Developing Your Salespeople is the Mark of a Good Leader

Smarter.Not HarderSuccessful leaders know one of the toughest jobs today is developing their salespeople.

It starts with your expectations and your ability to hold them accountable. Sometimes it will feel like herding cats! Yet, strong profitable sales are a result of your salespeople following the systems, knowing the product details, and mastering successful sales habits.

8 Tips to Develop and Improve Salespeople’s Results

It starts with the right hire! Hiring and promoting the right salespeople sends a strong message to employees, clients (current and future), vendors, and investors. Remember, use scientifically validated job fit assessments to determine a salesperson’s true ability to prospect, build relationships, and close sales.

Did you know…?

  • -Promoting the wrong person is very costly. Many times, when you promote the top salesperson into a management role, s/he will fail. The skills and personality traits that make them #1 in sales are not the same skills and personality traits required to be a great manager.
  • -Many job seekers can sell themselves by looking the part and saying the right things. But are unable to sell your products and services. Make sure to go deeper to discover how willing and able they are to work straight commission or base plus commission.

Create a Workplace Culture that Values Sales Success. Invest in training for each and every salesperson! This starts on Day 1 in a well-designed onboarding program! Remember to remind everyone of best sales practices during daily stand-up meetings via video conferencing. Hold everyone accountable to dress up and show up on time and be ready to go sell. Host weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual sales summits to improve knowledge of systems, products, and industry changes. And, make sure you include fun!

Provide Relentless Coaching. Remember, the goal is to close sales. But there are other activities that must happen first. Hire the right sales coach to provide you and your team coaching and training for developing good sales practices. Eliminate the heavy emphasis on finding and closing the BIG ONE. This mindset hinders developing solid sales activities, habits, and skills. In the long run, the right skills and practices will build a profitable and financially solid bottom line.

Create the Right Winning Mindset. Everyone has slumps and bad days. A successful leader will make sure to acknowledge personal and team achievements and share challenges the team has overcome. These are great learning opportunities and help everyone to keep moving forward. Creating winning mindsets includes encouraging everyone to work with and through team members to create new ideas.

Don’t Ignore Poor Sales Performance. Good leaders don’t wait for poor sales performance to turn around. Instead, review the coaching report from the job fit assessment for salespeople. This will bring clarity to the issue. Focus on only one issue at a time or you will overwhelm the salesperson. Together create a performance improvement plan. For best results, focus on the salesperson’s strengths. You cannot manage their weaknesses and expect successful sales results!

Motivate with Recognition and Rewards. While great pay and perks are important, they are not everything. Create a strong recognition and rewards program with immediate acknowledgment. Be sure you are rewarding the right behaviors and profitable results. Keep in mind, top performers enjoy financial rewards, regular performance feedback, and autonomy. So, look for non-monetary ways to reward great results.

Create Meaningful Metrics. First, prospecting is a process (e.g., cold calls, emails, networking, etc.). This requires follow-up and follow-through every day. These all-important skills separate successful salespeople from wanna-be successful salespeople. Second, track who, what, when, where, and why along with how to best stay in contact with prospective and current buyers. Remember, companies buy from salespeople that have their best interests at heart.

Brags. Learn how to brag in a biz-savvy manner. Using brags in introductions and to stay self-motivated is important. Too often salespeople do a poor job of enticing people to talk with them. Remember, networking meetings are a great way to generate interest, not sell products. Selling products and services usually requires at least one meaningful conversation. And, that doesn’t usually happen at a networking event.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel.  Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation to strategically develop a coaching and hiring program for exceptional and profitable sales results. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly: It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Mindful Resilience is Required to be a Successful Leader

Mindful Resilience.BizSavvyCoach.5Note: this article is an overview for an upcoming webinar I’m presenting for a financial association. If you’re looking for a presenter, please contact me @ JLSeibly@gmail.com or call me @ 303-917-2993 if urgent.

We are all triggered by certain words, facial expressions, and gestures. As successful, resilient leaders, we don’t have the luxury of hanging onto our upsets.

