Best way to improve the team
“The best way to improve the team is to improve oneself.” John Wooden
There seems to be this insatiable appetite for leads, lead generation and lists, like that will solve all the problems we encounter on the way to obtaining our objective.
Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. While it never hurts to find prospects, we need to be more concerned with the conversion rate than the number of prospects.
Hyperbole is a great way to put this in perspective, to gain insight.
Let’s play with numbers
If you started with 10,000 prospects, made 200 bucks on a sale, and sold 1 in 10,000, would it really matter if you got another 10,000 prospects every month?
We built an organization of over 10,000 people from 337 names and numbers. The organization began producing over 2.5 million in sales by the end of the second year.
Not bragging or complaining, but it was the steps we took to improve ourselves that made the achievement possible.
How do we improve?
Ultimately, our communication skills will decide our fate. If we can improve this skill everything gets better.
We become better:
“If communication is not your top priority, all your other priorities are at risk.” Aronson
Buy a course?
Nothing against them, but most of them are generic and just rehash the same stuff and talk about lofty stuff. They won’t help anyone discover the blind spot or spots.
Additionally, most of them are about how to manage people. That is a red flag.
People don’t want to be managed. Do you?
I rest my case.
“We manage things…we work with people” Wooden
You need to find out exactly what you can do, tomorrow, or better yet…what can you do right now to improve.
Ask for feedback
Here is a little 7-step feedback formula you can implement every 90 days, and it will pay dividends on many, many levels.
Do this with your leaders. Ask them to be harsh…to say what they mean. Assure them you are interested in improving, not being patronized.
You can do it on a conference call and email this list to them. Print out the feedback and ask others you trust of go over it and see if it covers all your areas that need improvement or are there others?
The 7 questions are below the video
Ask: When I communicate, do you understand me? Am I clear about the message, wishy-washy, vague, precise? Am I too detailed…not detailed enough…boring…too fast?
Ask: Do I favor one type of communication too much? We all have a tendency to favor one type of communication over all others. Find out if there is a more preferred method and/or if the method you are using is an area that needs improvement.
Example 1: Maybe you do webcasts and always start late, or you are too fast or to slow with the material.
Example 2: Maybe you always use email and they are too long or cover too many things at once…and you’ve forgotten email, like all communication, is a two-way street.
Ask: If I could improve one thing when communicating with the group, what would that be? You might be surprised, we sure were. I used a lot of audio and covered lots of things. My folks let me know this felt one way. They’d click on a link and hear me but did not know how to respond and the messages were, as a key rep wrote…TOOOOOOO LOOOOOOONG. Get to the point and make it once, I was told, instead of making the same point 2-3 ways. Most understood I was trying to make sure they understood but I was able to discover that my earnest efforts were coming across as condescending. Wow, did that help.
Ask: If I could improve one thing when communicating with you personally, what would that be? Folks seem to be OK telling you about the group communication but hesitate about the one-on-one stuff. With a little encouragement…telling them you want to improve…they’ll unload. Feel blessed, never defend and believe they just gave you the keys to the vault.
Ask: Do you feel you have enough support? Listen, do not defend. We discovered a huge blind spot. People felt supported when they could get us but felt getting us was difficult, nearly impossible. We simply made ourselves available for 4 hours each on Fridays. It changed everything.
Ask: Would you please name at least one area I need to improve in? By now they’ll be rolling and you’ll be learning how to lead better and communicate better.
Ask: Could you please name something we are not doing that we could that would help you specifically? This is great; they feel part of the planning process and whatever they tell you, pull out your appointment book and schedule it.
We continued to run this to lots of teammates for 3 years and it paid massive dividends. It gave a clear direction about where we could improve and it yielded some darn good suggestions about what to implement team-wide.
We improved, the team appreciated it and the leaders duplicated our actions by running the same questions by their teams so they could improve
The lines of communication swung open…and open lines, with constructive feedback, fosters trust, accelerates growth and lowers cost.