A Prospect’s Pain Point: An Inconvenience or a Problem?

Just about every sales book ever written preaches the importance of salespeople finding pain and challenges that prospects are experiencing during discovery. When salespeople hear their challenges, they start licking their chops because they believe the door has opened to their solution. Unfortunately, many of them become disappointed when their deals never advance past the initial conversation.

What’s the reason for these stalled deals? Salespeople haven’t asked enough questions to determine if the pain they have uncovered is an “inconvenience” or a “problem” for the prospect. Those two words are not synonymous.

An inconvenience is merely an annoyance. It’s bothersome. In our everyday lives, we all encounter these hassles. However, we don’t do anything about them. We live with them until an issue elevates to the level of a problem. This is important to remember. Just because the issue causes a headache doesn’t mean prospects will take action to address it. Actually, few will do anything about inconveniences.

Prospects take action when they encounter a problem. When this happens, they recognize that immediate action needs to be taken to address it. The search for solutions has begun. Prospects will invest time, resources, and dollars to solve a problem, but not necessarily an inconvenience.

Problems correlate with solutions. We never associate an inconvenience with a solution.

Here’s where many salespeople get stuck. They don’t ask deep, insightful questions to determine if the shared challenge is something the prospect can either live with or is ready to address. If you don’t definitively know the answer to that question, ask questions to understand their perspective on the issue.

Sometimes, salespeople see issues as problems when their prospects only perceive them as inconveniences. This is an important opportunity salespeople have to create energy in their deals. Through effective questioning, salespeople can lead prospects to see the issue as a problem, create a sense of urgency to address it, and motivate them to act on it.

Also, the prospect you are speaking with may feel an issue is a problem, but their colleagues and superiors don’t perceive it that way. How do you know if the other stakeholders feel the same way? Ask! Ask if others in the organization feel the same way they do about the issue. For example, you could ask: “Do your colleagues view this issue as an inconvenience or a problem?” That question will be met by a brief silence as they consider how others feel. Then they will share their perspective.

This issue frequently arises when calling on middle management. Oftentimes, they will perceive an issue as a problem, but senior management sees it as an inconvenience. In those instances, the deal goes nowhere unless the salesperson coaches middle management on ways to help senior management see the issue through the same lens.

Bottom line, for every identified pain point, salespeople need to probe to determine if it is perceived as a problem or an inconvenience.

Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist and CEO of Sales Architects. A recognized expert in sales differentiation, he works with senior executives and business owners across all industries helping salespeople win more deals at the prices they want. Learn more in Lee’s new book “Sell Different!: All New Sales Differentiation Strategies to Outsmart, Outmaneuver, and Outsell the Competition.” Call 888-76603155 to book Lee for your upcoming events.

Ways To Be Influential in the Workplace

One of the questions I am asked as a speaker who teaches the power of relationship-building is this:  How can I be more influential in the workplace?  

You already understand the benefits of being an influential person at your place of work. People look up to you, respect you, etc., and this is a trait for which many people should always strive.  However, it’s not always an easy road because of different work situations. Here are 2 points to lead you to becoming an influential person in the workplace.

1 – Be Knowledgeable

The workplace is always evolving. Different techniques and strategies are continually making their way across your place of business and one of the key ideas of being influential is to be knowledgeable about many things.

When you expound knowledge in your place of business you become the go-to source from which people rely on. A rock of sorts who is always striving for the correct answers to different problems your workplace is facing. Being knowledgeable means people have someone to lean on for help when they need you.

Someone who can bring their own influence is a person who listens. Knowledgeable people understand when to share their advice to others as well as listen to the opinions of their colleagues. This brings your influence towards wisdom which promotes a healthy workplace where people can feel connected to you on an emotional level.

2 – Bring Out the Confidence in Others

study by Ohio State University shares how your career path is influenced by the level of self-confidence you have.

It’s always important to have confidence in the workplace. When you are sure of yourself, other people will be sure of you too. Confidence breeds leadership qualities and allows a path for others to follow, which of course, makes you a leader in the workplace.

Not only should you be confident in yourself, but you also have an opportunity to help maintain the confidence in your co-workers as well. Take advantage of these opportunities when you can and people will see your influence.

For example, social marketing entrepreneurs all want one thing – to have their social post shared by someone of influence. When someone shares their blog, update, etc. to a social audience of thousands, if not millions, then they become more confident in what they have just produced.