Mindful resilience is when we develop a conscious awareness of our triggers and address our reactions in a positive manner. It’s starts with you, as the leader, taking responsibility for your triggers when they occur so they don’t get in the way. Remember, clarity of what triggered your reactions is required before you can create win-win-win outcomes.

6 Tips to Create Mindful Resilience

Breathe. Remember, everyone gets triggered. The moment you notice you are triggered, breathe in for 5 counts. Pause. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat this practice 3 times. Why should you practice breathing? Breathing reduces the fight, flight, or freeze stress response triggered in your brain. Breathing allows you to take responsibility for your reactions (aka triggers) and is critical before attempting to resolve any issue.

Have Come-Down-to-Reality Conversations. Team members can hold onto upsets and use them to justify their poor job performance. That’s why you, as the leader, need to be aware of when these upsets are brewing and take responsibility for resolving them before they turn into a major issue. Remember to use straight talk with compassion during these tough conversations.

Get to the Heart or Core of the Problem. When you as a leader inadvertently diss someone or ignore a festering issue, upsets will be covertly expressed. It’s like a mole hill expanding into a mountain. Remember, you are human and you will make mistakes! So, will everyone else. Instead of allowing your ego to justify your actions, ask and clarify what happened with your team member or team, then, talk it out. If you don’t, the upset will become an irreversible issue that overshadows the core problem.

Be Responsible for Your Communication Style (most people aren’t)! When you use words or terminology that others don’t understand, apologize. Start over by asking questions. It’s very easy to lose people when you present the same information over and over (think, you’re probably bored). Also, when you’re presenting a new idea you’ve been thinking about for a while, remember, it’s the first time they’ve heard it. Keep in mind, people learn at different rates of speed. Be prepared to draw a graph or show them a specific example. Remember, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to slow down and get everyone on the same page.

Learn How to Forgive, Even When You Don’t Believe You Should. As a leader, you will have arrows aimed at you when team members feel frustrated or upset. But you don’t have the luxury of hanging onto these insults without them impacting your mindset and success as a leader. Forgive those that gossip, criticize, or blame you. While this is easier said than done, remember, forgiveness is for you. Remember, you don’t to say, “I forgive you” to the offender to forgive them. If you do, it may make it worse.

Hire the Right Coach to Become Successful. Mindful resilience requires you to expand your POV. When a sticky situation or political relationship is not going well, talk immediately with your executive coach. Listen and learn. You can make things worse and sideline your career if you attempt to do it on your own.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker.  For more than 27 years, she has been an expert in guiding leaders to excel at working through difficult situations and political relationships. Contact Jeannette to improve your strategic hiring, coaching, training, and managing processes.  Don’t forget to listen to her podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Do you want to improve managing your leaders to get results? Contact Jeannette about the CheckPoint 360oassessment.

Leaders Need to Focus on Implementing Ideas in the Right Way

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Imagine you come up with the best idea ever. It sounds great in your head and when you tell your team about it. But, as you move forward implementing the new idea, you experience pushback from clients, your boss (or board), and even your own team members! What went wrong?

New ideas mean change and change is frightening for most people.

Implementing new ideas is a complex process since there are a lot of factors that are often overlooked.

Most leaders are unafraid of addressing the logistical side of new ideas (e.g., technology, budgets, systems, etc.).

But, they fear addressing the human side, which is required for any new idea to become successful.

Before launching your next great idea, review the critical 3 C’s: Commitment, Consciousness, and Communication. These are required for great ideas to be successful.

(Side note: to better understand your strengths and weaknesses as a leader with great ideas, use a qualified assessment and review your design and implementation style with a qualified executive coach. Seeing these results on paper in black and white will make the difference between success and failure.)

Successful “New Idea” Leaders Focus on the Critical 3 C’s

First C: Commitment aka Flavor of the Month.

Jonathan enjoyed creating new ideas on a consistent basis. The problem was, the team wasn’t doing the work to make them happen. When asked why, the team said, “What’s the use? Next week he’ll change whatever we did this week.”

Implementing new ideas for the sake of change has never worked. When you become bored or jump on the latest fad, you lose credibility and team productivity. Commitment and time are required for any new idea to become successful. Stick with a well-designed strategic plan. This requires you to work through the details and obstacles, instead of changing the goal. Get your team involved early in the design stage (yes, be open to their ideas). Successful “new idea” leaders also hold themselves and team members responsible for staying focused.

