Everyone can benefit from extra support and motivation. Compound this with tougher and constantly changing times, igniting the fire and inspiration that burns within each of us is more critical than ever before.
Especially when there are those of us that might be struggling to keep that fire alive. For managers, it’s essential that you are able to communicate in a way that enables you to spark that fire, internal drive and motivation within each person on your team.
Recently I wrote a post where I talked about a powerful coaching tool I refer to as the ‘Wanting for’ statement. This is a great tool for anyone, especially for the manager who’s looking to empower their people and tap into some well needed motivation. The “Wanting for” statement is an independent, self containing strategy you can use at any time during normal conversation and can be used in a variety of situations.
Once you start using the wanting for statement more consistently in your communication, you will notice how much more open people will be to hearing and digesting your message, especially the ones they may have a natural inclination to resist. This phrase is the perfect precursor to softening a difficult message by first opening up the person’s listening; which starts with the authentic commitment you have to supporting them by articulating specifically what it is you want most for them. Wanting for statements are a powerful tool to reinforce the support and the stand you have chosen to take for someone, while doing so in an efficient way and simultaneously challenging them to bring out their best, as well as yours.
Based on several requests since my last post, I’ve listed several different examples below where it would be appropriate to use this communication tool, as well as some sample dialogue you can use.
1. You need to deliver a strong message to an underperforming salesperson about their need to turnaround their performance.
“Kelly, what I want for you is to be able to turn your performance around to where it used to be so that you can start enjoying your job the same way you did when you first started here, along with the financial rewards that follow.”
2. You need to prepare someone or your entire sales team for some imminent changes; whether they are changes in your sales procedures, product or service, HR or in their responsibilities.
“What I want for each of you is to be able to walk into the office each day feeling confident you have all the tools and resources needed to reach your goals here, both personally and professionally. And sometimes, reaching your goals requires making some changes in our approach and how we do things….”
3. You want to reinforce your stand and commitment to the success of each person on your team.
“At this point, we have all been working together for some time now. And I hope that each of you are fully aware of my commitment to your continued success here. What I want for all of you is to be able to come to work and experience a deeper sense of satisfaction in your career, feel supported by your management team and be motivated by the value you can deliver to your customers, to our company and to your career. To achieve this, it’s important we ensure all of our efforts are aligned towards a shared goal where we all can win…..”
4. You want to provide some well needed motivation by acknowledging and reigniting the personal power someone may have forgotten they have.
“Nicole, I know you’ve been in sales for a while now. I realize this isn’t the first time you’ve felt a bit deflated when you saw your month end numbers, especially with your work ethic and all of the effort you’ve put forth. Sometimes, with all of the things we have control over, there still exists those other market conditions which we can’t control. What I want for you is to be able to manage and honor the processes you’ve put in place, which has always been proven to work well for you but do so without the additional stress and pressure you seem to be piling on yourself lately. It looks like there’s an opportunity for you to shift back to being more process driven without pushing so hard for the result which, as you’ve seen, will come naturally by honoring your process. Are you open to discussing how together, we can get you back on track to achieving your goals?”
5. You would like to open up the possibility to have a conversation about coaching someone around an area they have been struggling with.
“I know you’ve mentioned that it’s talking a little longer to create new relationships and get customers to open up to you, especially when these people have been working with the same vender for as long as they have been. What I want for you is to feel confident that you have the tools and the strategy you need the next time you are confronted with a person like this, so that you can turn these conversations into new opportunities. Are you ready to discuss how to do so?”
Now, please understand, at this point after sharing this tool with managers, I hear the following responses:
1. Wow! I can see how that can work and make people feel supported and acknowledged.
2. Keith, it feels a bit strange or awkward. I don’t think I need that fluffy stuff, since I’m a straight shooter.
3. Keith, this does not translate in my language. Wherever I’m delivering this program, whether, South America, India, Egypt, Germany, Spain, Italy, Africa, across the world, you name the country, I’ve heard this initial reaction everywhere I go from some managers.
Here’s where I then share my responses to these three common reactions:
1. I’m glad you see value in communicating this to your direct reports. What new possibilities can open up as a result of doing so?
2. Here’s another example of a manager who is now, Coaching in their Own Image. That is, this is what would work or not work on me, here’s how I communicate and liked to be communicated to, so I’ll just assume that my people have the same communication style as I do. Good luck with this….
3. Yes, it does translate into your language, if you just take a moment and think it through, as I’ve seen this translated in over 40 different languages! Even in the US, when I share this Wanting for statement with managers who’s primary language is English, some still push back in initially. But not because they can’t translate it into their own language. They can’t translate this into their style of communicating simply because they’ve never used it before.
I suggest trying it out. It’s powerful communication tool but remember, if not delivered with truth and authenticity, it will not work. Any questions? Feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment below and I’d be happy to discuss this with you.
Photo Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives