Author: Srinivasulu Ragala

Goal Setting Process: Principles and Characteristics

Setting goals, whether short-term or long-term, are ultimate ways to provide focus and direction in our lives. The process of goal setting is not a casual effort but a purposeful, explicit process that guides transformation. Along with providing direction, goals also help us to measure if we are succeeding and whether any course corrections need to be made along the way.

Since goal setting process is a conscious effort, one needs to ensure that the goals have all the characteristics needed.

The Top Five Characteristics are Abbreviated as SMART

    1. Begin with writing specific goals as they help to provide precision to the process. Be as specific with facts and data as you can. For instance, instead of writing “achieve business target by end of this quarter”, set goal as “achieve business target of 25 lacs by March 31st “
    2. Second, ensure that your goals are measurable. As mentioned earlier, goals help us to monitor how much have we succeeded. If goals cannot be measured, it will be difficult to assess how well are we doing in achieving it. A goal of “achieve business target of 25 lacs by March 31st “can be easily measured by matching the on-actual numbers with the projections. In case the goal is more subjective, say “Think more positively by the end of June 2020”, then assign a measurable unit to that. How would you measure if you have started thinking more positively? Maybe, get feedback from others or have positive outcomes to situations. So, adding the outcome of the situation or the number of positive feedbacks received can be a measurable approach to a goal.
    3. Third, apart from being specific and measurable, goals should be attainable. it’s good to be ambitious but goals that are not realistic and only ambitious can be demotivating. Such goals, no matter how hard you try, will be difficult to achieve. Check for resources and capability to attain the goal before writing it down. If the adequate resources are not available, then specific and measurable goals may not be achieved.
    4. Fourth step in the goal setting process is to ensure that the goals are relevant and must be aligned to our ambitions and plans for self. When goals are not relevant, we are not motivated enough to achieve it and the focus from it is lost along the way.
    5. Lastly, goals should be time-bound. Giving a deadline increases the sense of urgency to achieve the goal and makes planning effective. When setting deadlines, one must ensure that it is realistic. It should not be too rigid and stringent, and neither should it be too lenient and flexible. Assess the adequate time necessary for achieving the goal and then set the deadline.

Apart from these 5 characteristics, the following principles must be considered:

  • Goals should be of moderate difficulty level. Goals that are either too easy or too difficult do not motivate us.
  • We must write our goals. Just keeping it in our head will make us forget and lose focus from the goals.
  • Although goals are set with its characteristic of being attainable, one shouldn’t be hesitant to ask for help if there is any obstacle in reaching the goals. Therefore, having a plan B and listing back up resources to attain the goal is a good practice
  • Make it a habit to keep checking your progress on the goal and make course corrections whenever necessary. Schedule these review session and make modifications early in the process rather than later (closer to the deadline).

Following these simple principles and characteristics in the goal setting process can help us to be more focused, provide us a direction and transform our lives.

Filed under: CoachingTagged with: ,

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence, known as a key determinant of life success, is the ability to effectively regulate emotions by accurately perceiving a situation and then understand, apply and manage one’s emotions. There is a difference in such ability across the population and this can be ascertained with psychological testing and perhaps enhanced with appropriate training.

While intelligence (traditionally measured with IQ) is related to one’s ability to learn, the pace of acquiring knowledge and problem solving, emotional intelligence is related to something more basic as decision making. There are many theories that point towards multiple intelligences and there is little consensus on one robust definition of emotional intelligence. In general, emotional intelligence relates to aspects related to the emotions and the way they interfere with our response to situations.

There is a difference between the elements of personality or behavioral preferences such as extraversion, optimism or assertiveness and the underlying capacity to be emotionally intelligent. At some level, emotional intelligence can be seen a skill that can be put through objective measurement and could be used repeatedly in coaching and enhanced through training and development.

Many psychologists and popular trainers linked life success to Emotional Intelligence. Many companies relabelled their behavioral training programs as emotional intelligence programs. While there is a connection between personality and emotional intelligence, what’s important to notice is that emotional intelligence largely relates to the capacity to regulate one’s emotions and not the preferences as purported by the trait’s theory and personality models.

Emotions tend to start automatically, alters our attention and thinking and creates certain physiological differences in the body. Emotions are temporary and prepare us for action. Ultimately, emotions help us survive in our environment. They contribute significantly to the choices we make, to the decisions we make on day to day basis and the responses we give in interpersonal situations.

