Are You a Catalyst for Change?

Are You a Catalyst for Change?

Change shows up in many ways, it can be welcomed, or when forced, rejected.

Whether you like change or not, it’s something you can count on happening around you all the time, and eventually, you have to adjust, whether you like it, or not.

Looking at it from a strengths domain perspective you’ll see the influencers quickly shifting. In fact,  they may often be the instigators as energy and transformation go hand in hand. 

For the influencers of the world, change is all about energy, while our relationship builders connect heart-to-heart. Strategic thinkers may need to process by, thinking, and those of you in the executing domain thrive on getting in action, doing whatever needs to get done.

Most salespeople tend to have a blend of all domains and it’s not uncommon to have more influencing and relationship-building themes at the top of your profile. That is a good thing since you’re dealing with people, and change is what you navigate on a daily basis.

Taking things a step further

When you live in a reality that’s one phone call away from changing what your day will look like, it’s important to be able to shift and change quickly. 

Now, how quickly the change can take place can vary from industry to industry, and your area of influence but from an individual’s perspective you’ll react instantly.

The change agents of the world thrive on actively looking for improvements, development, and most importantly, transformation, are you one of them? 

When you’re a catalyst you’ll initiate change and influence people with the energy you bring. Your energy is your commodity and while your charm often goes hand in hand, that’s not always the case.

Activating change

The CliftonStrengths® theme of Activator® is the talent theme described as the catalyst theme. Many other themes, or combinations of themes, can offer their version of that too without the energy/speed factor signified by the Activator® theme.

When you’re a change agent in the Gallup® realm of BP10™ you’ll in all likelihood have Disruptor™, Risk™, Determination™, Selling™ and/or Confidence™ in your Top 5.

Every day has room for last-minute shifts when you’re a catalyst, you expect it, create it, easily pivot, and while people around you may not always be able to keep up with you, that’s OK.

Some will, some won’t, so what? Next!*

*I first heard this quote in 2000 at a Dental Boot Kamp with Walter Hailey and Steven J. Anderson and loved it!!!  Finding the originator of the exact quote has not been fruitful, either way, it’s now widely used in sales.

While brief you can apply it to many different situations, all depending on your own inner mood, and if you’re an Activator® it may be the mantra you use to navigate your day. 

From a “whatever, next!!! – their $*#( loss!!!” to “OK, no problem”, sometimes adding a counter twist in your presentation and “boom!” maybe even winning them over. 

The key is to be objective and not attached to the outcome. After all, when it comes to sales, change, or being a catalyst you’ll find yourself presenting ideas that people around you may not be ready to hear. When you’re in tune with your audience you’ll be able to pivot instantly and turn things around.

When you listen, ask questions and actually present something of interest that addresses a need, well, you may just have it in the bag!

Follow your instincts, sometimes the best deal is to walk away, sometimes it’s to pivot.

What have you found works best for you?

How do you fascinate?

I really owned being The Catalyst after taking a bunch of assessments and getting the same result over and over in various ways, and literally so after taking the “How to Fascinate” assessment by Sally Hogshead.

So while many of you can have ideas and be great in executing, it’s the rocket speed into action that signifies the catalyst. It takes a lot of energy to get things started, then, as a catalyst you’ll happily hand over the reins to someone more suited for the ongoing management.

Catalysts love to start projects, fearlessly kicking it all off with a bang. You may be seen as impulsive from the outside, not to you though as you know you’ll add and edit the details needed along the way!

Are we there yet?

Symbolizes a catalyst in many ways. For you, the biggest risk is wasting time, waiting for wayyy too long, keeping your mouth shut and having to jump through hoops. 

Make sure you’re in roles and in companies that are agile and appreciate what you bring. Work in companies or products with an entrepreneurial vibe that welcomes change and new ideas.

When you’re a catalyst you also won’t have any problems cutting your losses. When you know something is complete you simply move on, or like the Activator® famously does – leaps. This can upset people that are slower to change so keep that in mind. 

The plane is leaves now in the world of the catalyst so sometimes it means leaving others in the dust.

Having said that though, you need to consider others if you’re on a team. When you’re on a team that gets you, it’s a world of a difference and rarely an issue to be your catalyst self.

Honor you, be considerate, inclusive, and ultimately stay true to you.

When you’re in a leadership role loosen the reins on your catalysts, put them on tasks that require speed, and then have them partner with someone that can take over the maintenance once the rockets have been launched, a closer like the Achiever® maybe?

Riding the Wave of Success

Riding the Wave of Success

You’ve had some success, in one or more areas of your life and know what it takes to create it. Maybe it was hitting and exceeding your monthly, quarterly, or annual target while still enjoying life. 

