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Everything DiSC Productive Conflict

Everything Disc Map for Productive Conflict

Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, stressful, frustrating, and sometimes very uncomfortable.  Did you know it can also be productive?  Your response to conflict is within your control.  Conflict is usually a difference of opinion that can bring about strong emotions in people.  Understanding yours and others responses to possible conflict situations by engaging DiSC styles can be helpful to move conflict in a productive direction.

The typical manager spends 25-40% of his or her time dealing with workplace conflict. – from Training Industry introducing Productive Conflict product and training modules

Rather than focus on a step-by-step process for conflict resolution, Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict helps you curb destructive behaviors so that conflict can become more productive, ultimately improving workplace results and relationships. This tool and training helps you increase self-awareness around conflict behaviors.  With it you can discover how to effectively respond to the uncomfortable and unavoidable challenges of workplace conflict with improved communication.  The Productive Conflict training goes beyond the classroom with your unlimited access to My Everything DiSC for on-demand insights about DiSC and strategies for applying DiSC to real work situations.

You should know that self-awareness and knowledge of conflict behaviors is not a “one-size fits all” approach.  That is to say, understanding each other’s DiSC style (see videos) can help move conflict from destructive behaviors to a more productive process of working it out together. However, it is what you and others are willing to put into the process that will make it successful.  Below is a 2-minute video introducing Productive Conflict profile using DiSC model.

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Team LeaderIn a zone post a few months ago, I shared a few tips from the book Monday Morning Leadership to help leaders improve.  This time I want to share a little on how to make sure the teams you lead are the best they can be.  Below are some paraphrased tips from that same author along with thoughts shared in our Leadership Excellence and Team-building workshops.  Three Things the Best Leaders Must Do For Their Teams

  1. Hire good employees. Do not just fill open positions quickly the easy way, instead hire tough.  If you hire tough, you can manage easy.  If you hire easy, you are forced to manage tough.  Good employees will do their best for you.  Words of wisdom quoted from the book: “The most important thing you can do as a leader is to hire the right people.” And “The most important asset in your company is having the RIGHT PEOPLE on your team.  If you have the right people on your team you have a great chance to succeed.” Check out PXT Select to see if it can help your improve this process.
  2. Coach every member of the team to become better. Everyone can improve, so give your team (as a group and individually) feedback on what they need to do.  Be open to ideas of training and mentoring inside and outside the team.  Continuous learning can eliminate holes when someone has to have time-off or be out-of-the-office for meetings, vacation, or illnesses. Check out The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team to see if it can help you improve the team-building, performance, and feedback processes.
  3. Dehire the people who aren’t carrying their share of the load. Your other team members see their bad performance and wonder why you are not taking action. Others could begin to feel like they should do less too.  So get with HR on what you should do to begin tracking performance issues to begin the dehiring or internal transfer/placement process.   Words of wisdom quoted from the book:  “Never lower your standards just to fill a position!  You will pay for it later.” And “The greatest liability in your company could be having the WRONG PEOPLE on your team.

To help with the first thing above, the author presented the interview tips below later in the book.

Three Rules of Three for Interviewing

  1. For each position, interview at least 3 qualified candidates. Hold out for the best fit, whether it is a new hire position or a transfer within the organization.  If you are in a hurry and just take the first one that looks good, you could end up with a bad fit for the team.
  2. Interview the most qualified candidates 3 times. Do this at different times of the day each time they come in.  Changing the time will help you and your team to evaluate how each candidate may be at different times during a work day.
  3. Have 3 different people evaluate the candidates for best job fit. Hiring manager and/or HR representative could be first two people.  One or two other people to finish the three should be from the team the position is for.  Team members know the work the best and the team dynamics, so they can help determine if the candidate fits the need.
The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team Pyramid

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive team program includes reports to help the team improve along the Five Behaviors model (Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results).  Below is a list of the reports.  Feel free to contact us for a sample report or to get you team started on this model.