To Use Emotional Intelligence for Success in Life, Consider the Following Four Points.

    1. The first aspect of emotional intelligence is related to our ability to identify the emotion. It’s the accuracy of perception that matters here. For example, by realizing and naming the emotion we may be feeling at a certain time or in a certain situation, we may influence how that emotion is influencing us physiologically. Because emotions are often related to people’s intent and their expected response, accurately identifying someone else’s emotions may be the key to better interpersonal relationships.
    2. And then emotions influence thinking. Positive emotions help us learn, reflect, be engaged in creative tasks and group tasks. Negative emotions may be more appropriate when we are looking for mistakes or errors and identifying risks. When people differ in their ability to regulate emotions, they may differ in their ability to generate the appropriate emotions for the task at hand. This creates a difference in the level of emotional intelligence of people.
    3. Earlier we talked about identifying emotions and labelling them. The ability to understand emotions assist us in not only labelling the emotions we experience but also understand how they will influence our thinking and how they may progress. There exists an entire vocabulary for emotions that could help us label emotions such as surprise, disgust, shame, guilt etc. By understanding how each one of them show up and how they progress, transmit and subside, we could regulate emotions better.
    4. Finally, regulating emotions is about identifying the emotions, understanding how they may influence our thinking and decision making, understand different emotions and their respective characteristics and staying open to integrating all the knowledge to cope or make the best of every situation.

This openness to adapt and the ability to integrate all the steps above to be more effective in intra and interpersonally defines one’s emotional intelligence. Many authors and psychologists have spoken about how emotional intelligence is a better predictor of life success than intelligence (IQ) in its traditional sense. To sum it up, Emotional Intelligence can influence life success tremendously and can fortunately be developed with appropriate training.

Filed under: Managerial SkillsTagged with: ,

Crowd, Mob, Group & A Cohesive Team

A Crowd, a mob, a group and a cohesive team represent four different characteristics of a collection of people. People may come together for different reasons, for varied durations of time and with different or no inherent structure. These variations can not only drive group behaviour but also individual behaviors within the collection of people. For a leader, it is important to understand the characteristics of each type of “collection of people” and apply their understanding of these different formations in way that it enhances organizational effectiveness.

Let’s discuss the characteristics of these four types of collection of people.

1. The Detachment of a Crowd

Crowd is the most basic level of collection of people. People gathering to catch a glimpse of their favourite actor involved in a shooting at a mall is a good example of a crowd. Note that there is some common intent or goal that exists even within a crowd. However, what is missing is a sense of attachment or belongingness among the members of the crowd. While one may have a common purpose with other members of the crowd, there is no interaction among the members. Further, there is no interdependence for achieving the common purpose.

When people from the same organization come together for an event (let’s say a movie) at a certain place, without a set agenda, sense of purpose or norms, they may closely resemble a crowd. Crowd signifies people present at the same time or in the same situation and with no rational behaviour.

The flip side of “crowd mentality” in a team is diffusion of responsibility. In case there are many people in a team, who are often unrelated, with little or no dependency on each other, the sense of responsibility that each person has towards achieving the team goals may get diluted. When there are hundreds of people gathering at the site of a road accident, the responsibility of taking the victim to the hospital gets diluted. Everyone passes on the responsibility of taking the victim to the hospital to others.

2. The Impulsiveness of a Mob

A mob, which may represent a structured “crowd” often comes together for a short period of time. The behaviour of a mob is impulsive and may have little or no agreed norms among the members. A mob of people is viewed negatively due to the unpredictable, unplanned and impulsive behaviour associated with it.

3. The Identity of a Group

A group, which is an organized collection of people, may not necessarily be a cohesive team.

When people come together for a certain purpose, they have certain common goals, a set of norms that defines good and bad group behaviour, and interdependence in abundance, a group is formed!

An important aspect of a group is that people draw a sense of identity from the group and they have a sense of belongingness to the group. There are multiple sources of identity and multiple identities that a person may have. An employee may relate to a religious group, a gender group, a group of people with a certain sexual orientation, a certain “skill group” and a regional group. All these identities may co-exist for an individual. Because people are interdependent, and individual behaviour is defined by group behaviour and vice versa, group characteristics may work for or against the benefit of the group.

