I recently had the privilege of meeting and hearing Chris Gardner speak. It caused me to reflect on what I do for a living, how I do it and why I love what I do.
For those who don’t know Chris Gardner, he is the Will Smith character in the film “The Pursuit of Happyness.” As compelling as that movie was, (and I don’t know of any parents who don’t squirm as Will Smith’s character deals with the challenges of taking care of his son), the book is even more amazing.
Hearing Chris speak about his path to survival and how he overcame multiple adversities on the road to his ultimate success was a huge “kick in the butt” for me.
One of the things that resonated with me in the book is when Chris speaks about the power of information and the currency that information becomes. We all know that information is power and going into any situation armed with what has already happened, why the previous either worked or didn’t work, and what is the desired outcome will always drive the best conversation and result.
We teach this to all the Ms Moxxies when we talk about DiSC. DiSC, which is named for four “dimensions of behavior” – Dominance, Influence, Conscientious and Steadiness – is a behavioral assessment tool that identifies and explains different personality types and how best to related to them. With DiSC, we learn how to communicate with others to achieve the best outcome from the interaction. We use those skills to determine how to provide and receive the information we need to drive the success of the situation. This works for one-to-one interactions and meetings alike.
We always hear the expression “God gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason.” To that I would add that God also gave us two eyes. In order to gain information, you need to be listening or looking for it. Once you are armed with the information, you can put your plan in place to achieve your end goal.
For those of you who know me, I am employed as a Sales Coach for a computer software company called Qlik. My role is to work with our salespeople who are typically extremely experienced in sales, and coach them how to be excellent in sales at our company. This is not an easy job, as many of them think they already know everything they need to know. The way I have been successful in my role is all about information. I strive to get them to share where they are doing things well and what they might need to do differently to be better. I then leverage this information to help them. This could be company information, other salespeople’s successful efforts, my personal experience or something I have read or seen elsewhere. Imagine how unsuccessful I would be if I went to these same individuals and just told them what to do. And imagine my elation when an experienced, highly paid sales rep has a “light bulb go off” from our conversation, successfully tries something I have shared with them and then comes back to me with the big “thank you” when that sharing of information worked for them.
I know information is power. And I live this every day. Continue collecting the information, make the analysis of what that information is telling you and decide how you want to leverage it to your best advantage. You will surely go far.
Laura I. Joseph is a Sales Coach with Qlik and Chair of the Ms Moxxie Mentoring Program. To view her LinkedIn profile, click here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurajoseph/