Archive for September 2016

Apply Interpersonal Intelligence To The Sales Approach

September 30, 2016

In his controversial book, Frames of Mind – The Theory Of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner introduces the theory of seven different intelligences: linguistic, musical, logical, spatial, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, and interpersonal.  Gardner defines interpersonal intelligence as: the ability to read the intentions and desires of other individuals and act upon this knowledge (Frames of Mind p. 239).

It is interesting to understand how leaders and their sales staff apply interpersonal intelligence to the selling process.  Behavioral tools and structures should be used to allow sales associates to better understand themselves, read their customers, and adapt to their customers.  Applying behavioral science to the sales process creates a greater connection between the buyer and seller and leads to more sales.

Leaders should sharpen the interpersonal intelligence of their sales staff and empower them for greater success.

Use One-On-One Time To Strengthen Relationships

September 23, 2016

It’s a fact that humans are more likely to extend themselves for another human if there is a relationship between them.  Strong relationships inspire people to go out of their way for others.

An effective relationship between a leader and their direct report contributes to everyone’s success.  The best way to work on this relationship is during regular one-on-one meetings.

Leaders should sincerely ask about their direct report’s family by name, inquire about their hobbies and interests, and even know about their pets.  Leaders who care about their direct report’s lives outside of work will get them to move mountains for them at work.

Leaders who get to know their direct reports and empower them experience more success.

Prepare For Interviews

September 15, 2016

All good processes begin with some pre-planning and this is particularly true in the selection process.  Get crystal clear about what is needed in advance to prepare for interviews.

The most important preparation is identifying the critical activities for that job and how they should be done — giving careful consideration to the traits that will increase the likelihood of an individual’s success in that job.  The key is to identify the key traits for each job.

Without careful planning, hiring managers may fall into the “I’ll know it when I see it” trap looking for traits they generally admire in people even if they may be detrimental or counterintuitive for the job.  For example, selecting a candidate who is outgoing and comfortable chatting up any topic in the interview may make sense for a sales position, but may be indicative of lacking the focus, attention to detail, and thorough consideration for a quality assurance position.

Hiring managers should prepare for interviews by determining in advance the accountabilities and traits critical to the job for which they are interviewing.  As interviewers, the likelihood of hiring managers selecting the best candidate for the position increases significantly as does the buy-in and support of the new employee once selected.

Empowered hiring managers are prepared for their interviews and make successful hires.

Start In The First Person When Delivering Course Corrections

September 9, 2016

Many leaders feel uncomfortable when giving course corrections. The last thing they want to do is demotivate a direct report, or hurt their feelings when something “is just not that big a deal” but should still be addressed.  The fact is if leaders didn’t care about the direct report’s success or believe they made valuable contributions to the organization, leaders wouldn’t bother giving feedback – they’d just fire the poor performer.

When giving feedback, starting in the first person prevents the direct report from being thrown on the defensive right from the first phrase.  If the leader begins in the second person, it can sound harsh and put the direct report in a defensive posture.

Second person: When you cut off your peers in staff meetings…

First person:  I’m concerned, or I’m disappointed, or I’m afraid despite or call your intentions, when you cut off your peers in staff meetings to interject your thoughts…

Read those out loud — notice how differently it sounds and the change in emphasis on the word “you.”

After starting in the first person, the direct report should get the distinct impression their leader has confidence they have the ability to correct their course, be successful, and fix a situation on their own which creates an empowered, non-defensive response.

Empowered leaders believe their direct reports can be contributors to the organization and providing course corrections by starting the feedback in the first person will make them more successful.