I have been thinking about this a bit as I have moved further into my coaching practice. I see people that know what to do and how to do it. Yet, many of them are not experiencing the results that they want. It is frustrating to the leader as well as to the individual.
I know, I’ve been there. I was a million-dollar sales guy until I wasn’t. I sold over a million dollars a year in new revenue for a five-year streak and then I didn’t. It wasn’t that I no longer knew how to make a call, or a presentation, or how to close. I could and have. I estimate that I have sold over $90 million dollars’ worth of services in my career.
No, it was what some call head trash. My own thoughts and beliefs were getting in my way. For me after an acquisition it was, “They don’t care about my customers.” And, “They are cutting corners to make this attractive for sale.” Then, when I didn’t sell for a while, it was “Can I still sell?”
Notice all of these stories were just stories that I was telling myself. Your stories or your troubled employee’s stories may be different. My guess is that they don’t need to be told how to do their job. They know. My guess is that they are even going through the motions, doing the activities that need to be done. Yet, the results are not what they want.
Before you decide that they don’t know what to do, it may be helpful to inquire into what they think they need to be successful. It could be that they are stuck with a new challenge with a customer. Or they are having personal issues that are distracting, or perhaps they have heard rumors about themselves or the company that are distracting them. By taking the time to understand where they are coming from, and then addressing the issue, they may get better results.
Think about how it feels when your loved one tells you how to drive to a specific location (that you have been to before) or how to park the car. When we assume our employees do not know what to do, it can feel much the same way, if in fact it is not a “what to do” or a “how to do” situation.
Coming from a place of inquiry has helped me. I have had several good friends that have challenged me. Not in my “what to do thinking” but more in “what’s going on with my beliefs” thinking and it has made ALL the difference. What might it do for your team?