Motivating Through Learning to Foster Healthier Conversations

Complete Video Content Script:

8-Steps to Creating a Coaching Culture by Keith Rosen
“According to Keith Rosen, author of Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions, most managers report that they truly want the best for their people. Managers want their people to succeed, they want to be supportive and they want to make an impact so that each person on their team is able to achieve the goals they want most.

But when managers attempt to create buy in around a better solution or a new way of looking at a situation and they run into resistance or hear conflicting opinions, solutions, strategies or ideas from their team; it seems like all of their caring, patience and commitment to their people’s success ends up flying right out the window! It’s at this point when managers tend to revert back to directive mode and say something like, “Look, this is just how it needs to be done.”

Instead of sounding supportive, managers often react by telling the person they’re wrong or instead, say things such as, “This is how you should do it.” Or, they’ll go in a different direction and attempt to fill in the conversation with statistical data, evidence, or proof that supports and defends their point of view in order to convince and drive agreement. At this point, your people will either shut down and stop listening, or come out fighting in an attempt to defend their opinion. When you invalidate someone’s viewpoint, they become more defensive and resistant to what you have to say, even if you did so with the absolute best of intentions. Rather than react to their opinion, first, be curious and seek to understand their point of view.

Demonstrate your interest in understanding what motivates their thinking and reasoning. Seize this opportunity to validate their thoughts and connect with them. This makes the other person feel that you are sincerely trying to understand them and you respect their ideas and opinions. This creates the positive experience you want for them because they now feel that they have been heard; something they’ll never feel if you just dismiss them.

Now, you can continue the conversation and find a common ground and solution, without becoming argumentative. This also stimulates the law of reciprocity. That is: if I listen and respect your point of view, in turn; you will listen and respect mine. To avoid confrontation and create a new possibility; whether in action, behavior, thinking or results–respond to a person’s statements or comments with open-ended questions that further clarify their point of view. Doing so will then encourage the authentic collaboration necessary for you to create new opportunities or solutions with your people.

Here are some questions that will enable you to uncover the root cause of each person’s point of view, create new possibilities and keep costly assumptions at bay, while building deeper trust and engagement. Questions like…

  1. What else could be possible?
  2. What else could be true?
  3. That’s interesting. Can you share with me your thinking around that?
  4. When you say, “The customer is pushing back and wants a better deal,” how do you mean?
  5. What’s another way we can look at this?
  6. What’s another approach that might be worth exploring?
  7. When you say, “The leads we give you aren’t qualified,” can you share with me why you feel this way?
  8. Before we make a final decision around this, what other facts might we want to consider?

And when you’re looking to cultivate greater alignment towards a common goal, here are three other questions you can use today:

  • Number 1: What’s the common ground that we share?
  • Number 2: What is the common objective we both have that you see here?
  • And Number 3: What do you feel we are in agreement around?

Remember, a directive expectation or judgment that dismisses or invalidates a person’s belief or opinion shuts down a conversation and creates confrontation.  Conversely, a question that seeks to better understand a person’s point of view demonstrates respect for their opinion, opens up the conversation and invites the exploration of new possibilities and ideas which fosters further collaboration, alignment in shared goals and most important -builds trust–one more crucial step in developing a team of Sales Champions by honoring the new ABC’s of leadership…Always Be Coaching!”

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