Second C: Consciousness…it’s not all about you.

Patricia, a new leader, wanted to make a big impact in her department. Her goal was to be promoted into her boss’s position when he left. The problem? She was not conscious (or mindful) of the impact her ideas had on others. She relied on her normal approach of pushing things through and coercing others to do things her way. As a result, when her boss left, Patricia was not considered a potential replacement.

As a leader, when you recommend new ideas they are often heard as a directive not open for discussion. Successful leaders are conscious of their approach when sharing their ideas. Your goal is to engage others in the potential outcome and address any critical details along the way. Remember, win-win-win outcomes take longer to design and execute. Yet, when done right, the process will save you a lot of time, money, and hurt feelings.

Third C: Communication requires listening, especially when you don’t want to hear what others are saying.

George had a lot of experience in the medical equipment industry. As a VP, his goal was to achieve the company’s annual goals as directed by the owners. George visited with each team and elicited their feedback for his ideas. But, he ignored incorporating their input into the strategic plan when he submitted it to the owners. Six months later he was fired. Why? He relied on his own POV, disregarded the team’s input, and focused solely on how his ideas should be implemented. This approach failed to create a realistic strategic process that the team could support.

Your ideas have been percolating in your head for a long time! When you share them with others, it’s usually the first time they’ve heard them. Engage others in conversations by asking “what if …?” Then, give them time to ask questions and think through your ideas. Remember, everyone wants to know “how they will benefit from your new ideas.” So, incorporate their ideas and feedback whenever possible. Avoid forcing your ideas on your team by relying on circular logic, outtalking, and dominating them. Otherwise, previous supporters of your ideas will sabotage you and your ideas in the future.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to On the Air with Jeannette Seibly, It’s Your Time for Success on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

How to See Your Blind Spots as a Leader

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Every leader has blind spots and they are costly when not identified.

These blind spots will sabotage any leader’s impact and results while causing others to question the directions being taken.

What Are Blind Spots?

Leadership blind spots are the specific areas where a leader…even a very successful leader…is missing something. A blind spot can be a lack of attention to a certain area or a part of your skillset that never really developed. All leaders have blind spots. Exceptional Leader’s Lab

No matter how hard we try to be self-aware and mindful, we’re not always able to identify our blind spots.

Self-analysis is of little value since, by definition, it’s nearly impossible to know what our blind spots are and their impact on others.

The challenge is to get the right help to uncover your blind spots before they disrupt or damage your success.

Top 10 Leadership Blind Spots

While some blind spots may be easy to spot, according to Leader’s Beacon here are the top 10 to be on the lookout for.

Which ones do you recognize for yourself?

These 10 blind spots are:

  1. Going it alone
  2. Being insensitive of your behavior on others
  3. Having an “I know” attitude
  4. Avoiding the difficult conversations
  5. Blaming others or circumstances
  6. Treating commitments casually
  7. Conspiring against others
  8. Withholding emotional commitment
  9. Not taking a stand
  10. Tolerating “good enough”

As a leader, seeing your blind spots will help you move forward faster and more effectively.

6 Tips on How to See These Blind Spots Quickly and Effectively

  1. Use assessments and 360-degree feedback to discover your inherent strengths and weaknesses. There are three types of assessments: 1) assessments that uncover how you want to be seen, 2) assessments to show how you truly are, and 3) assessments that show how others see you. All three provide you with great 20/20 vision. But, now, the real work. Work with a qualified executive coach to review the assessments and guide you in creating a plan for focused-action.
  2. Hire an executive coach and listen. Hiring the right executive coach is crucial to distinguishing your blind spots and improving your leadership skills. It eliminates the normal trial and error that otherwise occurs. Hire one that supports you in taking action. Do NOT focus on conceptual conversations regarding the merits and demerits of your blind spots.
  3. Engage with an industry mentor. The right mentor is an invaluable source of information and is knowledgeable about your company, management team, industry, etc. The mentor can also guide you through complex situations and sticky political relationships.
  4. Listen to your team’s feedback. Your team does want you to succeed. However, while you may believe you want to hear feedback from your team, honestly, in many cases, you’d rather not. Use a qualified 360-feedback assessment to encourage your team to share their insights and feel comfortable doing so.
  5. Dial-up your humbleness. Take part in an emotional intelligence workshop since egos are the biggest challenge of any leader and where a lot of blind spots reside. Remember, practice is required to achieve mastery! The goals are to dial down the ego. Create awareness of your impact on others. And, guide you on how to create win-win-win outcomes.
  6. Improve your all-important communication skills. Your ability to write, speak, and talk with others is crucial to your success. Improve these skills by recognizing your biases (and, yes, your blind spots). Take responsibility for how you speak differently to different people. And, don’t forget to improve your writing style…because the last thing you want to do is leaving others baffled as to what you really mean.