While you may not be a social marketer, the product of sharing is still the same. Give more than you get. If you felt like a conversation was worth mentioning, take time and share your colleagues thoughts and ideas with others. You can build confidence in your co-workers better by lifting them up rather than yourself.

They will remember who made them feel this way and your influence with this particular person will rise because of the emotional attachment you have just created.

Colette Carlson is a human behavior expert and CPAE Hall of Fame Motivational Keynote Speaker who inspires organizations and individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. With wit, humor, and sincerity, each of Colette’s experiences weaves together real-life lessons on genuine connection and the tools to leverage those connections for personal and professional success. Call 888-766-3155 to book Colette for upcoming events.

Is My Idea Any Good?

That innovative idea that you and your team have come up with — is it any good? You’ll never know unless you do this step first.

That innovative idea that you and your team have come up with — is it any good? You’ll never know unless you do this step first.

Really.

How do you know if your innovative idea is any good?

Well, it depends on what good means.

How have you defined good? It’s like asking, “Is six feet tall?” Well, it depends. For a skyscraper not so much. For a rabbit, yeah. That’s, that’s a pretty tall rabbit, right? So six feet in and of itself is nothing, it’s just six feet. Is it good or bad? Don’t know. Compared to what?

So the first thing you need to do in, to define whether or not your innovative idea is any good, is figure out what does good mean?

In other words, you and your team need to pre-define the criteria for success. What will determine whether the idea is good or not good.

Let’s take an example. Let’s say you and your team are tasked with, um, with a new product. Your job is to develop a new product for the marketplace, okay? So, great, you need an innovative new product.

Now you could just start tossing out ideas, but that’s not going to help you much. First you need to figure out, what are the criteria for success, how will we know if this is a good, is a good idea or not.

And so what might those criteria be?

Well, it’s up to you and your team. But maybe, maybe one is, okay we need to be able to have this launched in the marketplace by the end of the year. Okay, great. Uh, maybe another one is that our cost per unit can be no more than 84 dollars. Great. Maybe supply chain redundancy is important to you, so you might also have as a criteria that there must be at least two separate suppliers available for each major component of this product. Great, okay.

Whatever the criteria are for you, whether it’s a product or a service, whatever it is you’re trying to do with your innovation, pre-define your conditions of success, your criteria for success. That way, when you start coming up with all your ideas and, you’re just free-forming ideas, you’re not worried about the criteria at this point. They’re there, you’ve predefined them, they’re there waiting for you.

And then you come up with all these ideas.

And then when you look at any particular idea and you say, “Is this good or bad?” you’ll have, you’ll have something on which to base your decision.

So you might come up with an idea, go, “Wow, this, this idea this looks great! Oh. But there’s no way we could have it launched by the end of the year.” Okay is this idea good or bad? Now this idea, it’s a bad idea. It might be good for another time, but for this particular innovation initiative, it’s not good because it doesn’t match the criteria for success. Make sense?

So step one, step one for you and your team is to define what are the criteria for success. There may be one, there may be a hundred, it’s up to you. It depends on whatever this initiative, this innovative initiative is all about. But you and your team need to come up with what are the criteria for success.

That way, when you’re asking yourself the question, “Is this idea any good?” you’ll have a basis for that question. You’ll have a way to make that decision. You’ll have a way to define whether this innovation, whether this idea that you and your team have come up with, is good or is not good.

You’ll know whether six feet is tall or not because you have something to measure it against.

So, again, when you’re trying to come up with innovative ideas with your team for any kind of situation, the first thing you need to do is define your criteria for success. That’s how you’re going to know if your idea is any good.

I’m Bill Stainton. I’ll be back next time with more ideas on how you can Turn Creativity into Money™.

Hall of Fame Innovation Keynote Speaker and 29-time Emmy Award Winner, Bill Stainton helps leaders and their teams Turn Creativity into Money™. In-person or virtually, he engages audiences with insight, energy, and humor.  

Nobody Cares What You Look Like

People in business today speak often of the “optics” of a situation, a behavior, or event. Of course, it’s just a fancy way of saying, “We’re worried how it’s going to look.” But the over-fixation on optics can be paralyzing and stifle innovation. The best ideas often come from disruptive ideas and alternatives to established norms.

Of course, it’s easier for new market players to shoot-for-the-moon with bold ideas, while long-established players feel they have more to lose by “violating the trust” of their long-time customers. The “New Coke” debacle of the 1980s is often cited as a reason for staying the course, even in the face of intense competition.

