You have choices in life, you can live a mediocre existance with blinkers on thinking everything’s OK as you plod from one day to the next never really achieving anything OR you can take the blinkers off, get a reality check and start living your life to the full.
As much as this may be stating the “bleeding obvious”, why is it that we don’t want to face that reality check? More often than not it’s someone other than yourself that gives you that reality check and it hurts; I know this because it’s happened to me more than once. The first time was when I was a kid and my best friend, Terry Palmer, set me straight about being honest. It’s hard to hear the truth about not being honest but it’s something that has stuck with me to this day. It hurt taking that sort of emotional beating but I’ve had a few more since, each one highlighting a weakness and each time hopefully making me a better person. Sometimes you have to take a beating to see the light!
In my job, I have to “beat people up” quite a lot in the hope that they see the light. I had a call a couple of days ago from a salesperson that I evaluated early last year. He was calling to give me an update on his progress since the evaluation. The first thing he told me was that he didn’t like me very much after I debriefed him on his evaluation results. The results were not very strong and I challenged him to overcome his weaknesses, his lack of commitment and laziness and to achieve the results that he was inherently capable of. Not a great conversation but one that needed to happen.
He told me that after he stopped throwing darts into pictures of me, he thought about what I’d said and decided to make some major changes in his life. He took on a new approach to his sales role, picked up his game, attended sales training and in 2016 he was the top sales performer with his company having more than doubled his sales over the previous year. One of the reasons he rang me was to thank me for “beating him up” the way I did and secondly to ask advice on some of the sales weaknesses that he still sees in himself as he was convinced he would be even better if he could beat these.
That level of self-awareness is vital to growth and development as a person, not just a salesperson. So, whenever someone beats you up by opening your eyes to something you may not want to see, have the grace to call them later and thank them for helping you…..it’s the least you could do in return.