas will see maximum impact when it comes to their sales teams. By recognizing strengths and challenges, they build stronger teams and work relationships which leads to more effective communication, increased positivity and the ability to coach to success. (Also see: 5 Keys To Being A Consistent Leader and Coaching: Three Things You Need)
The training and time spent with my Weim, Payton, over the years has helped her become the greatest dog ever, as far as I’m concerned (sorry, William Wegman). She does prefer to lounge on the couch instead of going for a run– but that was a pretty easy adjustment for me to make.
If you’re ready to make some adjustments and become an effective leader and coach, Butler Street’s leadership training provides the tools. Built on proven processes and methodologies, the exercises are engaging and easily implementable to achieve immediate results and long-term success. Take the first step in leading change, let’s talk.