  • Team Comparison Report is the initial report after all team members complete their profiles.  This report shows the team where they are on the Five Behaviors model on a scale of low, medium, high colored like a traffic light (Green=Go/Good, Yellow=Caution/Review to Improve, Red=Stop!/Work on It is Necessary) based on summarizing the individual member’s overall scoring on profiles.  The summary is followed by information in each area that includes:  averages, details and how personal DiSC style may affect the team’s progress, discussion questions for the team, and action worksheets for the team’s use to create improvement plans as needed.
  • Team Progress Report is an optional follow-up report that teams, leaders, or facilitators may use quarterly or semi-annually to see how team is improving along the Five Behaviors model.  It is a great way for teams to see how they are getting better and what they need to do to continue to grow as a team.  Find out more in previous post introducing this feature.
  • Annotated Team Report is used by a team-building session facilitator.  This report is a copy of the team profile/comparison report that includes additional aids for facilitation.  The extras include: expanded explanation of profile content, scoring interpretation, resources for additional information, and indicators of personalized/tailored content.  In addition, an appendix includes a ranking of all assessment items by team average and the team’s percentile for each of the Five Behaviors. Find out about facilitator accreditation in flyer on our website.

I have shared the role of the Sales Coach before.  I want to go a little deeper this time and talk about how coaching directly affects your sales team’s effectiveness.  This is important because as you know, their effectiveness in- the-field and on-the-phone affects your company’s bottom line.

Coaching is about tactics and blocking.  It is the strategic part of the experience.  Coaching is about the ability to build rapport, trust, guide and influence.  It is about knowing the plays (sales process steps)  that will get you to the end (successful close).

In sales, it is also about setting conversational boundaries – what to say, what not to say.  There needs to be focus and a purpose to the words you and your team use.  They should sound like music to the customer’s ears when they hear them.   That is both the strategic plan for every encounter and the tactical skills to move the conversation forward.

Your role in the coaching process is to be sure all sales and customer service representative are armed with the skills, tools and confidence that keep conversations moving forward, while creating an ideal customer experience that will  keep both customers and employees for a lifetime. If they miss sales, you need to let them know if and what they might have done differently or better.  If there was not a better way, than congratulate them on a sale conversation well done.

You should always be coaching your team.  If you are at a loss for how to do so, start by asking these six simple questions of yourself?  Then try asking them individually with each member of your team by changing the “I” to “WE”.

  1. How do I create the ideal customer experience?
  2. Do I get the answers to the questions I might need to be viewed as a problem solver by the customer?
  3. Do I answer the customer’s questions to their satisfaction?
  4. What will it take to get everyone on same page?
  5. Am (Are) I doing what it takes to get mastery of the sales language?
  6. What are the gaps and what actions and behaviors can I personally influence?

So are you being a leader, manager, or coach?  If you do not utilize these coaching techniques, you may be viewed as a micro manager.  The worst thing that will happen if you do not coach your team – you will not have people who can get and keep the customers buying.  The next worst thing, you may lose some great talent on your team if they do not feel they are being helped to reach their full potential.

 

The Ideal Team Player Model

The Ideal Team Player Model

In other posts, I have talked about the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team based on the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.  This time I want to share three key characteristics to make sure you are hiring great team members from his book The Ideal Team Player.  You might ask “Why does Lencioni have two different books to deliver a full message on team building?”  It is fairly simple, if you want cohesive teams that have trust, show commitment, work through conflict, understand accountability, and deliver resultsyou need to hire and keep the right people.

To hire the right people for your teams, you need to look for people who are humble, hungry, and smart.  To keep the right people on your teams, you need to continually monitor existing employees against  those three team player characteristics to make sure they still fit into your team culture.  We need to take a closer look at what Lencioni means by humble, hungry, and smart to better understand why we need to hire for and monitor against these traits.

Humble should be a requirement of any team player!  These people like working in a team, sharing credit with others, and defining success as group accomplishment.  Self-centered, ego-driven, or politics-playing individuals will not fit into a team well.  So look for “we” instead of “I” when they talk.

Hungry people are always looking to do more, take on responsibilities, or learn more.  These people are self-motivated, diligent, and require little supervision.  Ask questions about projects they have been on and how they have handled problems,  you should be able to gauge hunger by the way they have handled situations in the past.