Most of the innovative, brilliant, game-changing ideas that are percolated, fostered, and pitched in boardrooms and coffee shops never see the light of day. Ideas are considered, debated, and squashed at an alarming rate because they are, by their very nature, risky. Then again, the most dynamic, innovative companies in the world have become successful for the very reason that others have failed to thrive. Innovators worry less about how it will look and focus more on who they can help and what they can achieve.

Twenty years ago, I was visiting a dear friend outside of London. She had invited her sister and her teenage niece, Liberty, to join us for dinner at her home. I remember that Liberty was mortified that she had a big zit on the side of her nose and was worried about what everyone would think. Her Aunt, my friend, looked at her and said calmly: “LIbby dear, nobody cares what you look like. They only care what they look like.”

Such great wisdom and advice. Worry less about the optics and more about the impact.

One of the most in-demand Customer Experience speakers and consultants in the world today, David Avrin, CSP has shared his content-rich, very entertaining, and actionable presentations with enthusiastic audiences across North America and around the world including recent presentations in Singapore, Bangkok, Melbourne, Brisbane, Antwerp, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Mumbai, Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi, Manila, Rotterdam, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, London, New Delhi, Johannesburg, and Dubai. David helps organizations better understand and connect with their changing customers and clients to help future-proof their businesses.

Mick Jagger has daily habits. What are yours?

Secrets for insurance and real estate agents to skyrocket their sales.

Every real estate agent and insurance agent wants more and better clients to make more and better sales.

This is not a secret.

What is a secret are the lies some agents tell themselves as to why they don’t have more and better clients that lead to more and better sales.

People in sales who are struggling always have a list of excuses as to why they are not doing better. These excuses help them rationalize and reinforce what they are doing, even though it is wrong.

Excuses are their way of not holding themselves accountable.

Excuses are how they blame others for their failures.

Excuses are often lies they use to avoid doing the real work involved with being successful.

Lots of people believe their own excuses.  Excuses absolve us from responsibility.

That is why they are excuses and not actual reasons.

Here is the difference:

Excuse: “I did not sell any cars this month because no one has financing.”

Response: “Ha!  You mean from all of the people who walked into your showroom in the past month, not ONE had financing options? Statistically, that is improbable.”

An actual reason is a legitimate explanation.

Reason: “I did not sell any cars this month because I tested positive for COVID and was too sick to work.”

Response: “I hope you and the people around you are healthy soon.”

Many people confuse excuses and reasons.

The secret to consistently good sales is consistency.  Every day, the best agents and sales people, in their given field, are consistent with three things:

  1. Their outreach
  2. Their follow-up
  3. Their excellence in serving their customers

Sales strategies need to be done every day.

My friend, Meridith Elliott-Powell, author of the brilliant new book, Thrive: Turning Uncertainty Into Competitive Advantage has a daily routine, regardless of late night travel, early morning keynotes, or book deadlines.

Every morning she exercises, reviews her goals, and makes 2 client calls.  Every morning.  She never misses a day.  The habit of reaching out to her clients is as routine as brushing her teeth.  She does it consistently and it works.

Is it easy?  No.  Especially when the flight the night before was 7 hours late and Meridith lands at 2:47 AM. It would be easy for her to make excuses: “The flight was delayed by 7 hours so I am going to skip the calls today.”

But Meridith doesn’t make excuses.  As a result, she is recognized as one of the world’s top sales thought leaders.

1. Outreach

What are you doing on a daily basis to find new and better customers and clients?

Where are you looking?

How are you attracting people on a daily basis to buy from you?

Where are your buyers online? In-person?

Where do you have to go, either online or in-person to connect with your buyers?

Where do they want to connect with you?

2. Follow-up

One of the questions I ask sales people during sales programs is whether they could do a better job following up with their customers and clients.  Practically everyone says they could do a better job with follow-up.

The follow-on question is “what can you do to follow-up with your people?”  Sales people always have a great list of things they could do to follow-up with clients.

They just don’t take the action.

So why don’t we follow-up the way we should?

Some people think they are bothering their customer and clients.  If you are providing valuable information, you are not bothering them.  You are staying top of mind.

Others make excuses that it is the wrong time of day, they don’t have new information, or that they are waiting for a better time.

Let’s focus on the follow-up.  The time is now.  Make the call.  Send the email.  Show up.

Do it every day.  Be consistent.

If you need ideas on follow-up, the 5-Minute Follow-Up Plan is free here.

3. Serve

Agents who get into sales for the quick buck usually don’t last very long.  When certain markets are hot, they attract more agents.  The bad agents get washed out fairly fast.

