Learning to manage better

The right kind of reinforcement can overcome the negative feedback that many people allow deep into their consciousness

All of us, to varying degrees, have experienced difficulties and life challenges that affect us profoundly, whether we know it or not. Our parents may have been very loving and nurturing or they may have focused more on teaching order and discipline. Children need a healthy balance of warmth and loving discipline for good nurturing. The dominant feedback we receive growing up leaves indelible marks on our psyche and disposition, like it or not.

A child who has learned from parents only to adapt and conform to words and phrases like, “You should … You have to … You ought to … You can’t …” has learned mostly what not to do or what can’t be done, and may feel powerless in many opportune situations. You can see how a dictated rearing like this can lead to negative perceptions and belief challenges that need to be overcome later in life.

On the other hand, what about the nurturing parent who, instead of saying, “You should …” all the time, says things like “You can do this … I will help you … Here’s how we’ll do it …?”

This nurturing approach generates positive energy in the mind of a child who will then naturally aspire to try new things. He or she will commit effort toward success and accept setbacks, knowing they have the support of others, that there are always new opportunities out there. This person exhibits natural tendencies toward creativity, productivity and having fun in the process.

If there’s one profession in which these different approaches to childrearing have a huge effect, it is sales. Truly believing that you will be successful can’t be understated. Unfortunately, many salespeople have limiting belief patterns that profoundly hinder their sales performance.

These destructive thought patterns can be broken through a thought and behavior re-scripting process that is teachable and often practiced with tremendous results.

As a leader, discovering and understanding your own thought and behavior patterns – as well as developing more positive beliefs and behavior habits – will make you a better manager. It sets a great example and gives you foresight as well as empathy for helping team members who may be struggling to overcome their own challenges. 

Having a deeper understanding of what limits human achievements gives business leaders and sales managers an area to focus on, both for themselves and their team members. When a salesperson’s outlook shifts from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset, new doors to success seem to open automatically.

Have you ever had such a profound “awakening” in your own life? It may be the reason for whatever success you enjoy today. Or, maybe you’ve always believed in yourself and thought in terms of opportunity in a land of abundance. 

There is plenty of evidence all around us of abundant wealth, yet many of us still think that big-time success is for others, and we’ll just have to accept our share of what’s left. Don’t allow that idea to linger in any salesperson’s head. Teach your team that they can reach the pinnacle of their profession and that it’s your job to help them get there.

Reversing limiting belief patterns and changing habits begins with identifying bad behaviors you want to eliminate and then scripting over and changing the thought patterns that lead to the behavior. Daily journaling and repeated goal affirmation is an effective way to do this over time, as long as you remain committed to the daily practice. You need to be specific about the behavior you want to change and the new habit you will replace it with. 

The disciplined act of breaking out of your comfort zone will come naturally when you believe in what you’re doing. Daily repetition of affirmed goals in your journal is the key to believing. It becomes a self-feeding endeavor. You may at first need to think your way into acting right, then you’ll start acting your way into right thinking, which becomes sustainable, propelling you always forward.

Think about how you can help your salespeople identify and break some of the limiting thought habits that are holding them back. There are some excellent training programs available that focus on overcoming limiting beliefs to reach higher levels of personal and business performance. Rather than focusing strictly on your team’s skills and techniques, look at the “total person” and work to help them improve their personal lives as well as job performances.  

Kevin Hallenbeck, principal of Sandler Training- Manchester, can be reached at 603-232-1520 or through bestsalespeople.com.

Categories: Workplace Advice