Would you say you’re your harshest critic? There’s a good chance you are, in fact, way harder on yourself than you are on anyone else. Maybe you hold yourself to a much higher standard than your fellow colleagues.
After coaching business professionals for the last few years, I’ve found many of them to be experts on all the things they do “wrong.” When I ask them to talk about their strengths and what they like about their own performance it’s a much shorter conversation.
Recently, one of my clients reached out to tell me how disappointed she was in her performance and included a list of things she wished she’d done better. When I asked her what if anything she was happy with, she responded with 5 more things she didn’t like. Even though my request wasn’t for more dislikes, she was easily able to come up with quite a few more. Nowhere in her response did she list even one thing she was happy with, she completely missed the question.
For many of us, we’ve trained ourselves to focus on what we don’t want, what we don’t like and are quick to criticize our own performance.
The question we all need to ask yourselves is, “Is the strategy of only picking out the things I’m unhappy with in my performance helping or hindering my business?”
Hopefully, it’s in some way driving you to improve. And, you’re using your criticism to develop your skills, do better and be better.
However, for some people, nitpicking at your performance creates fear and lack of confidence. Fear and lack of confidence keeps you from picking up the phone and following up with clients, holds you back from inviting clients to do business with you and ultimately sabotages your sales.
My NLP teacher many years ago taught me that instead of beating myself up about what I didn’t do well, I should measure my performance on a scale. She would always say, “Your performance will be within a range.” Here’s a graphic to demonstrate the range I now use for measuring performance:
On my best days I shoot for the high 90’s. On days when I’m not at my best (50’s to 60’s), my goal is to reach the high within the 50 to 60 percent. It’s unrealistic to think that I won’t have off days. It’s more productive to give some grace in those moments vs. beating myself up for being human. I’m less likely to become overwhelmed when my expectation is to increase my performance by a few percentage points.
Only having two options, “Good” vs. “Bad” to evaluate performance is limiting and leaves many people feeling stuck.
Self Evaluation Strategy:
Your Savvy Sales Tip this week: Use a scale to rate overall performance in order to better assess your improvements.
Here’s the assignment I regularly give to my VIP clients after they’ve completed one of their goals:
Step 1. List 3 things you are happy with regarding your performance.
Step 2. List 1 thing you’ll do differently next time in a similar situation.
Step 3. Move on to your next task.
Notice how the word “wrong” is never mentioned in this assignment. Also, when asking them to come up with something to improve, it’s for next time, not “beat yourself up now for something that’s already happened and you can’t change.”
Having a list of things you did well keeps you focused on what to do next time. Having one thing on your mind to improve upon is manageable and most clients are excited about testing out their new strategy. This means they pick up the phone, they invite clients to do business and their sales grow as result.
Ready to try out this new strategy for evaluating your own performance? Please let me know how it goes. Sending lots of good wishes your way for a successful selling week.
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