Great real estate agents know that for most people, buying a home is the single largest investment their clients will ever make.  We need great real estate agents.  A car is the second largest investment most people will ever make.  We need great car experts.  Protecting homes and cars and the people inside them is why we need great insurance agents.

Clients want their agents to be knowledgeable about their unique situations, have solved similar problems, and be able to make the complex processes a little easier.

Customers want a good quality product.  They want great advice and guidance.

They want interactions with salespeople to be pleasant.  They want the process to be easy, with trustworthy communication every step of the way.

Great agents work for their clients.  They watch out for what is best for their clients.  In real estate, they do not encourage them to buy a more expensive house even though their commission is usually based on the purchase price of the house.

Great agents of all kinds serve their clients in a way that is best for the clients.  And they serve consistently.

Mary Kelly-PhD, is a US Naval Academy Graduate, an Internationally known Economist and Award-winning Leadership Expert and Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author, and a retired US Navy Commander! Mary has spent over 25 years teaching and training more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel. She is now on a mission to spread her message of success with audiences worldwide, sharing with them the secrets to being a true leader in today’s workplace. Call 888-766-3155 to book Mary for your upcoming events.

You’ve Got to Get Good at Embracing Failure

One of the most important things that you have to try. You have to go for it. You have to embrace. If you really want to be successful. If you want to go another level and that’s failure, you’ve got to get good at embracing failure. Actually putting yourself out on a limb and understanding that at times, in order to get better, you’re going to have to fail this past weekend. I decided to compete in a tennis tournament. Now I have relatively new to tennis. It is not my game and I’ve ranked at a certain level and I could have competed at that level, but I’ve been winning a lot at that level. All of my friends told me I needed to compete at that level because I could win and I could get the trophy from the tournament. But another friend of mine convinced me to play up a level. She said, don’t you want to try for really good tennis?

Don’t you want to see what you can do at another level? Now I lost all weekend long, but let me tell you it was amazing tennis. I learned a lot about my game and now I’m excited and I think I know what I need to do to get to that next level. Failure is the path. And if you want to get to another level, be okay with embracing it. Now nobody wants to fail all the time, but if you’ve mastered the art of what you’re doing now, don’t be afraid to go to another level. All right, this is Meredith Elliot pal. I’ll see you next week with another tip and together, we’re going to turn all of this uncertainty into your competitive advantage.

Motivational business speaker Meridith has a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. You laugh and learn as she walks you through the sales and leadership strategies you need to succeed no matter what this marketplace does.

Sales strategist, leadership expert, and award-winning author, Meridith Elliott Powell, speaks and writes on the strategies it takes to grow an organization in today’s uncertain marketplace. A new approach for sales, leadership, and employee engagement. Innovative ideas that will leave your competition in the dust! 

Two Faces of Courage

In his book, Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy, then a senator, wrote about three pressures that kept his fellow senators from acting with courage. that kept his fellow senators from acting with courage. 

While Kennedy wrote about what he called “political courage,” his insights apply beyond the legislative chambers. Anyone in leadership is prone to such pressures. 

The three pressures

“The first pressure to be mentioned,” wrote Kennedy, “is a form of pressure rarely recognized by the general public, Americans want to be liked – and Senators are no exception.” The same applies to many people in positions of authority. It is so much easier to get along with people if they like you. At the same time, if the price of being liked is to forgo hard decisions, the costs can be ruinous. The role of a leader is to make hard choices. Often those choices are not between right and wrong, but rather between two rights (whom to hire or whom to promote) or two “bad” (what people to let go).

Kennedy got to the root of political expediency with his next statement about pressure. “It is thinking of the next campaign – the desire to be re-elected – that provides the second pressure on the conscientious Senator.” Politicians run for office and want to stay there. Same for executives. Their campaigns for higher office are not in public, but they are long and arduous. They involve doing what it takes to move up the proverbial ladder. They may endure hardships in the form of long hours, time away from family, and even competition from rivals. Better to keep your head down and go with the flow than decide that while good, your boss is, in reality, bad for the team.

“The third and most significant source of pressures which discourage political courage in the conscientious Senator or Congressman,” Kennedy wrote, “is the pressure of his constituency, the interest groups, the organized letter writers, the economic blocs, and even the average voter.” Outside pressure is nothing new to senior executives; no business operates in a vacuum, and it should be responsive to the needs of its stakeholders. At the same time, when what’s good for business is bad for the community, or what’s good for the community is bad for business, the executives must make the tough calls.