A group may experience social loafing and social facilitation. Social loafing, a phenomenon when people lower their effort or contribution towards collective tasks happens when there is no individual level evaluation of performance. Tug of war is an exciting team sport. However, there is no easy way of assessing individual performance. And that is why, a tug of war team is prone to social loafing. In a team, it is important to focus on collective results however, evaluation of performance must happen at the individual level.

This makes each individual feel responsible. They are motivated to put in their best as their effort gets identified, appreciated and rewarded. Social facilitation works this way. When people are working in an area of strength (which may be defined as talent reinforced with skill and experience) in the presence of others, they may be motivated to put in more effort when their individual performance is evaluated.

4. The Cohesiveness of a Team

A cohesive team is a type of a group that builds on the common characteristics of a group – a common purpose, interdependence, group identity and certain norms. A cohesive team exhibits the following additional characteristics

  • There is high level of trust especially vulnerability-based trust among the team members. People feel psychologically safe to share their mistakes, personal histories and aspirations
  • Members of the team engage in open discussions around ideas and viewpoints without making it personal
  • There is a sense of collective commitment to group decisions
  • Members of the team hold one another accountable
  • Individual results take a back seat as the members focus on achieving collective results.

Ultimately, great teams are cohesive in nature. They neither have the impulsivity of a mob nor the detachment of a crowd. They are built on trust. In order to create cohesive teams, performance must be measured at the individual level while the focus is collective results. Crafting, cascading and imbibing such norms in a team requires leadership training and a deep understanding of group behaviours.

Filed under: Team BuildingTagged with: ,

Why Leaders must be Trained for Fostering Collaboration?

Collaboration is the currency of effectiveness in a team environment and every leader must be able to deal with it and maximize it for best results.

Leadership, in any industry and at any level is never a solo act. The very essence of leadership is in creating excellent performance by engaging others. Even when there is personal excellence in a team environment, it is rarely an outcome of talent and commitment of one individual. It is a result of many people contributing to make one person successful.

In a world that is increasingly more interdependent, more networked and more aware of the ecosystem, collaboration will prove to be the driver and the game changer for any organization or team. Collaboration may be viewed as a social imperative without which extraordinary results may just be impossible.

So how should leaders go about creating and fostering collaboration in a team and perhaps inter-team? What should a leader train to do in order to create a fertile environment for collaboration to foster? There are three areas that a leader must train on in order to foster collaboration within the organization:

  1. Build Trust
  2. Define and enhance interdependence
  3. Encourage communication especially face to face communication

Collaboration, when not pursued with the right intent and behaviors could quickly deteriorate into conflict and stress and therefore collaboration, paradoxically so, requires more leadership than less.

Patrick Lencioni defines trust from a vulnerability perspective, many cultures and management gurus have viewed trust form the perspective of openness, being direct and transparent. What ever be the perspective, it does seem that relationships within and outside of the team foster on trust. Trust is the basis of all great partnerships and client-vendor relationships. Irrespective of the culture or geographical nuances, beginning with trust has always created an environment where people like to take risks and get things done.

When a leader is trained to build trust in abundance, they would often come across people who are willing to share how they feel openly, they call out mistakes and risks often and without fear and are motivated to commit to larger goals. When there is mistrust, relations suffer as doubt, fear and deceit becomes more rampant. Trust is a good indicator of the level of employee engagement you would see in an organization. Trust delivers higher level of commitment and collective results in a team. When there is trust among people, they are open to each other’s suggestions and viewpoints. They are ready to consider their own goof ups and mistakes in a positive way. And so, people are more willing to call out mistakes and appreciation for each other.

These behaviours enhance trust. Furthermore, leaders openly share their own aspirations, wants and needs, their own goof ups and vulnerabilities. Because they trust that their team does not take advantage of such personal information shared, they demonstrate trust. This further results in increased trust and that is why we say, trust begets trust.

For teamwork and collaboration to happen, it is necessary that everyone understands that they can’t do it alone! That success of one depends on the other and that there is no great individual success. There are just collective results. The second most important aspect for leader to train on and demonstrate is his or her ability to build a sense of positive mutual dependence among team members.

This is best done by building goals and objectives that require continuous cooperation. By looking at larger goals and breaking them down into action points or priorities for people based on their individual aspirations, talents and interests, it is possible to foster an environment where cooperation will bring greater results and sustained effort. A leader must also, at a cultural level, define the norms for reciprocity. Because cooperation may involve unequal effort and rewards, with one person doing more for the other person because of the nature of the job or their capability, role etc., it is important to define the norms that do not make any one person feel exploited. This aspect has a cultural nuance to it and is usually difficult for inexperienced leaders to play with.