Either way, you’re riding high, feeling great, and like a winner. Then the next morning it’s reset time and the sales cycle starts all over again.

While sales come easy for you, you have your days when you’re all over the place not getting anything done and that’s OK ’cause you know you’ll bring more focused energy to your game tomorrow.

There are some talents that successful salespeople tend to have in common.

Looking at your current reality as a salesperson, what general skills and talents would you say are necessary to be successful in selling your products in your industry?

The game will of course vary slightly depending on the sales cycle for your product. A one-time sale requires different talents and skills vs. long-term and repeat sales cycles and your industry.

While the 10 Builder Talents (BP10™) as defined by Gallup® are focused on individuals that have the ability to build large organizations and contribute to our economy as a whole, they also offer insight into what makes you successful as a salesperson. 

They can also help you identify why you’re not clicking with a company vibe or hitting your numbers.

Now, comparing the skills and talents that you feel are important to your industry, how do they fit into the categories below, and in what order would you rank these for yourself, if you haven’t already taken the assessment?

“Gallup’s research proves that the best business builders use some mix of these 10 talents to start or grow a business:

  • Confidence: You accurately know yourself and understand others.
  • Delegator: You recognize that you cannot do everything and are willing to contemplate a shift in style and control.
  • Determination: You persevere through difficult, even seemingly insurmountable, obstacles.
  • Disruptor: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
  • Independent: You are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to build a successful venture.
  • Knowledge: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
  • Profitability: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
  • Relationship: You have high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the firm’s survival and growth.
  • Risk: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.
  • Selling: You are the best spokesperson for the business.”

Source: The 10 Builder Talents (BP10™) as defined by Gallup®

What do you do if you find that your Top 4 doesn’t include the talents you determined you need for success?

The answer is to partner with someone who does and leverage both parties’ strengths.

In addition, you have your unique CliftonStrengths® lineup that predicts how you’ll apply your talents. Let’s say you have Selling™ as your #1, and Woo® in your Top 10 then you already know you’re an influencer and charmer on a big scale with a big network of contacts and prospects.

On the other hand, if you have Determination™ as your #1, and Achiever® and Focus® in your Top 10, getting things done will be your focus and priority, and how you go about building will be very different than the previous example.

Whether you have all the talents mentioned above or not, you can create success in different ways. 

For many successful reps, it comes down to simply taking focused action every day and making sure you’re continually adding plenty of prospects to your pipeline.

The effort you have to put in to create success and how you experience that journey will vary. When you have a natural talent to sell, it may seem like little effort to an outsider but you know what it takes and enjoy riding that wave of success.

To find out how your builder talents rank CLICK HERE to take the assessment and if you’re interested in coaching CLICK HERE to schedule a call.

How Empathic Are You and Why It Matters

How Empathic Are You and Why It Matters

Believe it or not, having empathy and being an empath is slightly different and is not to be confused with sympathy.  I was reminded of one way you can do a quick check of your level of empathy on an episode of Bull earlier this year, he simply yawned and looked at what happened. 

We’ve all been there, what do you do when someone yawns? …

People that are empaths or empathetic tend to automatically start yawning. Why does this matter?

First, you’d know, if you didn’t already, that other people’s behaviors affect you, secondly, you could ask yourself how you can use this awareness to connect and speak to your prospects and existing customers’ needs?

Also, when you’re an empath you often think that all thoughts, feelings, and emotions are yours. When you take on other people’s feelings as yours it doesn’t matter where they are, if you know them or not. 

It can be a painful experience when you don’t have the tools or awareness of it and it includes animals and nature too. The movie Avatar illustrated what being an empath can look like.

Maybe you’re an emotional person or go the opposite way and do whatever you can to avoid feeling by stuffing yourself full, drinking, etc. and going down a reactive path that ultimately doesn’t create what you desire. Before you do, simply take 5-10 deep breaths to start with and listen to THIS 2-minute clip.

When you know if the thoughts & feelings are yours, or not, you can let go of any distractions and take different actions. With your heart and mind freed up, you can help from a more neutral space which can be a relief as an empath.

One tool I found works great is simply tuning into the energy. Imagine tuning in to how it feels in your body when you’re stoked and happy? Next, how do you feel in your body when life is heading downhill and you do nothing to course correct?

What if you made choices in the moment where you listened to your body’s guidance towards what’s actually fun vs. not? One moment at the time.

So what does this have to do with sales?

When you’re in tune with other people’s conversations tend to flow, there’s no push, you know when it’s time to pitch and you may present an opportunity in a more relaxed manner rather than a rehearsed push. 

