Nov. 1, 2019

13: Your advice is not as good as you think it is


Leaders... do you find yourself dishing out advice and directives to your team... but you know you shouldn't? It's tough isn't it? In The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier gives a great tip on how to curb your advice monsterSupport the show (http://www.unstoppable.do)
Transcript
Speaker 1:

Sales leaders do. You find yourself dishing out advice and directors to your team, but you really know you shouldn't be doing it and it's really tough to stop it in the coaching habit. Michael Bungay Stanier gives a great tip on how to curb your advice. Monster

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Welcome to the bite size sales podcast where we believe that sales is the most important team and a B to B company. That complacency is the enemy and taking bite-size steps each day to get better at your craft is the best way to improve results. I am your host, Andrew Monahan , and I'm using my 26 years of experience in B2B sales to bring you small, actionable ideas every day to help you get better.

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Whenever I've talked to sales leaders about coaching and becoming more coach-like and having that coaching culture in their organization, the one question that comes up again and again and again is, look, I know I need to be more of a coach and I know I shouldn't just be telling my team, my people, what to do all the time, but it's , I do it all the time. It's just so easy. It's simple. It's obvious for me. I can deliver the value and move on, you know? So what is it that I have to do to stop doing that? And , and this is one of the classes situations we're just saying, you know, don't tell them what to do does not work, right? Because these are people say leaders have been doing selling and sales and leading teams usually for quite a long time and they've built up their way of working. So just saying to change it is not always the most effective way to do it. Changing habits is hard because we're humans and humans are not good at dropping a habit they'd been doing for a long period of time and just simply going to a new one. So in the book, the coaching habit from Michael Bungay Stanier, he talks about this and he talks about one way to actually address this in your day to day interactions. So to read from the book, he's got a section titled you tame the advice monster. If this were a haiku rather than a book, he would read, tell less and ask more. Your advice is not as good as you think it is, but 17 syllables are not. This is easier said than done. We've all got a deeply ingrained habit are slipping into the advice giver expert, answer it, solve it, fix it mode. That's no surprise. Of course, when you take the premium that your organization places on answers and certainty, then blend in the increased sense of overwhelm and uncertainty and anxiety that many of us feel as our jobs in lies become more complex and then realize that our brains are wired to have a strong preference for clarity and certainty is no wonder that we like to give advice even if it's the wrong advice and it often is giving. It feels more comfortable there and then the ambiguity of asking a question. In our training programs, we call this urge the advice monster. You had the best of intentions to stay curious and ask a few good questions, but in the moment, just as you're moving to that better way of working, the advice monster leaps out of the darkness and hijacks the conversation. Before you realize what's happening, your mind is turned towards finding the answer and you're leaping into offer advice, suggestions and recommended ways forward

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and intriguing, albeit difficult exercises to watch yourself and see how quickly you get triggered into wanting to give advice. Give yourself a day or half a day or even an hour and see how many times you are ready and willing to provide an answer. A much quoted 1984 study by Howard Beckman and Richard Frankel found that the average time to interruption for doctors was 18 seconds. And while we can roll our eyes and say those doctors, I've seen plenty of managers and leaders who bet a similar average in short, even though we don't really know what the issue is or what's going on for the person, we're quite sure that we've got the answer she needs.

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Okay .

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And what else breaks the cycle when asking this question? It becomes a habit is often the simplest way to stay lazy and stay curious. It's a self management tool to keep your advice monster under strengths. So that's read straight from the book by monk, Michael Bungay Stanier. Um , the coaching habit where he , you know, he talks about his experiences of helping managers, leaders inside organizations become more coach like in their worlds.

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Yeah.

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And what he gives us there is a simple habit breaking response when you feel like jumping in and trying to solve some problems. He says, simply stop yourself at ask and what else? So in the sales world, let's play this out a little bit. Uh, let's say the rep comes to you, one of your reps comes to you and they say, I'm having trouble getting to the CFO in this account. And we'd probably all respond with some like, okay, tell me more of what was going on or what have you tried. Something like that. Right. And their answer might then be, you know, I've called a few times, I left a voicemail, sent a couple of emails, whatever it might be. And then if you're like me or what I used to be alike, you want to jump in at that point and kind of go with some like is that all you've done? You know, there's lots of ways to get in there. Have you tried this? Have you tried that? You should be calling them five times. You should be emailing them more. What about trying this, you know, you're in there telling them what to do and offering all the advice , um, instead of simply saying and what else and then and what else? Right. So you're trying to uncover what else they've tried and then when they get to the point where they say, you know, that's it. Um, as all like, I've , I've done so far to try and get through to that person, you could then respond with a question such as what other ways can you think of to try and reach the CFO? And then when you give you one or two that they probably hadn't done yet but can think of instead of that point of jumping in again and telling them they are things they should be thinking about, to simply ask and what else and keep pushing the conversation forward by asking, you know, and what else are some variation? Very similar to that is a great question. Like , like all these things, it's so simple, but if you get in the habit of asking it and trying to get to the depth that you haven't got before, what it does is stops that advice monster from jumping onto your shoulder and taking over the conversation and starting telling people what to do and all the things that you've heard of or seen or done yourself that should be getting there. Because I remember getting your rep to think things through in the long one is going to pay off, is going to make your life less stressful, less overwhelmed because they're gonna be thinking more on their own. Um, and anytime they're thinking on their own and using their own inherent strengths, then it makes for a stronger rep. It makes for you being a stronger manager as well. So the action from this, if this rings true for you, is to write down and what else on your notepad or whatever you use when you're talking to your team and go use it, bake it, be the default is going to sound weird and awkward at the start to keep saying and what else. But if you can keep doing that, then you're going to gravitate more in the future to saying that as opposed to just doling out advice, which is maybe what you were doing before. So the real question here is, and what else

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if you want to get the book mentioned in this episode for free, simply go to bite-size sales.com forward slash free book. If you sign up on that page for unstoppable dot du , we'll send you your book on us. Unstoppable gives you habit forming action notes on great sales books such as spin selling, never split the difference. New sales simplified the challenger sale. And many more in there. You get the best ideas from these books, all organized in a straightforward and easy to implement way and designed for you to take action and transform your results. All of the equivalent of three cups of coffee per month. Start now and get your free book by going to bite size sales.com forward free book. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with anyone you think would give value, coworkers, teammates, your boss, your head of sales. Even that guy you worked with two companies ago who could probably do some help. In fact, just overshare it. This is one of the few times it's cool to do that. Your podcast that will have a share button. Please click it and share it widely .

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