It seems that no one is guaranteed a job anywhere any more. The creeping sense that no one’s job is safe means the spread of fear, apprehension, and confusion. An attitude of self-interest is understandably, growing more common for employees confronting downsizing and other changes that make them feel their organisation is no longer loyal to them. This sense of betrayal or distrust erodes allegiance and encourages cynicism. And once lost, trust – and the commitment that stems from it – is hard to rebuild.
If employees are not treated fairly and respectfully, no organisation will gain their emotional allegiance. Sensing others’ development needs and bolstering their abilities is emerging as second only to team leadership among superior managers.
For sales managers, developing others’ abilities is even more important – indeed, it’s the emotional competence most frequently found among those at the top of the field. This is a person-to-person art, and the effectiveness of counselling hinges on empathy and the ability to focus on our own feelings and share them.
Research suggests the best ‘coaches’ show a genuine personal interest in those they guide, and have empathy for and an understanding of their employees. Trust is crucial – when there is little trust in the coach, advice goes unheeded. This also happens when the coach is impersonal and cold, or the relationship seems too one-sided or self-serving. Coaches who show respect, trustworthiness, and empathy are the best.
One way to encourage people to perform better is to let others take the lead in setting their own goals rather than dictating the terms and manner of their development. This communicates the belief that employees have the capacity to be the pilot of their own destiny.
Another technique is to point to the problems without offering a solution: this implies the employees can find the solution themselves. And people hunger for feedback, yet too many managers, supervisors and executives are inept at giving it or are simply disinclined to provide any.
Virtually everyone who has a superior is part of at least one vertical ‘couple’ in the workplace; every boss forms such a bond with each subordinate. Such vertical couples are a basic unit of organisational life.
Jonathan Farrington is a globally recognized business coach, mentor, author, consultant, and sales strategist, who has guided hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals around the world towards optimum performance levels
He also posts his highly popular daily blog for dedicated business professionals HERE