If you’ve ever had to hire somebody or manage a team, you know it can be one of the biggest causes of misery in your ENTIRE business existence.
You have all the best intentions, you try new things, implement new ideas, but it can still feel like an uphill battle to keep people motivated.
The problem with the typical incentives
It gets even harder once your team seems negative in one way or another. It can feel like hitting your head against a brick wall. And what do we usually do?
We try things like new incentives like cash prices, an all-expenses-paid vacation, or something as simple as a day off. But, those things are more of a “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” approach. For sure, they definitely produce results, but, in general only short-term.
If you don’t fix the real issue, no amount of new incentives, cash prices or more days off, is going to fix the problem. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before your team is right back to their old habits — it’s human nature.
The “Iceberg Metaphor”: Uncovering the unspoken truths in your team
If you manage a team, or if you own your own business, you know how much time your business life takes up your time. You might be able to “park the problems” at the office, but sometimes they still run around in our mind, consciously or unconsciously.
Besides, problems like leading a team — who seems extremely negative all the time — don’t only affect your business… It can have a massive impact on your health, too. And the worst part is, we don’t always notice it ourselves.
The frustration alone when our team doesn’t perform at the level you know they’re able to can inevitably lead to a lot of stress.
One of my private clients actually had this problem.
During one of our sessions he told me:
“My team is expressing all this negativity and pessimism about the new direction of the company. And I can’t figure out why.”
Ugh, can’t you just feel the internal struggles going on his mind?
- “Should I create a sales competition?”
- “Should I do this?”
- “Should I do that?”
Without a real strategy, your “world-class” tactics are nothing but a commodity
And at the end of the day, things like sales competitions, they’re nothing but tactics. And tactics become commoditized.
What works is having a strategy.
So here’s what I told him:
“Honestly, the solution is pretty simple.” He instantly became more curious.
I continued. “If your team is not performing, that’s not their fault. It’s your fault. If your customers aren’t buying, it’s not their fault they don’t understand how great your product is, it’s your fault.”
The best of the best in the world don’t become the best by accident. They always take massive ownership of everything which happens in their world. They know that the highest and best use of their time is to focus on the things they can control.
The goal here is not to blame yourself, blame is not a very productive emotion. Instead, you focus on what’s going on “below the surface.”
Think about the “Iceberg Metaphor”:
90% of the iceberg is below the surface. So, ask yourself “what’s really going on with my team, since they seem so negative? What are they not telling me? What is the unspoken truth?”
People tell you the truth once they feel safe, once they trust you, once they believe you actually care about them.
The power of asking amazing questions, at the right time
Here’s my recommendation to you:
Pull out a piece of paper, a Google doc or something you can you use to create your own “Questions Vault.” This will become your own, personal toolbox of great questions you can use in different situations. Don’t worry about the modality, just focus on getting some great questions down on paper.
I would recommend that you brainstorm AT LEAST 5 great questions, you can use in different scenarios. Some of my favorite questions I use with my clients are questions like:
- “What’s the real challenge here?”
- “What’s the #1 takeaway you got from this conversation?”
- “If you could only focus on one thing right now, what would it be?”
The point is if you want new results in your business, but you don’t change your strategy. Sorry to say, nothing is going to change. But once you take massive ownership of everything which happens around you, it doesn’t take long before you see new results.
If you want more actionable strategies I’ve put together a FREE case study that will show you my “Hidden Leverage Blueprint” that will increase your company’s profitability by 6 or 7 figures this year.
Here’s what you’ll discover in the case study:
- How to RETAIN your best A players and reduce your employee turnover significantly
- Subtle leadership principles that will transform your team into a finely tuned, high performing, and well-oiled machine
- The ONLY 4 leverage points that will take your business from “good” to “amazing”
- And much, much more…
Click the link here and you’ll get free instant access to the case study.
KRISTIAN THAULOW is the author of “The TRUST Method,” a Business Results Strategist, and the protagonist of the leadership revolution. He’s on a mission to help ambitious executives become amazing leaders and create more impact. Get his free case study and learn his proven “Hidden Leverage Blueprint” that will increase your profitability by 6 or 7 figures and retain your A players.