Have you ever found yourself doing things only because it’s expected of you? Did you pick a major in college that would be more “beneficial” rather than what you were passionate about? Is it hard for you to step out of your expected role?
In Andy Molinsky’s article, “Free Yourself From What you Should be Doing” he says that “sometimes what’s keeping you in one spot may not be your own self-interest. In fact, other people’s wishes and the feeling that you “should” stay put may be tamping down your own preferences. What’s holding you back may be compliance, not comfort. I’ve seen this many times in my research. People have pursued one path in life — influenced by their culture, parents, or sense of what they “should” pursue — that leads them to invest time, money, and skill development in a path that is very hard to escape from.”
Molinsky says that not every instance of stepping out of your comfort zone will lead to drastic liberation. But often you will find out that what you deemed your ‘comfort zone’ was in reality your ‘compliant zone’. How you were expected to behave. Three ways to tell if your comfort zone is actually your compliant zone:
- Pinpoint your area of focus.
- Take a quick inventory of your personal values and passions.
- Compare your passions to the activity you’re examining.
Of course, there are certain tasks that must be done in our responsibilities, and that it okay. But often, especially in sales, you can find your own balance between what your job requires and some aspects of your passion and personality. Isn’t that what selling is all about anyways?
Final take away: do things that are out of your comfort zone in order to grow and learn about yourself. Take your passions and mix them with your responsibilities.
In Dorie Clark’s article, the author says that we all know by now the importance of finding a mentor. Researchers recently found that of those asked, people over age 40 could name a mentor but young people could not. Young people are having a hard time finding a mentor. Clark’s answer to this? Widen the search.
Clark suggests creating your own ‘board of mentors’ from which you can learn from a variety of people. This creates diversification and “This also allows you to look beyond the classic notion of a mentor as someone who is older and wiser than you.” As you form your own board of mentors, ask these questions:
- What, specifically, do you want to learn?
- Whom do you respect most?
- How can you arrange to spend more time with them?
- How can you make the relationship reciprocal?
3. Employees are Happiest When Work Offers Two Things (Hint: It’s Not More Money or Work-Life Balance)
In Betsy Mikel’s article, Mikel talks about how our happiness is tied to our income but only until 75,000. After that, any more income will only increase our happiness a little bit. So, after 75,000 what increases employee happiness? From a Glassdoor study, the two things that contributed to employee happiness were Culture and Values.
“Culture is built and nourished over time. It's often changes year-to-year. Your culture is a reflection of your recruiting efforts, the relationships between existing employees and your management style.
Core values present a similar challenge. It's difficult to identify what values are key to your company's fabric; it's even more difficult to make business decisions that stay true to those values.”
Building a company with good values and an enjoyable culture takes time, but it’s worth it for employee happiness. This is important to know in sales because there are parallels. Customers are going to care at the end of the day about the company from which the product comes from. What’s the culture like, the brand message, and the values that come with buying this product?
In Isabel Allende’s TED talk, Allende talks about loving life at every stage of it. In sales, when frustration hits and the day to day gets dull, this is important to remember. Make life fun when the fun isn’t obvious. Some of her points:
- Live mindfully.
- Take care of your body.
- It’s all about attitude, even if you fake it.
- Say yes to life.
I especially love her point to say yes to life. Try new prospecting ways, don’t be afraid to contact and meet with the C suite.
In Julian Treasure’s TED talk, Treasure talks about how we are losing our listening skills. 60% of our day is spent listening, but we only retain 25% of what we hear. Listening is essentially “making meaning from sound” and sound always has time imbedded in it. Conscious listening creates understanding. Understanding is so important in life, think about how is specifically applies to sales. Treasure’s five ways to listen better:
- Spend a few minutes in silence every day.
- Count channels of sound around you.
- Pay attention to mundane sounds. The wash going, the wind, the air in the heaters.
- Become an active listener rather than a passive one. In conversations stop and notice which one you’re being.
- RASA: receive, appreciate, summarize, ask questions.