Embracing these 6 tips will fast-forward your ability to uncover your blind spots and exponentially improve your leadership results.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Firing People May Not Be the Right Answer!

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We have all worked with people we dislike, or, even, hate. There are many reasons. It could be they don’t follow-up or follow-through. They make projects harder than they need to be. Or, they may be having too many personal challenges.

But firing them is rarely the best answer!

Why? It could be due to legal considerations. They may have expert product knowledge and/or work well with clients. And, in today’s business environment, it can be difficult to replace them.

So, you hang on and hope for a miracle. Or, you seethe, blaming them for any or all of your challenges.

George was having trouble working with Kelly, a good employee who was no longer doing the job she was hired to do. Rather than involving the correct team member, Kelly, like many employees, had taken on tasks that were not in her job description and skill set. Unfortunately, because of this, she was failing!

Understandably, George was upset with Kelly’s performance. However, he wasn’t clear on whether to fire Kelly or find another solution. While her job fit assessment showed a good job fit with the original job responsibilities, it also showed “why” Kelly was currently failing.

My advice was, “You can fire her, or, make her successful.” George decided to make Kelly successful. The key was to have consistent and straight conversations about her job responsibilities, and, address “why” the team was not working together.

It wasn’t easy for either George, Kelly, or the team! But, the time and effort paid off. Kelly is now a successful employee again!

If You Can’t Fire Them, Help Them Succeed!

Clarify “why” the person is failing. Make sure you use a qualified job fit assessment when coaching, managing, and training to determine a person’s true behaviors, thinking style and interests. Also, you can use the same tools in the future when hiring.

Be clear about your needs and expectations. Then, be consistent in your communication. Take the time to clarify what you need now and in the near future from each position. Be able to answer who, what, where, when and why questions. Also, follow a 180-day Success Plan to ensure a person’s success.

Training and coaching will make a difference. Bill Gates said that “everyone needs a coach” and that includes you! Look at how you can have all your employees trained and coached to develop their “soft skills.”

Address ethical issues immediately. Sometimes, people simply don’t know that they don’t know. Or, they are aware but think their actions don’t matter. Educate them now. Review policies with them. Then, coach them on how to better handle sticky situations.

You’re not a counselor, you’re a coach. If an employee is having personal difficulties, send them to HR or to your employee wellness provider. Remember, unless you are a health care provider, you do not have the skills to suggest medical help to anyone!

Be a leader FIRST. Many times, leaders make friends with their employees. This can make performance challenges more difficult to manage. Be clear when working with “friends” that you are their boss during business conversations and when addressing performance issues.

Temper your temper. The issue may be you! Consider it may be time for you to take a sabbatical or leave of absence. If you’ve experienced a difficult situation and haven’t taken time to grieve or process a loss, it can come back to haunt you at an inappropriate time. Be kind to yourself. When you return, you will have a new perspective and the same situations and people will look different.

Develop your emotional intelligence (EI). Yes, developing your EI can help you excel, especially when working with difficult team members! Most issues can be resolved through effective communication. But, you need to develop the ability and patience for these conversations to be effective. Learn how by attending workshops and hiring an executive coach.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Why You Need to Develop Your Team to Excel

Business team drawing a new complex project on wall

Business team drawing a new complex project on wall

Mediocrity has become a new standard today (The Standard, 2019). But, it’s costing companies time, money, top talent, customers, innovation, and reputation. And, the list continues!

