Mindfulness + performance management together in harmony!
The traditional view on professional skill development strikes an image of a classroom setting with a big screen near which an instructor stands. S/He marches through the 87 slides in an attempt to teach the 20-odd “students” in the room how to improve at communicating, qualifying a prospect, handling objections, negotiating, closing, and more.
While this scene depicts a training approach accepted as "SOP", recent thinking by academics and pundits on how to best raise performance levels for highly specialized sharp-shooters like you - B2B sellers, managers and sr. executives - include focus on "mindfulness" and emotional intelligence (EI).
But wait…how can this approach actually work given the following road-blocks that reflect reality:
A chat with one of my dear friends, Eric McNulty, prompted my deeper dive into how these concepts could result in driving higher individual performance. Eric, the Associate Director at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, bluntly challenged me recently by asking if my customer base is ready for the application of EI and mindfulness to improve individual production and performance development.
I replied to Eric that most in the media/digital/ad-tech segment are running so fast they are either unable to pause for such learning, or sadly, many sales organizations are unorganized and mismanaged. (While that statement was painful to write and acknowledge, notice I used the words “most” and "many". My statements are not meant to be pejorative.) Similar to talking about being launched in a Tesla to Mars, the discussion around teaching how mindfulness and EI improvement can result in higher revenue optimization is fun to chat about, but it’s just that: talk. (Or is it?)
But wait...why shouldn't we be adding these concepts - and curriculum - to our agenda that aid in professional skill and performance development?
Similar to talking about launching in a Tesla to Mars, the discussion around teaching how mindfulness and EI improvement can result in higher revenue optimization is fun to chat about, but it's just that: talk.
Given our world where "most" are running fast to build products and technology, it seems mandatory we should embrace deeper conversations and steps that build operational sales strength and personal growth. The sad reality for our industry is how the individual worker – the ultimate high-value asset – has generally devolved into a commodity. However, rest assured B2B selling duties will never be taken over by AI, AR, or Alexa, or Siri or the new robots Amazon is beta testing for home service.
So now we're left with two remaining questions:
Question: Why write about such a heavy topic when it seems nothing will change? (Ad tech and media companies don't appear able to get out of first gear.)
Answer: Yoda (pictured above) never gave up, and neither will I. It may be hard to convince today's fast moving and growing companies to slow down enough to think more broadly about skill development methods, but it will be worth it. If just one person or company reads this post and moves positively to apply new thinking about sophisticated performance management practices, then it's worth it. Of course we'll keep working on fundamental skills and core development, but we need also to include discussions and work that improves EI.
Question: Where do we go from here?
Answer: Well yes, this convo thread is certainly a “phatty”, I recommend two paths: (a) call me and we can have coffee to further talk about specific action plans that raise your game (and your team's game) with core skills training AND the application of mindfulness / EI; and/or, (b) do some further reading and start thinking about these issues yourself. I recommend these two articles:
NEXT ISSUE: the May edition of Selling.2.YES will tackle the subject of what exactly "mindfulness" and "emotional intelligence" looks like in the workplace.
And if you need a laugh and want more Star Wars in your life, click here to watch a funny (R rated) video about the Death Star Canteen by comedian Eddie Izzard.
Selling.2.YES is the monthly newsletter published by Core 6 Management Advisors to enlighten, motivate and stimulate all of us sellers and sales managers on topics that need our attention.
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