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What  Sales and Leadership Skill Development
and Kellie Pickler Have in Common...

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.

leadership skill development

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.

American Idol Success...

leadership skill development

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?

Two Keys to Leadership & Sales 'Stardom'

leadership skill development

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:

  • #1. Intense and Focused Practice
  • #2. Ongoing and Regular Feedback from Others

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:

  • Too nice (like former American Idol judge Paula Abdul) offering only encouragement that comes across as fluffy and vague.  With this kind of feedback recipients don't even know that they need to make improvements.

    Or we do the exact opposite, we're:
  • Too direct (like former American Idol judge Simon Cowell) offering only criticism around what's wrong. With this kind of feedback recipients feel stung and insecure. They end up  spending most of their time trying to please the judge, instead of staying focused on improving their performance.

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

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.

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Need 360 Feedback Assistance?  If you are starting or considering a 360 feedback project, consider 20/20 Insight software SYSTEM that makes it 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: Survey Software System  

If you would like to discuss your project in a complimentary consulting call or if you think you need survey administration and facilitation assistance, contact Suzie Price.

Leave Sales and Leadership Skill Development, Go To Page 2 - 360 Degree Feedback Tips

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