Many leaders feel there is nothing they can do to change a team’s output from mediocre to great.  Some even believe team collaboration and intended results happen by accident.

These leaders believe they are powerless to change the trajectory of the results.

When teams get stuck, and they will, you as the leader need to roll-up-your-sleeves. It’s your responsibility to get the team unstuck, engaged and moving forward!

Leaders Step Up

Leaders step up to improve the quality of their teams’ results. Remember, these results don’t happen by accident. To excel, results start with how you hire, manage, coach, and train your team members.

Scary Stats

  • -10% of teams today excel. These leaders have a strategy in place to train and develop their people to go beyond the norm and out of their comfort zones.
  • -40% of teams are dysfunctional. When leaders give up so do their teams! They lack the training to align and build win-win-win outcomes required to achieve intended results.
  • -50% produce only small incremental improvements. Unfortunately, this is the norm! Many leaders are simply afraid to push their teams to excel.

(Stats taken from How to Improve Team Effectiveness, Skip Prichard, May 2019)

A team shared with me they wanted to build on the previous year’s event since attendance was down. But, the truth was, the leader wasn’t willing to do the work, release control, and brainstorm. All are requirements to excel! The result….attendance went down, even more, the next year.

How To Improve Your Team’s Results Now

Select the Right Team Members. This is the first and least expensive place to improve your team results. Job fit is the #1 reason (Harvard Business Review) teams succeed or fail! As a leader, it’s up to you to objectively look beyond the technical skills and assess the “soft skill” qualities. Use qualified assessments to select the right team members based on job fit: thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” (Forbes, February 2015)

Develop and Train Team Members. Don’t assume you know to conduct productive meetings. It’s up to you to ensure all team members and you are energized and receive training. Skills development must include how to conduct effective meetings, resolve conflicts, and execute projects. To get the most out of these training and coaching sessions, use real-life challenges and engage in developing real solutions.

Build Trust And Engage Your Team. Under your leadership, teamwork happens or it doesn’t! Real teamwork requires you to be available and engage your team in brainstorming true solutions. This can be a slippery slope since often, too many times everyone latches onto the first good idea. This will shut down further conversation and the development of better ideas. Continue brainstorming until you have built team alignment on the best solution.

Acknowledge Team Members. Don’t forget to acknowledge each team member before, during and after any process.

Get Real about Solutions. As the leader, you must be unafraid to challenge your teams to excel. But, it’s not easy. There is always a difference of opinions and resistance to doing something new. But, and this is a BIG but, innovation needs encouragement and commitment from you. Remember, resilience and flexibility are required since there will be challenges along the way.

Improve Coaching & Mentoring Opportunities. Successful leaders have coaches and mentors who are company and industry savvy. Mentors often focus on working through company politics and guide you to connect with the right people. Executive coaches are external to the organization and confidentially guide you through complex situations and how to proactively avoid them.

Effective leaders don’t accept mediocrity. The ones that do, damage their careers, businesses, and financial bottom lines. It’s up to you to be the type of leader that has their teams excel and achieve dynamic results!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

How to Bridge the Generation Gap by Being a True Leader

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A survey of nearly 1,000 leaders by Carey Nieuwhof reveals there are deep mistrust and discouragement between younger and older leaders about how they feel towards one another.  Younger leaders feel older counterparts are stubborn and inflexible in decision-making and accepting change, while older leaders believe younger people are entitled, don’t work hard and think they have all the answers.

“Ok, Boomer!” Younger leaders often express this sarcastically about older leaders, believing their POV is “old school.”

Conversely, older leaders often complain about younger leaders “not getting it” and “wanting to move too fast without all the facts.”

The tension between these two groups of leaders can hurt companies, bottom lines, results, and the ability to attract great talent (of all ages).

No generation has all the answers!

Bridging this generation gap now is important. Otherwise, it will become too wide and too deep.

According to a study done by Carey Nieuwhof, here are the 5 key issues:

  1. They’re not open to change. Younger leaders feel older leaders are stuck in the past or fearful of rocking the boat.
  2. Older leaders are inflexible. The traditional power style and attitude from the past don’t work today.
  3. They think they know everything. Everyone believes their POV is right!
  4. Too many rules. Younger leaders dislike rules, and will ignore them, until it’s too late.
  5. Too slow. Embracing change takes time and impacts decisions being made.