Because communication is becoming more virtual, dry, short and abrupt, it can lead to moments of low trust and disengagement. By encouraging face to face communication, where people do not just exchange data but load it with feelings, perspectives, moods and values, leaders can foster collaboration. By interacting more with stakeholders and with sustained face time, it is possible to enhance trust and collaboration.

When a leader trains to systematically exhibit behaviours that help them build trust, enhance inter dependencies and create sustained face time, they can increase collaboration in an organization.

Filed under: LeadershipTagged with: ,

Sales and Business Development Training – The Difference and Similarities

The two terms “sales” and “business development” are often used synonymously or together by a large group of people. This may be because often people in the sales function are shifted to a business development role. That the term “sales” has a negative connotation attached to it, is obvious. Business Development Manager always sounds better than a Sales Manager. However, one must realize the difference between these two terms and use it when appropriate rather than interchangeably.

Business Development is a more Marketing function role than Sales. The idea of business development is to find the right market segment and match opportunities emerging from it to the products and services that the organization offers. Business development is about developing and expanding the business, in the literal sense of the term. The sales function of this role is majorly limited to opportunity qualification and negotiation. It includes more of brand placement, acquisitions and partnerships and market expansion.

Sales, on the other hand, includes revenue generation by selling the products and services directly to the customer. The link is that the business development function would generate the opportunities and create a channel to sell. While, the sales team would work on those opportunities to close them for revenue generation.

Now that this difference is clear, it also clarifies that the training for sales and business development is different.

Competencies to Focus on

Sales training is given with the purpose of maximizing sales success. The focus is on developing selling skills and understanding seller – buyer behavior. Competencies like negotiation skills, understanding needs, pitching, sales acumen, customer focus, strategic selling, prospecting, client relationship management, rapport building etc. needs to be developed along with adequate knowledge of products and services.

Business development training, on the other hand, is not restricted to the Sales professional only. It can be given to all leaders with the purpose of expanding the business and optimizing the potential of the market. Focus is on developing competencies like strategic thinking, conducting market analysis, customer focus, negotiation skills, networking, business acumen along with knowledge of organization’s products and services.

Now that the competencies have been differentiated for sales and business development training, let’s describe what approach can be taken for both the trainings to be effective.

The Methodology

We remember only 21% of information at the end of 31 days (as per Heman Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve) and surveys have proved that a lot of what is provided through training is lost. Earlier, training was restricted to one to two days only. Sales and business development professionals are left to retain and apply what they have learnt on their own. This is not an effective method. Now, with the growing needs of the learner, the demand is to use blended learning methodology. This methodology helps to reinforce what is learned through training.

Both sales and business development training must promote and focus on behavior change rather than just superficial change in knowledge. Training methodology should be clubbed with one-to-one coaching that focuses on individual strengths and challenges, personalized feedback to calibrate behaviors and specific action plans for application on the job.

Along with coaching, leader connect sessions are imperative. These sessions help to sustain the culture of sales and business development and helps the learners to learn from leaders who have “been there, done that”. Leader connect sessions use the technique of storytelling to convey learning around selling and business development skills. For instance, a lot of challenging situations that sales and business development professionals go through cannot be covered through classroom training and eLearning. Also, a coach cannot help in resolving those problems and advice on how to confront those challenging situations. That is when leader connect sessions help to learn the ropes.

Apart from a holistic approach combining different methodologies, motivation plays an important factor in sales performance and business development initiatives. Motivation is not just from compensation and incentives but also by rewarding various small behavioral changes observed in the professionals. A simple feedback that a seller was able to make a difference for the customer or that certain initiative helped the business to reach new heights or resolve certain business problems is sometimes, enough to motivate these professionals to keep applying what they have learnt.

To sum, when there is a requirement for sales and business development training, do not treat the two the same way. Although the larger methodology remains the same, the focus on competencies are different and that should drive the major learning experience.

Filed under: Training & DevelopmentTagged with: , ,

The Value of an Organization’s Purpose

The famous organizational consultant and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, has brought to the attention of the world, the power of ‘why’. He stated that every successful organization and action is born out of this power of ‘why’. He has used the example of the high sales of Apple’s iPod to demonstrate that the power of why connects with the consumers and they associate themselves with the organization.

