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What Mask Are You Wearing Right Now?

“The mask you wear is a display to others of who you are. Always be aware of when and why you’re wearing that mask.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

What mask are you wearing today and how many times will you change it? The mask you wear affects your psyche.

A mask is a metaphor for the persona you project to others. It’s how you represent who you are. It’s the way you wish them to perceive you and the way you see yourself. Depending on the circumstances, you’ll wear different masks at different times throughout the day.

Some might say, changing your mask alters who you are; you’re not authentic. But who are you, and who’s to say when you’re authentic? You’re not who you were five years ago, or five minutes ago; you’ve changed. Does that make you inauthentic? No!

Since change occurs daily, moment to moment, do you not continuously morph into who you just became, while transitioning into who you’re becoming? In that transition, do you observe who you are in that moment? By being observant, you’ll note the direction in which your life is heading. You’ll note if you require change before displaying the mask you’re about to adopt. That will allow you to morph into a different mask to cast a different persona if you require it.

The point is, if you recognize the mask you’re wearing at any time and you’re aware of why you’re wearing it, you’ll be more mindful of why you display the personality you project, what promotes you to do so, and the circumstances that lead you to that point. You’ll have greater control of your life, the purpose for which you’re living, and a greater sense of where you’re headed in life.

So, what mask are you wearing right now and why are you wearing it right now? If you have an answer to that question, it’ll be easier to change that mask when it’s warranted. That will also mean that you’re at a higher level of recognition and control of your life. Those are invaluable factors from which to sustain growth, harmony, and success in life. Do that … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations? 

In every negotiation, negotiators wear multiple masks. It’s called their persona. They do so to create and project the right image for a phase in the negotiation that’s appropriate for that phase. The mask they adopt adds to the perception you have of them. It may be a mask of harshness, sorrow, bullying, or tenderness. Its intent is to affect your psyche. The mask worn may represent negative manipulation, which is different from one worn to serve the greater good of the negotiation.

You must be mindful of the mask you perceive, as much as the one you project. Your mask intertwines with the other negotiator’s mask. Therefore, the mask that both of you display is based on what’s perceived.

If you want to increase your negotiation abilities, you need to know how and when to adopt a mask that suits the situation. You must be savvy when detecting the purpose of the mask shown throughout the negotiation, too. By enhancing your mental agility to observe, detect, and adopt the appropriate persona during different stages of the negotiation, you’ll experience more winning negotiation outcomes.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com 

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#Mind #Brain #Thinking #Success #Emotion #Lies #Business #SmallBusiness #Negotiation #NegotiatingWithABully #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #liars #Mask #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions

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Management Marketing Personal Development Sales

Sales Managers: Are You Unintentionally Setting a Low Bar for Your Team?

Most sales departments often talk about setting the bar high. But there’s another bar for sales managers to consider. It’s not the high bar that sets the desired standard, it’s the LOW bar – and that can be a job killer for sales managers.

The “low bar” is the lowest level of performance acceptable to keep their job. And you set it by what you allow your salespeople to get away with. You may not see the negative impact immediately, but it’s a morale killer to the other higher performers on the staff.

Here are seven examples of how the “low bar” gets set on your sales team…

If you allow… The “low bar” you’re setting is.. How to fix it…
1. Salespeople to routinely miss goal If you miss you’re sales goal, there’ll be no consequences. So don’t worry about it. Adopt a three strikes and you’re out policy.
2. Salespeople to be rewarded for reaching only 80% of goal 80% is really good enough. 100% becomes the REAL stretch goal. Stop all incentives for anything less than 100% of goal. Be more realistic about the goals you’re setting.
3. Salespeople to routinely show up late for meetings It’s okay to be 5-15 minutes late. Hope your advertisers feel the same way! Start meetings no more than two minutes late. Reserve the front row of chairs or those closest to you for late arrivers so they just can’t sneak in undetected.
4. Salespeople to not enter everything into your company CRM The CRM isn’t all that important to you. The problem is “garbage in, garbage out” or “lack of information in, means lack of information out.” You’ve greatly reduced the effectiveness of CRM. If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen. No ifs, ands, or buts.
5. Salespeople to go long stretches without engaging in a two-way conversation with their accounts It’s ok to take long time accounts for granted and put them on auto-pilot. There are no consequences for not doing your job. If a rep goes more than X weeks/months without a telephone or in-person conversation with an account, they lose it – and the commissions that go along with it.
6. Salespeople to not use the valuable tools and research you’ve provided them Anytime we bring in a tool for you to use, you can just ignore it, then we’ll make it go away if enough of you don’t use it. Using these sales tools regularly is part of their job. Make it an item on their performance evaluation.
7. Salespeople to text, check email or otherwise fiddle with their mobile phones during your sales meetings. The content of the sales meeting isn’t important enough for your full attention. Heck, YOU aren’t important enough for their full attention. Movie theater rules apply. No texting, message checking or anything else during meetings. Allow for checking of content or for Googling that directly relates to the topic of the meeting. If they have to take a call, make them leave the room.
7+1. Salespeople to blame the customer, the competition or other people in your company for their lack of success You don’t have to be personally responsible for anything. It’s okay as long as you tried. Problem is, you now have a culture of finger pointing and backbiting instead of positivity and teamwork. Always bring the conversation back around to what could YOU have done better? Did you provide value to the customer before trying to make a sale? Did you make a recommendation that makes sense (or did you just take their order)? Did you reduce their risk? Were you proactive? Were you persistent? Were you resilient?

You might think the worst person at returning calls sets the low bar for the rest of the staff. Or that the worst performer in terms of revenue, closing rates, proposals, account satisfaction, professionalism, etc. sets the low bar for the rest of the staff. And you’d be 100% wrong.