When a prospect feels heard and not pushed, especially if they’re empaths, a true choice can be made and if it’s a product of interest a yes is more likely, not a coerced decision that could lead to a return down the line.. Few people like being sold on someone else’s agenda.

Whether you have this talent yourself or are interacting with someone that does, consider tuning into other people’s needs, asking questions and focus on solving that problem, if that is desired by your prospect, as an option and see if that brings you more success in closing, or not. 

The definition as far as CliftonStrengths® for Empathy is:

“People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.”

Compared to the dictionary definition of empathy and empath:

Definition of empathy
1: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner also : the capacity for this
2: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
Definition of empath
: one who experiences the emotions of others : a person who has empathy for others
 

As you can see the definition of being an empath vs. having empathy varies slightly. If you consider yourself to be an empath look where the CliftonStrengths® theme of Empathy® rank in your talent lineup, is it in your top 12?

Gallup has excellent resources on all talent themes and you can view their Theme Thursday broadcasts on Empathy HERE or read a short blog I wrote on CliftonStrengths® Empathy® here.

The point of all of this is that having empathy or being an empath is a superpower. Once you can distinguish YOUR thoughts, feelings, and emotions vs. what’s that of other people, you can observe, without taking it into your body.

Create a business and life where you feel great, are surrounded by people that are happy and alive.

Next time you find your mood changing all of a sudden ask yourself what just happened a moment ago and most importantly, is it your feeling, or did you pick it up from someone that you just crossed paths with?

Three Reasons for You to Stay or Leave

Three Reasons for You to Stay or Leave

We live in interesting times where the option to stay or leave may occur as limited AND while many businesses are hurting, many are thriving. As you ride out current events and continue to create where you’re at or are in a situation where you need to look for something new, you may want to consider this.

 

Invest in a workplace that helps you thrive

As you’ve seen in Gallup polls or in this blog post, studies show that if you have a best friend at work not only will you perform better but you’ll also be more engaged. The exception to this would, of course, be if you’re in an unhealthy workplace where people don’t matter.

No-one thrives in an unhealthy environment long-term, and if you’re a person with Relationship™ or Selling™ talents in your Top 4 BP10™ you need to be in a vibe that nurtures you. When people are important and you’re a natural promoter people matter. Find companies that appreciate who you are and what you bring.

It’s super important that you get along and spend your time in a healthy, fun, and vibrating organization.

Having a best friend gives you that extra “I have your back” kind of emotional support, doesn’t it? When you think about your past favorite jobs or workplaces, and where you currently are, I’m sure that you have been in work situations where you had buddies and also when you didn’t. Which environment worked best for you?

 

Is healthy competition healthy for you?

Some thrive on comparing themselves to other sales stats #competition. Others want to make a global impact that works as a driver #significance. Then we have the charmers and master networkers that #woo us all with huge networks. You also have #relators, who have deep networks of long-term friends.

Your strengths obviously influence your social and emotional needs. When you’re in sales it’s key to have people that have your back and someone to strategize with?

What is it like where you work, do you have someone you can brainstorm and be real with or are you surrounded by gossip central? Having a buddy that has your back can make the difference whether you stay or leave a company. With that in place, you can shift how you perceive a workplace.

 

Do you click with your co-workers?

No matter what your talents are, connecting with others is a need most of us have. Sitting alone on a mountaintop gets old, the quarantine we’ve all been in has provided us insight into that after all. Besides, most, if not all businesses, depend on more than one person.

Having a great team, from peers to managers, can almost ensure success. When you have a manager go to bat for you, you’ll do the same for them. And as far as building a strong team, we’ll there’s no I in it. Helping someone else be successful, will have you be even more successful, the gratitude from the people you help will come back a thousandfold.

I’ve been super grateful for the ability to connect with my co-workers, customers, and friends via Zoom during this time. And for having a team of great people around me. We spend way too much time at work to feel alone or isolated. Having friends at work is a win-win, having several makes it even better!

 

Do you stay or do you leave?

If you don’t have any of the above components currently then you may want to ask yourself why that is and what you would like to create instead. Your strengths provide you with great guidance on where your natural talents are.

With your talents, you can create a life that supports your well-being on every level, if skills and experience are missing ask yourself who you know that can help guide you to the next steps.

Remember, your Top 5 CliftonStrengths® ranking is so unique that only one in 33 million people match that. Your dominant talents tend to be your Top 10-14 so you can guess how unique that constellation is. Added to that are your skills, experiences, brain, upbringing, perspective, etc. from living the life you’ve lived to date.

That makes you unique and special. Use these natural talents to your advantage.

Life can be way easier and more fun than many of us have made it out to be.

Schedule a call if you’re ready to create a life that inspires you.