Leaders, coaches and managers: Respect, brains, and hearts

A leader and a subordinate engaging in a dynamic two-way conversation, depicted through individual chat bubbles. The background features more chat bubbles, puzzle pieces, and measurement scales in stark noir tones, symbolizing the complexity and strategic thinking involved in leadership.

Treat people with respect. Show them you appreciate and value their brain and their heart. These statements have been the guiding principles throughout my professional journey, from the United States to Europe and beyond. They have been instrumental in my success, even when others struggled. Simultaneously, I maintained high expectations and standards for performance. For instance, I took over as the manager of a field sales team languishing in the bottom 10% for two years. Within just six months, they climbed to the top 10%.

In the sales world, companies invest billions of dollars in sales training each year. Yet, surprisingly, research indicates that a staggering 90% of these training programs fail to yield long-lasting improvements beyond the initial 90 days.

Upon meeting the team and introducing myself, I spent the next 30 seconds clarifying my role as their manager was primarily for company policy and following appropriate procedures. Then, I spent the next hour explaining that my real function as their ‘manager’ was to be their coach and consultant. Stepping back into the managerial role only when necessary. I made it clear that my goal was to help them improve their roles.

But how do you effectively help others excel in their job? The answer lies in respecting them, valuing their intellect (their brains), and appreciating their emotions (their hearts). To accomplish this, I worked hard to understand their business, customers, and data in detail. This did not imply micromanagement but rather gaining a deep understanding of their business to guide the salespeople to better performance opportunities.

Even more critical was understanding the individual behind the job. I invested time to understand what intellectually stimulated and emotionally motivated them. Achieving this level of understanding took time and effort, especially considering I spent approximately three days a month with each person.

Years later, I established a sales consulting and coaching business in Europe with Global Fortune 200 clients across the continent. This brought me into contact with sales professionals and managers from over 100 countries.

As I already new, the simple concept of holding people to high expectations while showing that you respect their intellect and empathize with their emotions proved universal. It enabled me to assist sales teams in reversing declining sales, reaching new performance heights, and achieving seemingly impossible results. I am not alone in this philosophy and desire to help people and teams. That’s why I wanted to share my story, hoping it will inspire discussion and sharing of experiences.

Those who allocate billions of dollars to annual sales training have to accept that training alone does not guarantee results. Studies show results are the same for groups trained and those not trained after just 90 days. Achieving increased sales and improved performance requires coaching, motivating, and gaining a deep understanding of the individuals you aim to help.

Today, coaches are fortunate. Innovative tools like TRIPA are available to enhance their work. In addition, software like TRIPA provides coaches and managers with insights into the intellect and emotions of their team members, thus facilitating better coaching and management. Yes, Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and other tests have been around for decades. However, the use of technology allows for far greater insights. They will not replace the role of coach. Instead, they will help coaches who embrace the idea of respecting people’s brains and hearts and advantages.

Makes the invisible visible.