As a Leader, How Do You Bridge the Generation Gap?

  1. Communication is Everything! Yes, this can be difficult for both sides to hear! “If only they would see it my way, there wouldn’t be a communication issue.” Everyone needs to slow down and learn how to listen and communicate in a respectful way so that others can hear you. I promise, you will find commonalities within your disagreements. These commonalities can be used to bridge generation gaps and build win-win-win outcomes. But, only if you’re willing to take the time.
  2. Build Win-Win-Win Outcomes. Many times, we believe our judgments and biases are right. We hurt relationships and sideline our careers because we haven’t learned how to create win-win-win outcomes. Take workshops (yes, more than one) on how to understand where your judgments and biases come from. With this new awareness, you can positively impact your decisions, communication, and ability to work well with others!
  3. Appreciate and Understand Others. Use a qualified assessment tool to do this. This will help you better understand yourself and others. You will learn not everyone thinks or behaves as you do! They have their own interests. Appreciating differences and learning how to value them will bridge widening generational gaps.
  4. Critical Thinking. Many people rely on information posted on the internet and sound bites offered by thought leaders. They believe these statements are the truth! These leaders (both young and old) fail to engage in a healthy sense of skepticism and question the validity of what they are reading or hearing. Take the time to get to the truth. It will save your company customers, time, money … and even your career.
  5. Be Open to Learning. Too often we are not open to learning what we don’t know. Mostly because we don’t know what we don’t know! (Yes, reread that one!) Attend workshops and training programs with an open mind. Be a sponge. Then, learn from your coach, mentor, and other leaders how to use these insights to bridge the generation gap.

©Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach and keynote speaker. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Knowing How to Lead Virtual Team Members Is a Required Skill

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One company decided to set up a remote office for one of their sales reps who had done well in the home office. The employee wanted to move back to his hometown in another state. The relocation expenses were costly, but, the company believed they would recoup their costs within a year.

But, after a year, no new sales had occurred and the sales manager was at a loss. She didn’t know how to manage a remote sales rep. Finally, a business advisor clarified the problem. When the sales rep worked in the home office, he was available for inside sales calls. That’s how he developed a good sales portfolio. Now, he needed to prospect and generate interest for new sales where he lived. However, he didn’t have the skills or interest to do so. After a year, the sales rep left to work as an inside sales rep for a local company.

Currently, over 66% of companies allow remote or virtual work, and 16% are fully remote (Remote.co).  Because of the reduced cost and commuting times for employees, along with other benefits, this trend is skyrocketing.

This is why it’s important for leaders to learn how to manage virtual team members. Remember, leading remote teams present unique challenges that are very different than leading a team that works in your office.

What is a Virtual Team?

virtual team (also known as a geographically dispersed team, distributed team, or remote team) usually refers to a group of individuals who work together from different geographic locations and rely on communication technology such as email, FAX, and video or voice conferencing services in order to collaborate. Wikipedia

Benefits

  • 80% of employees would be more loyal if they had flexible and work-from-home options (FlexJobs’ 2019 Super Survey)
  • Easier to hire the best no matter where they live and keep good team members that are relocating
  • Less expensive due to reduced overhead
  • 36% of employees would choose to work from home over a pay raise (Global Workplace Analytics study)
  • Encourages healthier lifestyles since remote workers can incorporate physical exercise into their day, instead of commuting

6 Tips for Leading Virtual Teams

Hire for Job Fit. When hiring or promoting, always use a qualified assessment tool to assess job fit. This assessment provides objective insights into how the person will handle working remotely. Required skills include good communication, high emotional intelligence, an ability to work independently, and the resilience to recover from the snafus that inevitably arise. (Harvard Business Review, 2014)

Build and Maintain Relationships.  Fostering trust is crucial. To achieve this, engage virtual team members 1:1 via conferencing at a minimum of at least once a month. And, be available via text, email and cell so you can be easily reached when necessary. During these monthly calls, spend time reviewing what’s been working and what’s not been working. Don’t forget to ask them about their career goals and other projects they want to participate in. Then, ensure these opportunities happen.

