Do you know what sales and leadership skill development and Kellie Pickler have in common? Both get better with feedback. Lots of feedback.
Feedback, while, not always easy to hear, is how all professionals grow. We need to know how we're doing and how others perceive us if we want to go beyond where we are.
Awhile back I had my own "I'm on stage" feedback experience. I felt very nervous before "my performance". The assessors (judges) were in the back of the room waiting and looking a little bored.
I tried to ignore the fact that they were there to judge me, while my stomach clenched from nerves. I worked to calm myself by breathing deeply and with self-talk like, “This is no big deal. I’m ready. I do this all the time. I’ve practiced. I know what I’m doing. Breathe in, breathe out...breathe in, breathe out..."
My assessors gave me the nod and told me to start. I stepped to the front of the room and addressed the group, “Thank you for being here today. I’m excited about what we’re going to accomplish...” My 30-minute sample facilitation for certification as a professional facilitator went by in a blink. I was relieved when I was done, and felt both eager and anxious about the judges feedback.
Completing certification as a Professional Facilitator felt a little like I was participating in a version of American Idol, but for consultants! While I'm glad I was awarded the certification, it wasn't the title that thrilled me the most. I felt most proud that I had braved my fears and allowed myself to 'be judged and 'assessed' on my skills.
Our progress and growth as human beings, sales professionals and leaders is accelerated by this kind of feedback. Feedback is crucial for effective sales and leadership skill development. Actually it's crucial for any career pursuit.
The growth I experienced by preparing for certification and feedback on facilitation reminds me of the growth of many of the American Idol contestants, particularly country singer Kellie Pickler, a contestant years ago. When she started the show she'd been serving hamburgers and hot dogs on roller skates at the local fast food joint in Albemarle, North Carolina. Her father was in jail, while she lived with her grandfather. I think she’d never traveled out of the state, until American Idol.
Today she's had successful albums and she's been awarded several CMT Music performance and song-writing Awards. From a small town girl, with many negative family influences in her life, she's made quite a transformation.
How does someone go from fast food waitress to being the opening act for famous bands like Rascal Flats, being able to confidently performing in front of 31+ million viewers, in less than a couple of years?
While I know the big Hollywood machine is at play in American Idol there are two key reasons these young performers like Kellie Pickler excel so quickly. These reasons inform our own attempts at sales and leadership skill development and excellence, they are:
Practice and feedback are crucial to expansion and growth in sales and leadership skill development. But there's a problem. Most of us are not comfortable giving or receiving feedback. We're either:
Both extremes are hard on people. If feedback helps people improve, and it does, we must get better at giving it and receiving it.
Feedback surveys, especially 360 degree feedback help sales pros and leaders get better at receiving and giving effective feedback. Adding feedback surveys can make a dramatic positive difference in how quickly participants in your sales and leadership skill development programs grow and strengthen.
On Sales and Leadership Skill Development, Page 2 I share 6 Steps for Effective 360 Degree Feedback Administration and 11 Must-Have Feedback Behaviors for Coaches and Leaders.
Need 360 Feedback Assistance? If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes possible for you to easily measure the performance of a person, a team or the entire organization with customized surveys and done-for-you-survey-templates.
If you would like to talk through your project with in a complimentary consulting call, or you think you want survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.