Performance has many components for example; our activities and abilities are typically, where many organisations focus on. Yet beneath the surface, our beliefs about ourselves, our customers, our job, can either help or hinder our performance.
You may have heard the expression, “Whatever you believe you can do, you will and whatever you believe you can’t do, you won’t.” It is as if our beliefs (which are unique to us all) become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our beliefs can act as huge barriers that stop us giving 100 percent to something.
Three Stories that illustrate the impact of beliefs:
On May 6th 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man ever to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. Before this, everyone had believed that this was impossible. Yet, in the same year, 19 other athletes also ran a mile in less than 4 minutes….why? Because Roger Bannister had created the belief that, it could be done and it was. Today, thousands of athletes worldwide run a mile in less than 4 minutes.
Charlie Harris was a hobo (tramp/homeless person) in Chicago and was looking for a place to sleep on a very wintry and cold night. He discovered a trailer yard and broke into one of the trailers. As he closed the door of the trailer, it jammed and he could not open the door. After lighting a match, with horror he realized that he was stuck in a refrigeration trailer and would probably die from cold. He did die that night and the coroner found that he died from hypothermia. Yet, the trailer he died in was in for repair and not working. Charlie Harris’s belief that it was refrigerated killed him. (Story taken from Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins).
The bumblebee has baffled scientists for years because aerodynamically it should not be able to fly. Yet, it believes that it can and it does!
Here are six beliefs that can have a positive impact on you: Even if you are not in full agreement with these statements at first, simply open your mind and act as if they are true.
You will be amazed at the difference it creates to your results:
1. Every Individual is unique and their perceptions are true to them
Because we each absorb 2 million bits of information unconsciously and can only process around seven chunks consciously we each have our own unique perception of the world around us. If everyone reading this was asked to explain beliefs, each individual would give a different explanation. So who is right? Everyone is right because your perceptions are true for you. That is why the more respect we have for every individual and the more we seek to understand the viewpoints of other, the richer our communication becomes. By respecting the opinions of others, does not necessarily mean that we have to agree with them, we just have to acknowledge that every individual’s reality is the one based on their own unique perceptions.
2. Communication is successful, only if it achieves your desired results
It doesn’t matter if you think you’ve communicated well or if you think you’ve been crystal clear, what matters is that your communication is received and acted upon in the manner you wanted. How many times have you said something to another person who has totally misinterpreted what you meant? Equally, sometimes we are on the receiving end of communication that makes us feel bad. If we can look beyond the communication and try to see a positive intention behind another person’s behaviour, then our relationships and interactions with people become more constructive and empowering.
When we communicate with people and if they are ‘not getting’ our point, then the responsibility is ours to adapt our approach until they do. For example; if we have communicated a price increase and the reasons for that price increase, and our customers have not understood those reasons, the responsibility for this mis-communication lies with ourselves. Therefore, we can only judge the success of what we have communicated based on the reactions we get from other people.
3. Resistance from another person usually signals a lack of rapport
Rapport is a vital ingredient when developing relationships because it builds trust and allows communication to flow. When that state of rapport is there, communication is a lot easier even if you do not agree with the other person. When we do not feel that rapport or connection, we have a tendency to ‘nit-pick’ or find fault.
Customers respond to people they perceive understand their position and are on the same wavelength. If we are encountering lots of resistance from a prospect or a customer, then it helps us to notice that we have not built sufficient rapport. Even if our prospect does not agree with what we are saying, rapport enables us to have an open discussion where we can get an honest reason for their reaction rather than a ‘prickly’ brick wall.
4. Flexibility improves success
The greater your flexibility, the greater your chances for achieving what you want. If we accept that, every person is a unique individual then we have to accept that each prospect and customer will require a different approach. Using the same approach with all prospects and customers is like playing the lottery; the chances of getting it right are extremely low. If we have high levels of flexibility that allows us to adapt to each prospect and customer’s style then we are able to build more rapport and reduce resistance.
Albert Einstein gave the definition of insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly whilst expecting a different result. As an example, think about a fly…..have you watched how many times a fly bumps its head trying to fly out of a window? I guess that is why it is a fly. The more we are able to adapt, the more opportunities we create. If what you are doing is not working, try something different and if that does not work try something different again. Flexibility of thinking and behaviour creates awesome sales people. Your team are also unique individuals requiring a unique approach with how you manage them. The greater your behavioural flexibility the easier it is to connect and develop better working relationships.
5. There is no failure, only feedback
Of course there is failure. If you take a driving test or exam you either pass or fail. Your sales people will either succeed in achieving their monthly sales targets or fail to meet them. The key is how you perceive ‘failure’. Every failure can be looked at as a learning opportunity that is beautifully epitomised by Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb. Despite more than 10,000 failures, he stood by his dream until he made it a physical reality. He said that every discarded idea took him one-step closer towards finding the idea that would work.
One of the most powerful self-coaching questions sales people can ask is, “What will I do differently next time?” or “What can I learn from this?” Sales people who make mistakes and learn from those mistakes have a tendency to do better than sales people who are scared to fail. Therefore if you can see that when you don’t achieve your targets you have an opportunity to learn, because you have been given great feedback on what not to do next month.
6. Accepting 100% responsibility creates transformation
Every action you take creates a reaction that is based on the formula of cause and effect. Everything that happens is the effect of an underlying cause. Most people spend their lives operating at effect….”It’s not my fault I always end up in bad relationships.” “Life’s so unfair, things always happen to me.” “We’re in a recession, that’s why I haven’t achieved target.” “If I could only match our competitor’s prices, I’d win more deals.”
True personal power can be achieved when an individual accepts 100% responsibility for what they create in their lives. To put it another way, you get one of two things; the result or outcome you want or the reasons why you did not (you may recognise these as ‘excuses’!) The more you focus on the reasons (excuses) and blame circumstances beyond your control you push away your personal power. Therefore, if you believe that you are in control of the situations that life ‘appears’ to throw at you, then you are in control of your thinking and emotions, and therefore in control of your own life.
This belief has given thousands of sales people the determination to breakthrough so many barriers and overcome countless challenges when at times it was tempting to wallow in self-pity. If something good or bad happens, ask yourself, “How did I create that?” This question enables you to tap into your brain’s infinite potential and it will give you all the answers you need. If you are prepared to commit 100% to taking responsibility, the results can be extraordinary.