The ‘why’ here is the purpose and the mission of the organization. An organizational mission is a purpose statement and a rough plan inclusive of the organization’s values, strategies, and objectives. Every organization has a mission whether it is formally written or not.

An organizational mission is a guide for the major decisions taken within the organization as the mission includes the goal that the organization aims to achieve. Generally, the mission of the organization is one which was brewed from the mind of the founders of that organization. The mission is, therefore, a mirror image of the mission and the purpose of the founder; but this can evolve over time as the organization takes its own identity.

Shapes the culture of an organization and provides a basis for bonding and a better understanding of the organization. The newly added human capital to an organization can be easily trained by keeping the ‘why’ of the organization in mind. The employees also direct their behavior on their own as they continue to understand the organizational purpose and connect it with their individual purpose.

It is rather beneficial for every organization to formulate an organizational mission. There are many advantages to adding a formal mission in the organizational culture. As the purpose of an organization is imbibed within the employees, they are more likely to work happily and efficiently towards the same.

The mission statements also work as a guide and help leaders and managers to take actions accordingly. If all the employees are aware of the objectives of an organization and the ethical fulfillment of those objectives, then the organization has a higher probability of reaching its goals in a rather shorter time period. The mission and the goals stated in the mission are vital to boost positive behavior and reinforcement of goal-oriented behavior.

The mission statement of the organization should be concise, realistic and impactful. It is critical to formulate an accurate and clear statement; an ambiguous mission statement can lead to diversions from the goal of the organization. An ideal statement is known to include three major components – the target audience, the product/ service provided by the organization and the USP of the organization. It is important that a statement is objective and is not over the clouds, filled with fancy and unnecessary words. An unrealistic mission statement can lead to a wasteful utilization of the resources of an organization.

The business magnate Richard Branson has also stressed the value of an organizational mission towards directing the organization and pushing it towards the realms of success and progress. Hence, it is advisable for organizations to identify their mission and work towards formulating an encouraging and guiding mission statement.

Filed under: Executive CoachingTagged with: ,

The Importance of Facilitation Skills

Organizations today, are in need of people with great facilitation skills because without them, they risk reaching a stagnation point. That is not likely to be the most favorable outcome for anyone involved, and it is here that facilitation skills prove their worth. It is surprisingly easy to fall into the trap where organizations ignore the need for an effective facilitation and therefore fail to consider all the possibilities. This can be extremely damaging to organizations that have the potential to develop a rich culture without any challenges or fear of the repercussions.

Without effective facilitation skills, one will find it hard to find creativity within the group. This is because these key skills help team members understand how to present a presentation appropriately to the needs of their audience and how to communicate a message in an appeasing manner.

Benefits of facilitation skills to the organization:-

Having effective working relationships with people at work can be tricky to manage. Effective group facilitation requires certain abilities to manage the interaction of challenging conversations. These abilities help a great deal to the organization as a whole.

  • There is more productivity. Having a facilitator with good facilitation skills guide the process provides focus and a sense of deliberateness to the conversation.
  • Saves time. By investing in a facilitator, you will actually spend less time in both meetings and doing damage control outside the meeting.
  • Having better outcomes. The facilitator ensures that all opinions are heard and that there is no process loss. A good facilitator aims for a collaborative harmony, which the decision has been thoroughly discussed and everyone is willing to support and live with it.
  • Increased commitment from the team. A facilitator should believe that the answer lies within the collective intelligence of the team with which the probability of successful completion increases dramatically.
  • Having less stress. Facilitators focus on the process the employees do not have to. One can fully engage in the content of the discussion knowing that the facilitator is familiar to all aspects of the team process.
  • Ability to create better relationships. At the end of the day, people not only wants to feel good about the outcomes achieved but also feel good about the people they worked with.  Facilitators with their facilitation skills are great at managing the team dynamics to ensure a collaborative and supportive environment.

Benefits of good facilitation to the employees:-

1. Clear communication of the strategy in the direction of the organization 

To ensure that an employee’s career goals are in sync with the company’s goals, the organization needs to be open about its strategy and future directions from the very beginning. Employees cannot be in charge of their career and make good career decisions if they do not understand where their organization is going.

