How real change happens

Change

So I was on the road again this week and spent some time reviewing all that I’ve accomplish in my recent business trips. This week’s trip included meetings, project reviews and additional channel management ideas that will help our business grow. I spend much time on the strategy side, but I have to say, my biggest a-ha moments come when I’m connected with the people side of the business: the folks that are actually doing the selling.

I love to coach and inspire people to reach their full potential. This approach is evident in my sales training motivational efforts. My biggest advantage is that I understand life to be intertwined between work and home; for one can only achieve true success and joy when you live life as you are. This is why my message is never just about work. The process of achieving all you can be is not just an exercise to grow in knowledge but it must also include the spiritual and emotional components. These are evident at home, with family, at church, in your community. You have one life. Everything in you is connected and reflected in your multiple interactions.

With work, as with life in general, it’s easier said than done and I know that for every five employees I spend time with, there is always one that is more challenging than others. But that is why I try to really know each employee on a personal level. No, I don’t do it for the sake of knowing exactly what to bribe them with. On a deep level one cannot understand why someone reacts a specific way unless you know what is going inside; behind the mask that many of us put on day in and day out. What I do is connect with the real person and invite them to come out to play, have fun and be successful.

So you have to start with the core; the inside of a person; their belief system. When you understand why someone’s heart beats so strong (or so week) for something can you actually understand the reason for their actions. This model can be applied to any part of your life but I have seen it clearly in the workplace.

I will share the example from my work and unveil a little more of what I do. The majority of the sales channels I’m involved with are Contact Center, better know as Call Centers (mainly taking inbound calls). The majority of people think of this line of work as people that spend the whole day taking phone calls. I was one of those and I can’t tell you how incomplete that simple description can be. The reality is that it takes a special person to listen to customers who are most of the time frustrated and, in my industry, unaware of the basic information when calling. It takes a special skill to hear mixed emotions channelled through a phone line, while still keeping your cool and providing a great experience for the customer. So the role of a Customer Service Agent is more than just answering phone calls. I like to view these employees as Solutions providers.

The problem is that these same employees have fallen in this stereotypical trap; they have believed this incomplete view of what they do as the full definition of their work. Unfortunately for some it goes deeper. Some find that view as their full purpose. It can be a joy killer. So my first step is understand what is in their hearts and minds so I can grasp the reason for their performance. My approach requires them to think differently of themselves. To break the walls of their box and make them see they are free to be whoever they want to be in their life; at home and at work; everywhere. Real change happens when your paradigm shifts. Steven Convey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was anchored first on the need to shift the way you think.

When your belief is aligned with the power you have to achieve your goals, progress happens. Corrective action happens. Doing the right things often turns into habits, which leads to change.

Aligning your beliefs accurately, helps you take the correct actions that create the habits you need to for change to happen.

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Inspiring story 1 – Undefeated

A week ago I followed the 84th edition of the Oscars just like many people do every year. However, my true interest wasn’t on the most glamorous awards such as Best Movie, Best Actor or Best Actress. No, my attention was on a real life documentary by the name of Undefeated. It won the award for Best Documentary. A truly inspiring story that unveils the real power of real motivation. The power of connection between human beings setting a goal that challenges their environment and their past experiences.

This is a story about the Manassas High School football team. A school that for 110 years of existence never won a football play-off game. But this is a story far more entangled in the sub-plots of inner-city life and the difficulties associated with it. Three players are highlighted by their life struggles, while a volunteer coach shows them how to have confidence in themselves. On and off the field. It is indeed a remarkable story about the human heart.

So how can this story inspire you? Have you felt powerless in face of a challenge? Do you have some nay-sayers in your life? Do you lack the belief that you can actually achieve that which you have always aimed for? Maybe this is you or maybe not. But I’m pretty sure this story resonates with most of us. The reality is that we all have challenges. We all have experienced failure in some way. And that is okay. Our life is made of ups and downs and we are just called to play the game.

One of my favorite quotes in the clip above is when coach Courtney says:

You think football builds character. It does not. Football reveals character.

I hope you find motivation in this story. Reveal your character in your life and be a winner in any and all circumstance!

Selling Motivation II

It’s a new day and whatever it is you are doing today, the sense of selling and motivation go hand in hand (see my earlier post). Whether you are starting something new or following a preset plan, how you approach it can make a difference. That is why selling is so important.

The word “selling” is so many times viewed incorrectly because of the association of lies. The reality is that true selling should be no more than a sense of intrinsic desire to share, to offer what is good. But what is good for one party is not always good for another, and the financial associations of the word have led to the lies built up over generations which give it a bad connotation. However, when done right it has huge potential for positive outcome. What “selling” ads is the passion and desire that so many of us lack when reaching for our dreams. An excitement that propels you to do whatever it takes to be successful. Folks that work in sales know this. You long for the next call; to meet the next prospect. We need to use this transferable energy to other parts of our lives.

I see this through my work, but also through the relationships I have created. What are you trying to sell and is it good? If so, I’ll jump on it – that product, that idea, that movement. The reason why someone will buy the widget or follow that leader is mostly about inspiration and less about value. But if you link both, the results are amazing. Still, the real power is in the energy you have when approaching each step towards reaching your goals.

Take today as an opportunity to show that passion. Believe in yourself and believe in your skills. You can do this.