The fact is YOU set the low bar for the minimum level of performance needed to keep their jobs.

You’re not a passenger, you’re the driver of the sales team. So no whining about “I just can’t get the salespeople to use it/show up on time/stop doing what they shouldn’t be doing/start doing what they should be doing.” When you do that, you’re just admitting to the world that you suck as their manager.

There’s nothing wrong with being demanding or having high standards, so long as those demands are realistic – and you’re ready, willing and able to help them meet those standards whenever they need it. You also need to be ready to “walk the talk” and do what you’re asking them to do.

Setting the “low bar” bar high enough for success also means having uncomfortable and blunt conversations from time to time. Here’s a hint: those conversations need to be a lot more uncomfortable for them than they are for you.

Not everything is in your control, but are you willing to control the things that are?

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Growth Management Personal Development

Trust and Systems Thinking – Perfect Together

The health and results of an organization are directly dependent upon having a healthy foundation of trust. An organization cannot achieve optimum results without trust between employees, management and customers. Exceptional leaders recognize the importance of trust, and they know how to manage the variation.

The benefits of trust are undeniable. An environment of trust brings out the genius in every employee, the full potential of the organization, and creates happy, loyal customers. According to Stephen M. R. Covey, a 2003 study by Watson and Wyatt shows that a high-trust organization can deliver a 286% higher total return than low-trust organizations (Covey, June 2007).

Creating trust is challenging because it’s paradoxical. We want control, but we don’t want micromanagement. We want freedom to act, but we want to avoid chaos. What is the best way of thinking about the world (about people and problems) that will enable us to manage the variation in trust and deal with the complexity and the paradox? The answer is “systems thinking.”

Leaders who want optimum trust, to bring out the genius of every employee, and who want to optimize results (especially through customer experience and employee engagement) must be skilled systems thinkers.[1]

It is too easy to fall prey to the spell of Frederick Taylor and avoid systems thinking.  Frederick Taylor created Scientific Management thinking in the mid 1800’s.  His theory promoted the idea that people should be told what to do and controlled with pay-for-performance policies.  Taylor theory assumed management is smarter than employees.  This justifies why employees must be supervised.

Typical management language still reflects this idea.  For example, we refer to employees as “subordinates”.   A subordinate is defined as someone who is “under the authority of a superior”.  Systems thinking does not require authoritarian relationships.  Full cooperation, optimum trust, and effective communication between employees (regardless of their position) is much more important than the reporting structure.

When we embrace Taylor we use phases like, “we need to better manage our people; we need to drive improvement, or drive change; we need to manage employee performance every day.”   These are all consistent with the Frederick Taylor model which holds that employees need to be managed.

With systems thinking, employees can self-manage.  It also explains how the performance of individuals is influenced more by the system within which they work than by their individual efforts or skills.  With a predictable process, employees perform consistently and predictably.  With an unpredictable process, employees will perform inconsistently.   Taylor increases the need for heroes and heroines to save performance.  Heroes are not required with systems thinking.

The combination of Taylor and unpredictable processes reinforce the need to rate individuals as exceptional performers or poor performers.  The policy of rating individuals is inconsistent with systems thinking and often does more to damage trust in an organization than nearly any other management practice.

When leaders embrace systems thinking their priority is to improve the system and avoid evaluation of individual performance because they know an improvement in the system and processes will improve the level of trust in the organization.  Systems thinking and trust are perfect together.

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.  See other resources here.

[1] Systems Thinking: A discipline of using data to identify patterns, processes, and structures that cause events. It’s a way of thinking and acting to obtain knowledge to make changes in process and structure to improve the interactions between parts of a system instead of making improvements to the parts individually. Excerpts taken from The Art of Leading: 3 Principles for Predictable Performance Improvement by Wally Hauck, PhD, CSP.

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Growth Management Personal Development

High-Caliber Leaders Give Away Their Power

“What you throw out there will come back to you.”

This is something I always teach in my leadership development workshops. How you treat others will always come back to you.

What do you suppose I brought back as a souvenir from my travels in Australia? Yep, you guessed it, a beautiful handcrafted boomerang! It sits on my desk as a reminder to be conscious of the way that I treat others.

High-caliber leaders understand this principle and practice it daily with their team members. The most effective leaders also know that they actually become more powerful when they give power away. Unfortunately, we have all been conditioned to believe that power is available in a limited quantity: If I have more, you have less. Naturally those who believe this tend to hoard the power that they think they have and are reluctant to share it with anyone.

Whether you lead a virtual team, a group of employees, or your pick-up soccer league, the more control you give others over their work environment and the more you ask for their input on decisions that affect them, the more productive and effective they will be.

Each time you share power with employees and colleagues, you are demonstrating your trust and confidence in their abilities and skills. When you help others to grow and develop, that help will be returned to you. Your employees or team members will feel committed, engaged, and loyal to you and to the organization. They will take pride in their job when they feel a sense of “ownership” in their job.

Don’t forget this boomerang effect: Respect is a form of power. If you want to be respected, you must be respectful of others. Here’s the kicker: Be respectful of others, regardless of their title or yours. You will have that power/respect reciprocated, possibly even doubled.

Regardless of your title, experience, or position as a leader, just remember my boomerang theory. What you throw out there will come back to you…

For more resources on leadership and employee engagement, be sure to sign up for our monthly Ezine and you will receive our report: “7 of Your Biggest People Problems…Solved.”

You might also like:

Managing for Maximum Performance

Four Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Team (and How to Stop)

Leading Questions: Twelve Powerful Tools for Your Leadership Toolbox

Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems.

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