Courage is the ability to remain resolute in the face of crisis, show bravery, and persevere in adversity. Doing so with grace under pressure is the mark of leadership, an example that encourages others to follow.

Globally acclaimed and award-winning business leadership speaker, John Baldoni is an educator, thought leader, certified master corporate executive coach, and author of 15 books that have been translated into 10 languages. John’s thought leadership is reflected in his writing as well as his choice of media: columns, videos, and books. Even today John continues to experiment. He integrates piano improvisations into his keynotes which he illustrates with his still life photos.  John is also the host of LinkedIn Live’s Grace under pressure interview series, a platform that has enabled him to interview more than a hundred global business, academic, and thought leaders and doers.

Is Your Thinking Stinking, Stagnant, or Strategic?

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Forget for a moment what you think and focus for a bit on how you think. The way you think about things shapes the way you act on those things. 

Stinkin’ Thinkin’ – Thinking that is corrupted by untruth or that produces counterproductive outcomes. Alcoholics Anonymous has talked about this for years. It involves convincing yourself A will produce B when it has consistently produced C! Einstein said the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results!” Stinking Thinking in business includes expecting a poor performer to get better with no intervention, seeing your company as better than it really is, committing to a way of behaving that actually hurts your chances for success. 

Stagnant Thinking – Thinking that is static, blind to new information, and that resists creativity and innovation. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. It takes work to pull yourself out. Many people and companies are on “thinking” autopilot! Examples of stagnant thinking include: assuming the way you did things in the past will get you into the future, not believing you can ever be bested, getting stuck in redundant processes, and not thinking your way out of them.
Strategic Thinking – Thinking that produces a plan based on a purpose. Strategic thinking overcomes barriers, forges new roads, and creates new worlds of opportunity! It is focused and creative thinking about things that make you better. Strategic thinking breeds success! Companies and people that think strategically are perpetually unsatisfied with roadblocks and think to overcome them. Intrigued by how to do things better and faster. Continual improvers. 

Action: Listen for a week and make a mark beside each kind of thinking you hear at your company. If it is not heavily strategic, let’s change that! 

After 20 years of running his own business and consulting Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Daren Martin will use his international experience to motivate your audience to “Create a Culture of Service.”   Dr. Daren’s thought leadership and change strategies in transforming companies earned him the title “The Culture Architect.”  Combining humor, thought-provoking content, a dynamic, and his engaging presentation style; Dr. Daren Martin teaches company leaders how to turn team members into owners. Call 888-766-3155 to book Daren for your upcoming event.

Overcoming 3 Common Obstacles to Team Building

An effective team fosters creativity and takes advantage of diverse strengths and experiences. Working as a group can produce results beyond what any individual member could do alone.

However, some teams thrive while others flounder. Creating a collaborative environment takes work, and many obstacles can undermine the process. Maybe negative competition runs rife. Or perhaps your organization could benefit from investing more time in teaching team-building skills.

Situations like these can take a heavy toll on job satisfaction and productivity. Learn how to spot and overcome 3 of the most common obstacles to team building.

Vague Goals

Teams must understand their goals before they can commit to them. While work groups may function independently in some ways, they still need senior leadership to provide adequate direction and support.

Use these strategies to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page:

  1. Clarify your purpose. Each individual needs to be on board with the organizational mission and values. You can help keep these principles at the top of employee’s minds with meetings, retreats, and regular conversations.
  2. Set specific goals. Establishing common ground and concrete goals for your team helps to guide decisions and evaluate progress. Have a clear written statement of what you want to achieve. Take personal goals into account too. 
  3. Define roles. Reach a consensus about roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Detailed job descriptions prevent conflict and confusion. They also help each member to see where they fit into the bigger picture.

Lack of Trust

Cohesive teams trust each other. They create an atmosphere where members feel safe to share information and take risks. Developing healthy relationships makes it easier to tackle any task.

Try these tips to build trust within the team:

  1. Establish ground rules. Codes of conduct let members know what’s considered acceptable. Employees are also more likely to follow rules that they played a part in negotiating.
  2. Spend time together. Work groups may bring together employees who otherwise have little contact with each other. Plan some fun social activities to break the ice. Keep teams small enough to encourage personal connections.
  3. Reward teamwork. How do you get members excited about shared priorities rather than their own agendas? Provide incentives for collaboration and host group recognition events.
  4. Discourage cliques. Some teams might remind you of high school with an in crowd that leaves some students out. Try giving assignments that require interacting with someone new and change the make-up of each team from time to time.

