Monday, February 4, 2013

A and B before C

"Every sales has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust." -- Zig Ziglar

If you're leading a team or a company, you're in sales. We all negotiate all the time. Very rarely does anyone give you something without asking for or earning it. And getting an extra effort out your group requires sales.

In his book, Enchantment, Guy Kawasaki deals with likability and trustworthiness before he even discusses the product, the presentation, pricing or any other marketing parameter. He believes enchantment is critical in lots of relationships including those with employees and bosses.

If you're going to build rapport with your team, you need likability and trustworthiness. Now, likability doesn't mean that you give them whatever you want. It means that you're approachable, empathetic, authentic, expecting the best in people and people feel good when they're around you--so a little joy and steadiness is good too.

You know about trust. You build it through dependability and reliability, being principled and acting on those principles (ahh, the integrity word) and 'majoring on the majors' but having tolerance for minor mistakes and differences of opinions. Oh, and steadiness is good here too so as not to appear too volatile and unpredictable.

Kawasaki writes about some superficial forms of likability as a means of creating enchantment (smiles, handshakes, etc.) but he also talks about creating win-win solutions and meeting demands with either a 'yes' or a 'not yet' (rather than no). This latter suggestion might seem superficial but it really changes the heart of the matter if you can stop using "No, because..." and instead reply with "Yes, if...". It means you have listened earnestly to the other person's position, you're open to providing the solution if an agreement can be found, and you're asking them to reciprocate. If your "yes if..." is realistic and well thought-out, you're creating trust.

If you're working with your team, you need likability and trustworthiness before you talk about the issues, like purpose (vision, goals), mastery and autonomy (or collaboration, content and choice). When you get there, the levels of engagement will skyrocket. And there'll be no stopping your team.

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