~Facilitate High-impact 1:1’s in 2018~

3 Performance Outputs and 4 Guidelines

 

Download the 4-Step Coaching Process and Skills Plan

 

Note: This is a two-part blog post meeting series. This post strongly advocates and will focus on the power of 1:1’s. The next post will give attention to the architecture for team meetings; both standing and ad hoc.

 

“A meeting is nothing less than the medium through which managerial work is performed.” -Andy Grove, High Output Management

 

Workplace meetings have a bad rap. Why shouldn’t they? Busy managers often run meetings on default or fire fighting mode.

Many team members perceive meetings as a “waste of time.” However, high business output can be accomplished by combining the structure of 1:1’s with intention. This creates a powerful communication medium.

The common sentiment – “1:1’s are unnecessary, I work along-side my people all day and they know I have an open door policy” is a common and noble management behavior. However, a crucial dimension is missing: The failure to prioritize the development, engagement and working relationship with each team member.

Here’s an analogy: One can work side by side with their spouse every day raising kids…but if you fail to regularly connect with your spouse, what’s the quality of that relationship?

In work lingo it’s called, “high task, low relationship.” Lots of important stuff gets done but the quality of the relationship quietly, and often dangerously, erodes.

 

“You don’t build a business. You build people who in turn build the business.” –Zig Ziglar

 

1:1’s drive three vital performance outputs

  1. Builds the working partnership with the manager and her direct reports
  2. Grows the unique capabilities of each team member so they operate at their peak performance, which in turn
  3. Helps ensure the organization achieves its performance targets

Four guidelines for facilitating 1:1’s in 2018

Guideline 1 – Schedule regularly. Shoot for every two to four weeks. Avoid more frequent meetings because individuals might feel micro-managed. The exception is the chronic under-performer, where a direct style of management is required. Don’t wait more than a month or the coaching relationship will lose momentum and engagement.

Guideline 2 – Mostly stay on individual’s agenda, not yours. This is about optics. The effective manager-coach prioritizes the team member’s growth, concerns, and ideas. Focus on developing the necessary capabilities that will support their success in achieving business metrics, not the other way around.

Guideline 3 – Ask great questions and be highly collaborative. Nothing builds trust faster than asking useful, sincere questions and listening deeply to team member’s career aspirations, motivational drivers, concerns, and ideas for continuous improvement.

Guideline 4 – Have a strong bias for action and accountability. Every 1:1 should be book-ended by commitments and action plans. The high output manager-coach always asks, “Who is doing what, by when, and how will we measure progress and success?”

Keep it simple, keep it focused, and definitely keep it inspiring.–Steve

~The Sales Leader’s 2018 “5 Steps & Actions” Playbook~

Sales Leader-Coaches: Make Training Your Competitive Advantage in 2018

 

Download the 4% Championship Sales Coaching and Training Plan

 

Regular, disciplined training is considered critical to quality performance in most professions, but is often lacking in many sales organizations. Why?

Airline pilots, athletes, surgeons, counselors, coast guard captains and numerous other professionals train regularly to receive and maintain industry certification and competence…but in sales? Zip.

One could argue, unlike an airline pilot, a mediocre sales performer does not put others lives of at risk. While this is technically true, consider that:

  1. Sales are the life-blood of a company. If the market rapidly grows in needs, then sales professionals who allow their skills to stagnate put the financial health of the organization in jeopardy. In fact, sales professionals who fail to adapt and grow put livelihoods at risk.
  2. Complex sales are very hard. Striving to influence another human’s beliefs, behaviors, and decision-making is arguably harder than catching a football.

 

“To be successful in sales today, you must sell beyond your natural ability.”  –The Science of Selling, D. Hoffeld

 

The Sales Leader’s 2018 “5 Steps & Actions” Training Playbook

Action 1- Inspire and Motivate your sales team with your Big Vision. It might sound like… “We will be #1 in our region in 2018. We will accomplish this if we collaboratively train and grow our skills, knowledge and mindsets every day to our highest potential. Pros train, rookies wing it. If we are sales pros, we will train like sales pros.”

Action 2 – The 3 E’s: Enroll, Empower, and Expect the sales team to co-own the plan. Effective sales leaders create the formal structure, but expect the team to own the organic process.

Example: Manager sets mandatory team skill building meetings every Monday 8:00-8:45. Team members decide who teaches what skill or subject matter on which date. If the meetings are perceived as ineffective, they are responsible.

Action 3 – Inspect what you Expect. Build a culture of accountability by holding each sales member to his or her development commitments. No one is exempt. The training vision mantra is: “We can and will be better.”

Action 4 – Celebrate Successes and Recognize Top Performance. Create peer-to-peer awards to foster strong collaboration and esprit de corp. Recognize top performers on a weekly basis along with individuals who are applying new sales capabilities with great effort.

Action 5 – Strengthen and Develop your Coaching Skills. “Managing to the numbers” is not coaching and neither is telling sales professionals what to do. The effective sales coach has regular 1:1’s, is highly collaborative, and customizes their approach to each unique sales member. They are not a one-size-fits-all coach.

 

“The investment in training will pay off in the long term. People can’t deliver on what they don’t know how to do. You have to upgrade capabilities.” –J. Kouzes and B. Posner, Leavey School of Business

 

Total organization sales revenue depends on each sales individual performing at their highest level. Regular and focused training is the not-so-secret strategy of all elite coaches and performers. Be great in 2018 by executing the above 5 Steps & Actions Training Playbook!

 

Keep it simple, keep it focused, and definitely keep it inspiring.

–Steve