Ineffective Communication

Friendly and respectful communication makes employees feel like they belong. Team members feel more driven to achieve their common purpose.

Keep these effective communication techniques in mind:

  1. Exchange feedback. Help each other with honest and tactful observations about how to enhance individual and group performance. Resolve disagreements before they escalate into serious conflicts.
  2. Ask questions. Learn from each other. Listen attentively and ask for more information and clarification when you’re unsure. Many snafus can be avoided by gathering facts and consulting each other before taking action.
  3. Provide training. Communication skills can be strengthened with practice and instruction. Survey teams to find out what assistance they want and need. Offer courses online or engage outside experts to customize a program.
  4. Use technology. Cloud computing, project collaboration software, and video calls have transformed the way teams interact. Now, you can stay in touch and coordinate activities, even when some employees are in the office and others work remotely.
  5. Stay positive. Attitudes are contagious. Team members can lift each other up or make maintaining morale more challenging. Focus on what you like about each other and be generous with thanks and praise.

You can make a difference in any team you join. Knowing how to deal with common obstacles will help you to create opportunities for engagement and advancement for yourself and your colleagues.

Mary has spent over 25 years teaching and training more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel. Mary Kelly is on a mission to spread her message of success with audiences worldwide, sharing with them the secrets to being a true leader in today’s workplace. As a high-energy keynote speaker, whether Onstage or Virtual, Mary is focused on using research, laughter, and experience to show professionals how to excel. Mary’s relatable, no-nonsense approach inspires audiences to embrace their roles, surpass their goals, and plan for the future. Call 888-766-3155 to book Mary for your next event!

The Link Between Communication and Delivering Results

Results.  It’s why you are hired and what is expected.

When thinking of being a success in a role or project, I consider it in 3 parts.

  •           What’s expected of me and by who?
  •           How will I be measured and by who?
  •           What’s the process of ongoing check in communication?

Most of the time there is some kind of standard for all of these questions.   But what do you do when there’s not?

I have taken on roles where there was just a skeleton of a description because it was a new job and I needed to establish the rest.  I began by getting a clear understanding of what the end result was that was needed….If someone in this role was considered successful, what would have been accomplished? Once I had that, I reviewed it with the key constituents that would be looking at this work – the key one being my boss!  Once there was agreement here, I would look to determine what tangible ways we could measure success.

There is a balance of quantity and quality.  Just ‘doing stuff’ but going nowhere does not equal success, so you have to look further than just counting how many times you do something as the key measure of success. Here is an example.  If I am a salesperson, you may want to count the number of times I contact a customer, but that’s just a measure of activity and how I spend my time.  You need to measure my actual sales to get at delivering the goal.

Once those measures are agreed upon (this step is key, don’t skip it), then you want to determine a cadence for reviewing progress.  It could be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.  I don’t recommend going too long between check ins.  If you are off track or the goal has been changed, etc. you want to know sooner rather than later so you can course correct.  At annual review time, it’s too late.  It is what it is.

It is up to you to know where you are against your goals at all times.  No matter the routine with your boss, keep tabs on how you are doing and why.  Have a big success?  Note it in your files and share it with your boss.  Same with feedback and progress.  You don’t have to wait until the ‘formal’ time.  Proactively managing the message with your boss helps them understand where you are and what you are doing.  It instills confidence in you as their associate and can help identify any discrepancies early – so you can have a conversation.

I took a role that had all of my three things in place.   Even with that, I made a big error.  There was one initiative that I didn’t place as much focus on.  I thought the others were more important.  When it came down to my annual review, I was surprised and highly disappointed to find out that what I thought was a less important initiative was actually very important to my boss.  Even with all the progress check-ins during the year, my manager had never prioritized this initiative.  I assumed we were on the same page.  And you know about assuming.  While I could blame my boss, I recognize that I could have done a better job myself throughout the year in confirming progress on each initiative – not just the ones I was knocking out of the park.

Own your performance. Set yourself up for success.  Not everything is in your control, but ongoing communication, confirmation, and alignment of your deliverables will help you be in more control.

As an accomplished communication expert, her surprising humor has audiences calling her Lisa “Fun” Fey as she seamlessly merges serious subject matters with results-based solutions. Empowering people to more deeply embracing her strategic development and communication tools, enables them to immediately implement what they’ve learned into their team and organizational goals, and expand their professional pursuits.
Call 888-766-3155 to book Lisa for your next event!