Set Clear Standards and Accountability. Many employees, particularly younger ones without office experience, look at working from home as an extension of their current life. If there are young children, unruly pets, smoking or drugs, or other distractions, it can be difficult for them to operate at the same professional level as expected in the office. Remind them how to handle distractions that get in the way. Also, hold them accountable for meeting product and service standards, along with adhering to company policies. If you want to learn more about how to listen for these concerns, contact Jeannette Seibly.

Frequent Communication is a MUST! Communicate expectations frequently, especially during interviews and onboarding processes. During meetings, you will need to be present and listen at a new level to proactively catch issues. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and deep dive into any concerns. Always be available to guide them through client challenges.

Team Building. Host a required-attendance team conference meeting monthly and quarterly to learn about each person’s accomplishments. Acknowledge them individually on these calls. This creates comradery and has each team member feel valued and part of a team.

Training and Development. Whenever possible, have remote team members attend on-site workshops and training programs. During these visits, schedule face-to-face and 1:1 or small group meetings to improve working relationships and build a stronger team.

© Jeannette Seibly 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning dynamic results coach. For the past 27 years, she has guided the creation of leaders to excel in achieving results. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results. Don’t forget to listen to NEW podcasts on Anchor.FM or YouTube.com.

Why the Busyness Trap Sabotages You and How to Change It

Avoid Costly Mistakes

The best advice I can provide you for this new decade is to stop worshiping “busyness.”

Recently, I was talking with another coach. She was exclaiming about how busy she was and mentioned I was not talking about my busyness. Instead, I shared about launching my podcasts and the challenges and successes I’ve had. As she kept talking about her busyness, I could understand how she was sabotaging her ability to find new clients. She practiced busyness.

Many people believe being busy makes them sound more important or effective. Rather, it has the opposite effect. Do you know every time you say, “I’m so busy…,” people stop listening to you?

Why do you feel the need to create “busyness?” “People need a purpose in life.” (Stop Worrying About How Much You Matter, Harvard Business Review)

Today, people pride themselves on being busy, hoping to feel fulfilled and purposeful in life. But, instead, in this digital age, busyness has evolved into an excuse to not focus on the critical key actions for success.

One of the primary reasons we love to talk about how crazy busy we are, is we’re trying to feel something and not feel numb! (Crazy Busy: The Ultimate Numbing Strategy, Inc.)

For example, when we share our “busyness” with others, it’s not engaging them. We’re subtly telling them we don’t have time for them. (Think potential customers, family, friends, etc.)

For a successful 2020, you need to let go of “busyness” and create more effective habits.

9 Important Tips to Stop the Craziness of Busyness! Start now!

  1. Find Work that is Important to You. Almost 70% of employees today are in jobs that don’t fit them (What Engaged Employees Do Differently, Gallup). As a result, many people feel job satisfaction is a myth. Use a qualified job fit assessment to objectively clarify why you (and your team members) are not engaged. Then, create the right job responsibilities and develop the skills needed. Job satisfaction occurs when you and your employees are engaged, inspired and productive.
  2. Limit Social Media. Spending too much time on social media and comparing your life with others is a no-win exercise and time-waster. Most of these posts are only quick snapshots that don’t show how people are really feeling. Instead, get involved in something you enjoy. Volunteer for a cause. Help a neighbor or friend. Take a fun class or go get a certification. Do something that builds your inner self-worth.
  3. Get Out in Nature. Many times taking a 20-minute walk can rejuvenate you! Don’t listen to podcasts or talk on your cell. Simply walk. Breathe. Stop the inner mental chatter. Enjoy the sights.
  4. There are many ways to have fun while creating something new. You don’t have to be highly creative to paint a picture. Take photos. Build or rebuild a clock. Create code for a new online product. Cut out pictures and create a collage. The process rejuvenates your mind, body, and soul.
  5. Learn to Truly Listen. Truly listening to others stops the distracting internal mental chatter. Nothing is more rewarding than the feeling of being truly heard! When you listen to others, they will listen to you…together you can create new opportunities in life and business!
  6. Enjoy Silence. Instead of running off to the next meeting or task, set aside a few minutes to enjoy the silence. This helps re-energize and destress you!
  7. Handle Uncertainty. Often, we clutter our minds and calendars so we feel worthy and in control of our lives. However, there is no certainty or guarantee in life. Instead, take charge of what you can by making a list of what you need to handle now. Cut the list down to the top 5 must-be-done tasks. Rank them in order of importance. Now, yes, now, start on #1!
  8. Be Present Instead of Multi-Tasking. Believing multi-tasking is effective is a trap. The same can be said of busyness. Our brains are not designed to focus on more than one thing at a time. Doing so creates stress, miscommunication, and the need to procrastinate. Be present and focus on what you are doing and who you are talking with. Being present will add a rich and positive dimension to your life.
  9. Simplify Projects and Follow Your Dreams. Many times we love to make the process too difficult (and at times, impossible), sabotaging our ability to accomplish our dreams. Instead, hire a coach. Get unstuck. Take focused-action steps. There is always a breakthrough ready to occur when you are in focused-action.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2020