2. Learning about new opportunities within the organization 

Most employees find it easier to leave their present organization to gain better and new experiences and build their portfolio of skills than to take a new role within the same organization. Senior management can assist in changing this behavior by promoting and facilitating internal transfers. Moving to different functions can help build a girth of knowledge of the organization that will help individuals build good leadership skills.

3. Proactively managing opportunities for high potential employees 

Most people learn through their experiences, so getting access to development opportunities is the key to keep the employees engaged. However, more often than not, access to good opportunities is mostly dependent on being in the right place at the right time or hearing about the opportunity before others. While considering our most valuable employees, it is important to be determined in their development and to plan for key experiences that will help to develop the facilitation skills they need to become good leaders.

4. Help employees customize their career 

Employees who are the most able to attract different phases in their lives which allows them to ramp up or ramp down during different events going on in their personal and professional lives.

5. Clear articulation of expectations at different levels 

Employees often get frustrated when they do not know how to get ahead in work or how to develop themselves for the future. By being clear about their performance expectations for the future, employees will be able to more accurately self-assess if they have what it takes to move ahead in their organization. Sometimes employees may have an inaccurate perception of their ability to succeed in the organization, and having clear expectations will help managers with the same situation.

Facilitation can take a lot of mental effort, meaning that it can be difficult to think about and contribute content at the same time while facilitating. Neutrality is also very important. As an effective facilitator, one must know when to take a leadership role, and when to be neutral and sit back. The key is to be proficient in the given role and guide the proceedings effectively and to remain focused on the group process rather than specific opinions. Facilitation is an important role to take on and facilitation skills are greatly rewarding.

Filed under: Workshop FacilitationTagged with: ,

What it takes to be a Leader?

We all approach leadership from a unique standpoint – a combination of our own psychological make-up, intelligence training, and experience. Life has taught each one of us what it means to be a leader, and we probably caught our first glimpse of it as children. As we watched our parents, teachers, and coaches, we started to build our own concepts of being a leader, and with every new experience, that concept became more complex. In these experiences, we not only made notes of exemplary leadership styles but also noted things we wouldn’t do if we were in charge.

So, in a way, before any of us took on our first leadership roles, we started to think what it means to be a leader. And yet, as evidence by the conversation we had with seasoned leaders, few of us are prepared to lead. It is obvious that leadership is more of learning by doing act than anything still we have plethora of books stating latest and greatest ways to lead.

With all this information out there, why do so many leaders feel ill-prepared? In our conversation with a leader, he gave us his take on the institutional systems that typically funnel promising people into leadership roles. It is straightforward, if you perform your job well and show some hustle, eventually, you’ll move up the ranks. This is where it got a bit complicated for the leader as they keep on doing exactly what they’d be doing – and now direct reports must do leader’s earlier work and they now require the leader to inspire them and motivate them. Well, nobody taught the leader how to do that. Now, our leader had done all the traditional things that people do to prepare for leadership. They’d been to business school, for example, but still, they are caught off guard by the unique demands placed upon them as a leader. And, in this day-to-day task of it all, there is a requirement for some time for conscious reflection on the style of leadership.

Being a leader requires them to make difficult decisions like – being forced to choose amongst competing demands but what truly messes things up is the fact that people are the integral part of meeting the goals. Leaders often need to align their people with complex goals, deal with resistance, and try to gain a common ground from people with diverse interests.

In order to grow as a leader, you’ll need to focus your leadership skills in new directions, and this may be mentally and physically taxing for you. While you may get your first leadership position due to your positive working attitude or for your outgoing personality, you may want to develop your analytical side to be more successful in your next position. Well it goes without saying, “with great powers comes great responsibility”, a leader must strive to increase their competencies. This means, for example, you may want to balance the art of analyzing situations along with rallying the troops when the synergy is lagging.

Filed under: LeadershipTagged with: , ,

Executive Business Development Training

Who is a Business Development Executive?

A business development executive is someone who looks at business development from a strategic perspective. A business development executive is responsible for acquiring new customers, maintaining relationships with existing customers, build sales pipeline, leverage marketing for acquiring new clients, pitch new products/services, plan sales strategy in existing and new markets. Business development executives are crucial for organizations that want to venture into new markets and offerings.

Why do business development executive need training?

Being critical to the business growth and success of the organization, we must ensure that business development executives have the right set of skills, talent and knowledge. While certain traits are inherent to an individual, others can be developed and honed through training. Business development executives also need to continuously update their market knowledge and understand business trends with the help of training interventions.

