You hear it every day, “these challenging times,” “the new normal,” “the pandemic.” It’s no surprise that we are all facing adversity and uncertainty, but it doesn’t mean all doom and gloom. In fact, you can crush adversity and come out on the other side stronger, successful, and more skilled than ever. What is the secret to weathering the storm? Start with your sales culture as your foundation and proactively instill and foster resilience.
A Strong Culture Builds A Crucial Foundation
Look at your current sales culture and core values, these are the mooring from which you develop skills, tactics, and initiatives that influence your team’s behaviors.
Consider that resilience is not a personality attribute, but a set of skills that can be built out and nurtured to fight adversity, strengthen your dedication to your core values in the face of “challenging times,” while also helping your clients overcome their own challenges and adversity.
It’s easy to revert to panic or emergency mode in difficult times with a desire to take the path of least resistance, even if it doesn’t stay true to your team’s culture. But if you stray from your core values, you create a new set of problems once this has passed. Accept the current situation and then consider how each of your values can be strengthened and combined with resilience.
For example, if one of your values is collaboration, think about how you can help each other manage the ups and downs, and maintain momentum, helping transform outcomes and come out stronger on the other side.
Communication is Key
Communication is more important than ever and should be modified to meet your team’s needs and challenges, not only as a whole but who they are as individuals and what they are experiencing in times of adversity. How do you tailor your communication to your team?
You already know that listening is an important skill when leading a team, but when faced with adversity, it becomes crucial as the needs of the individual and team may change more frequently. Ask questions to assess what they need, but know that sometimes observing behaviors, responses, and interactions is just as important.
Has someone who is usually vocal in meetings gone quiet? Has a responsive team member gone missing? Be sure to look for the silent clues as well.
To build and foster resilience, you will need to pivot (but keep your culture as the fulcrum) and be continually adapting as new information is uncovered and unexpected challenges arise. Think of yourself as the coach at halftime. The game plan you started with may not be the one you need to follow for the second half based on what you have heard and observed.
- Does the Quarterback need a pep talk?
- Has the Offensive Line been giving it their all and needs to keep it up?
- What adjustments does the defense need to make at this moment, for this game?
No matter what the changes are, they still have an underlying vision and culture that drives these decisions, and the coach clearly communicates why and how they will help the team win.
Being resilient requires creativity, and like the old adage says, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Your teams, clients and organization face unforeseen opportunities that call for new and unique solutions. Forge resilience through collaboration and creative problem solving by supporting a culture that embraces curiosity and experimentation. When you solve in creative ways or see things in a different light, you build an inner strength and fortitude that helps fight adversity.
Stay Steady and Connected
Perhaps you didn’t need to have weekly team calls in the past, and your regular routines gave you the interaction everyone needed and craved at that moment in time. Still, now — you need to build a new routine that creates a steady foundation for your team and keeps them connected to each other and the culture you have all built. You are stronger together, and connection can help draw out your own resilience and build up those around you.
Be unconventional to help round out everyone’s daily and weekly experiences they may be missing due to distancing and remote work. Gone are the water cooler chats and hallway meetings, and to some people, these were more than office chatter, they were places to exchange quick ideas or set up future meetings. If you don’t currently have a company messaging services (like Teams or Hangouts), consider something like WhatsApp to allow those “on the fly,” casual sessions. Be accountable to and for each other, and results and resilience will follow.
Stay grounded in your culture and build from there. If your culture and core values are strong, odds are they will easily connect to building up team resilience. Communication, connectedness, and creativity will make any team culture stronger and exponentially affect the prevalence and impact of your core values.