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning advocate for creating leaders and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided leaders and teams to excel. Are you ready for an unprecedented 2020? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

How to Provide Performance Reviews That Engage Your Team

Mistakes.2

Imagine that you’re in a meeting with your boss to review your past year’s performance. Out of the blue, he reminds you of an incident that happened 10 months ago. You’d forgotten about it. Your boss didn’t mention it before now! How would you feel? What would be your response?

You might think, “Why didn’t you bring it up 10 months ago? Why are you bringing it up now?”

As the boss, when you conduct meaningful performance reviews, you must leave out the surprises. This all-important skill is required to build high-performance teams.

7 Tips for Conducting No-Surprise Performance Reviews

  1. Do It Now. Don’t Wait. Once a year is not productive. Instead, conduct interim performance reviews every quarter. Look at, “What is working? What is not working?” Consider using a qualified 360-degree feedback assessment…these can provide additional insights from team members. When a critical issue arises, address it immediately because memories will be more accurate and intervention can make a positive difference in the moment.
  1. Be Specific. Being prepared with specific facts and examples makes a positive impact. It encourages team members to listen to your feedback. Offer specific opportunities to support their development and growth as business professionals (e.g., coaching, training, work assignments, etc.).
  1. Individualize Feedback Using a Structured Approach. Avoid using rating systems, which rank or rate each team member against one another. This approach does not promote a high-performance team. Instead, use a structured questionnaire for each team member’s self-review. Then, review their feedback with your notes and insights. Now you can have a meaningful conversation.
  1. Focus on Growth and Development. Saying, “You’re doing great. I’ve nothing to add” or providing a list of criticisms is not helpful or meaningful. Remember the primary purpose of performance reviews is to provide objective growth and development feedback for each team member. Take the time to ensure they leave the performance review with one or two areas for improvement.
  1. Use First-Hand Knowledge. Failing to investigate issues doesn’t let you off the hook. Neither does saying, “I heard about this issue.” Investigate and verify before adding your observations. Then, ask for their perspective. Otherwise, you will create distrust between you and the rest of the team.
  1. Be Proactive. If there is problem brewing, share a story that exemplifies the potential issue and outcome. End by saying, “I’m committed that a similar situation doesn’t happen to you. This may be nothing…but, let’s be proactive. What do we need to do to get you on the right track?” Now, listen, make a plan, and follow-up to ensure progress is being made.
  1. Take the Time Required. Rubber stamping self-reviews may seem faster, however, it doesn’t make you a good boss or build a high-performance team. Again, it’s up to you to take the time to conduct performance reviews that are meaningful and engage your team.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning champion for people and results. For the past 27 years, she has guided bosses and teams to excel. Want to improve your managing and coaching skills? Contact Jeannette today for straight talk with dynamic results.

 

New Podcast! How Failure Can Shape Positive Success

Interview with Lisa Reinicke … how to learn from failure when experiencing challenges and setbacks…and create success.

http://ow.ly/qyfo30pZ2io

https://youtu.be/JZzECTTXPD8 (YouTube)