What are the critical skills for a business development executive?

Some of the critical skills that you need and that a Business Development Executive Training must cover:

  1. Business Acumen:- The foremost skill that any business development executive must have is Business Acumen. Business acumen is the ability to understand the market and business environment, react to the changing market with agility, anticipate and plan for risks and respond to business situations in a swift and effective manner. A key element of business acumen is the ability to anticipate future trends and risks and respond to them in a planned manner.
  2. Strategic Thinking:-  Strategic Thinking is a set of different competencies that enable a business development executive to plan the sales strategy of an organization using innovation, strategic planning, anticipating future trends, risk taking and operational planning. Effective strategic thinking will result in an overall business strategy that has a greater chance of success.
  3. Communication Skills:- While communication sounds very basic, but at the core of every successful business development executive is their ability to communicate effectively. While basic communication skills like written and oral communication and presentation skills, are a hygiene factor at this stage, what business development executives need are tactical communication skills that will help them in building and maintaining relationships. This would involve learning communication strategies that deal with rapport building, advocacy and inquiry skills, objection handling and managing critical conversations.
  4. Negotiation Skills:- This is perhaps the most important skill a business development executive need. The ability to convince others, listen to their opinions, understand various negotiation strategies that result in long-term gains for the organization are critical skills that a business development executive need.
  5. Project Management:-  We generally associate project management with operations managers, however every client relationship and sales deal are a project and to do this successfully a business development manager should have project management skills. This includes managing the sales team by effective goal setting, time management and risk management. In the long run a business development manager should also look for process improvements in the sales process and this requires project management skills like six sigma, CIP (continual improvement process) etc.

For any business development executive to be successful, they need to acquire these skills through training. But just acquiring these skills is not enough, one must continuously update these skills since the changing market trends bring new perspectives to these skills.

Filed under: Training & DevelopmentTagged with: , ,

Finesse Performance Coaching

Finesse coaching is a collaborative relationship between an individual and the coach that empowers the individual to strengthen their aura. This benefits the individual in both their professional and personal lives and is especially pertinent to senior members of organizations, leaders and independent professionals. Finesse coaching involves focusing on all aspects that can help grow the self-esteem, confidence, behavior and personality of the individual in the positive direction.  It includes a wide array of topics from etiquette, grooming, personality development to everyday behavior. It ensures that the person’s aura is felt in the way they look, talk, act and walk.

In a more organizational context, finesse coaching can fine-tune the way we engage in specific activities. It can help individuals learn how to gracefully enter and exit a conversation, diffuse negativity, solve conflicts peacefully and with subtlety, read others’ intentions, find common ground in a group of diverse people, and enlist the support of other in any matter with rationale. It helps people build quality relationships that are mutually beneficial

Making improvements in these areas helps the individual navigate social relationships with ease, an aspect of life that most people struggle with for decades. Social relationships are of prime importance to leaders and high-level professional since they are complex, delicate and influence the stakes of the success of businesses.

Finesse coaching reiterates the importance of networking and networking without immediate motives, to schedule and spend time with people from diverse backgrounds and exchange information while engaging in activities. Engaging in activities together builds relationships faster and builds a memory of positive experience.

The coaching process allows an individual to engage in activities to test out the skills they want to build. Finesse coaching allows a person to expand their social horizons by empowering them to notice and test people’s intentions, remember their preferences and even take note of the ties they may want to be left to themselves.

To be able to read the context and align with the behavior of others seamlessly while also engaging in the conversation by adding powerful and valued points, is an ability that is highly sought after. Keeping emotions in check and negativity at bay can help an individual utilize their time for productive activities rather than the automatic coping mechanisms that we tend to exhibit if the negative emotions are not addressed.

The coping mechanisms may be in the form of frustration, anger or even avoidance which lead to the reduction in the capacity for information intake. Finesse coaching also teaches individuals how to deal with social failure. Sometimes in social situations rejections are inevitable and what is most important is how the rejection is handled. A quick recovery and a graceful response will always build social reputation and relationships.

Finesse coaching is relevant to most people as face value is of prime importance in today’s business world. It is more important to those who need to strike others as important, confident and a leader. Investing in finesse coaching improves the quality of impact and the footprint that a person leaves wherever they go.

Filed under: Coaching