When changing a company’s culture or adding a new product or service, two key ingredients are especially important: Communications and Coaching.
Put simply, it’s about how you communicate important changes and plans to your team. Unless these communications are clear and concise, and reinforced often, they will likely fall short.
Coaching is a great way to communicate with your team. In other words, rather than proclaiming edicts like, “This is the way we’re doing things from now on,” use a coaching process to help your team understand why you want to move your company in the direction you are sharing, what you plan to start doing differently, and how you plan to do it.
Win the heart and the mind will follow. To win over your team on a new direction you must communicate your vision with all the passion and vivid detail you can muster. Talk about the benefits to your customers and your employees first, then follow with what it will do for the company.
For example, if your people understand why you decided to become a High-Performance contractor, and how you want them to be more than just tradesman – and grow into true craftsmen – you’ll be more successful in winning their hearts and minds.
In Simon Sinek’s podcast TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” and his book, “Start With Why,” Sinek uses an illustration showing a Golden Circle which consists of three concentric circles, with the outer circle being What a company does. The next circle inward is How you do it, and the innermost circle is Why you do what you do.
When you decide to make a change, or to sell a new product or service, it’s a good idea to start with the Why. Try to communicate your Why with one short sentence.
While this approach can work with virtually anything, let’s continue with our example of becoming a High-Performance Contractor.
My “Why” for doing what I do is:
“I believe everyone deserves to live and work in safe, healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient homes and buildings.”
What’s your Why? Have you given it some thought? If the Why above resonates with you, feel free to make it yours.
Once you’ve determined your Why, it’s important to communicate it to your team. But before you do, make sure you have a good strategy to make it work, and what the end product will look like in your customers’ eyes.
Here you need to spend time communicating and coaching your team on how you plan to become more Performance-Based. This includes how you will train your technical team on testing, diagnosing, and providing solutions to often longstanding issues. It also involves determining the tools, methods, and processes you will need to put in place to support their efforts in the field.
Finally, you must focus on coaching your team on what your company’s new products and services will look like to customers. This means giving your salespeople the training and tools they need to communicate your approach clearly and effortlessly.
Be careful. Just putting them through training and giving them new tools will not guarantee success. You have to start by winning their hearts and minds, and making them feel like they are genuinely part of the solution.
This editorial could continue in great detail for pages, but the great thing is this magazine is already laser-focused on supporting your quest.
You will find a treasure-trove of examples of Why, How, and What to do in many past and future issues of this publication. I am excited for you as you continue on your High-Performance journey, and wish you unlimited success!