Smart is not mental intelligence or skill sets (IQ), it is about people (more along the lines of EQ) and social skills.   This is not touchy-feely stuff.  It is about using common sense when working with and talking to other people.  Ask questions about how they work with others and you should see enthusiasm in their responses.

In Lencioni’s model, you can see that it is easy to be fooled when looking at any one characteristic too strongly.  Lencioni examples are Humble=Pawn, Hungry=Bulldozer, or Smart=Charmer.  Even settling for a combination of two characteristics can be bad.  Lencioni examples are Humble+Hungry=Accidental Mess-maker,  Hungry+Smart=Skillful Politician, or Smart +Humble=Lovable Slacker.  You want is someone that falls in the middle of the model.  This way they truly will have all three characteristics: humble, hungry, and smart.

MarketingMarketing and sales are crucial to the success of any entrepreneur. Whether you have a real estate practice, a contracting service company, or you are a franchise owner, knowing a few good marketing tips can take you from good to great as you set your plan for the next business year.

Over the years, I have had so many people say, “Mary Anne, I get great evaluations in my training and I want to go out on my own.” Or I hear the statement, “I don’t know how you do it, it is such a risk to be self-employed.”

I have been self-employed for all but three years of my multi-year career and I have never felt like I was taking too big of a risk, because I figured out a few key things early on. It’s not your evaluations or even your product that determine your success. I have seen many people with great ideas and an excellent product/service struggle significantly or fail entirely, simply because they never learned how to correctly market themselves or their business. So here are five tips you can employ now to help you survive and thrive in this competitive world:

1. Know your target demographics.  Ask yourself these demographic questions and then pay attention to your answers so you can target appropriately.

  • Who are the actual people who would benefit from your product or service?
  • What geographic area do they reside in (and how far do you want to go to serve them)?
  • What do they value most and how can your product or services meet their needs?

2. Keep your friends close and your competitors closer.  It is important to know your competitors and set yourself apart from them. You need to be able to give unique and realistic reasons why customers would want to work with you instead of the competition without ever knocking the competition.

3. Create content that fosters emotional engagement.  There should be an impactful connection between what you offer and what your customers need. Rather than leading with the sale, focus on engaging customers on their journey to success.  Create a lasting emotional connection that will nurture them towards the point of sale. Your message should be short and sweet. It should encompass their needs instead of being a story about you. Use a transition such as, “We offer a service that will [state the values and what it can do for them].”

  • Example: “We offer a service that will build the confidence of your team members, increase your customer satisfaction and reduce the stress of our managers through our proven training.”

4. Create short compelling videos. If you want to connect with your audience, your greatest impact is through video. It creates rapport by giving your viewers a sense of who you are. Viewers are able to feel like they know you, like you and even trust you before ever having a conversation with you.  People are beginning to use videos not only to educate, promote and inform, but to post casually and answer questions on social media platforms.

It is clear that the world is increasingly going visual in its engagement with content in the social world. Taking a visual-first approach unleashes the potential for engagement across all social networks. – Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social

5. Connect via social media. Social media platforms are the perfect place to tell your story, share your lifestyle, and market your business/self.  Instead of just contributing to the constant noise and chaos, allow your social media platforms to work for you. Develop a strategy that promotes you and your brand, without being overtly salesy. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter change rapidly, so it is important to keep up with key changes and adopt practices that work best for you and best represent your brand. Use a portion of your marketing budget to have social media influencers promote your product and services. This will open the door for potential customers you would not otherwise reach.

Five simple tips; no magic tricks and no secrets revealed. It will take discipline and hard work.  When you begin utilizing the tools that are already out there for you, letting them work for you, and implementing these tips in the right way – you will see massive growth in your business.

 

 

Every sales representative occasionally feels like they may have missed a sale because they did not close the sale.  If this happens, remember it does not mean you no longer have a chance. You see, the term “Kill them with Kindness “ has its place in sales. Keep the communication lines open and continue to move the conversation forward to create a great customer experience with your company and yourself.

By moving a conversation forward, even if you don’t get the deal, you might:

  • Keep a customer you were at risk of losing
  • Get missing personal information so you can market to them later
  • Generate a referral for future business clients
  • Create positive conversation about your company
  • Plant a seed in the prospect’s mind for a future sale

 

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