Effective communicators, sales people, leaders, negotiators, moderators, facilitators and managers use their skills in order to fully develop the business, the corporation, customer relations or people with whom they work. As people develop and become better at what they do, they increase their effectiveness. They become more productive. The point of effective communication – and all other competencies included in communication – is to help people and corporations reach their full potential. So effective communication is not just a nice thing to do, it is a logical and common sense approach to healthy business success.
Success or productivity comes from the synchronicity of interrelated elements. When we ask top performers what makes them successful they invariably say that:
- they work hard
- they love what do
- they learn every day the necessary skills to be better
- they value their role
- everything fits nicely in their core values system
We often ask participants and clients to find descriptive words they can associate the people that have had a significant impact in their life, people that have been inspiring. Think about people that in your opinion, have been highly successful in their job or in their profession. What can you say about their attitude, their outlook and their perspective on their daily activities?
Thinking about the question we just asked, you may realize that most of what you imagined can find a place in the following categories.
A first category is that of Values. Our values influence everything we do. For example if you value honesty, you tend include its influence in everything. In addition, you tend to also expect it from others. It will influence how you choose products, services or how you react to various approaches from either salespeople or organizations that provide you with a service. If you value hard work and dedication, you may frown upon certain people’s attitude to accomplish as little as possible. Our values come from a variety of sources and remain, always, at the center of all your actions, decisions and feelings.
A second category is Role Perception. It represents your perspective on the role you have to play in your work. We define role perception as your perspective on the normal activities that are asked of you in order to perform your job. But be careful here, role perception is not necessarily the same as the job description for example. The job description is a set of skills, activities and responsibilities that are officially associated to the position. While this is the optimal way to look at your role it may not represent your perception. Your values, expectations, views and hopes will directly influence the perception of the role you have to play.
The next category addresses the perception you have on the value you bring to your environment. It is termed Customer Value and represents your perspective on the normal activities that are asked of you in order to perform your job. But be careful here, role perception is not necessarily the same as the job description for example. The job description is a set of skills, activities and responsibilities that are officially associated to the position. While this is the optimal way to look at your role it may not represent your perception. Your values, expectations, views and hopes will directly influence the perception of the role you have to play. For a frontline manager – as an example, customer value may in part be defined by the ability to ensure effective coaching and leadership for the salespeople. Hence, the ability to have a clear functional understanding of the sales strategies should and will directly influence the ability to guide and influence the salespeople’s activities as they pertain to the sales strategies.
So far it has been established that values are at the center of our activities. They influence how we perceive our role and our abilities to provide value to our customers. The third element we need to take into account is accountabilities. In this case accountabilities represent a number of specific actions or tasks that you need to accomplish in your role. For example in order to have a clear functional and strategic understanding of the sales and marketing strategies, you have to take the time to read them, analyze them, ask questions to whomever came up with those strategies and discuss how they can be applied. So your accountability in this case is to take the time to understand how you can, as a manager, influence and lead your team in accordance to those sales and marketing strategies. Other accountabilities will be for example to verify expense reports on a monthly basis or to send the summary emails on sales forecast every week.
The final element that influences our ability to be productive is our Skill Level. A skill or competency is the ability to accomplish a role or a task in a manner that is of sufficient quality. While there are many levels of competencies for the same position or role, there is a certain minimum that we need to be able to accomplish in order to be productive. To continue the previous example, the skills or competencies associated to having a clear functional and strategic understanding of the sales and marketing strategies may be to have a decent business acumen, a certain level of knowledge on marketing, the ability to comprehend sales trends and efforts or simply to have a basic strategic outlook on sales and marketing efforts. Every company, job, role or position demands that a certain level of competencies are used in order to be effective.
So, going back to the concept of productivity it has been established that truly productive people are able to find an optimal balance between, at the core their values and around those values, the perception of the role, the value they bring to their customers, the adherence to their accountabilities and finally their level of competency. It is the congruence between those four elements around Values that make people efficient or productive. It is important to understand that each of those four elements needs to be imbalance with the others. For example it is not feasible to overcompensate with a steadfast conviction that I bring value to my customers if I don’t have the skills to actually do it. If any of the elements is out of balance or not in congruence with the others, it becomes extremely difficult to be fully productive.
WHAT THIS MEANS AT ASERET
This Productivity model is at the base of most of the programs we offer. For example, the Congruent Selling program is constructed in 5 main sections, each addressing the elements of productivity.