According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “Leaders must be firm and foster accountability, but they also must know when to forgive past mistakes in the service of building a brighter future.” She goes on to note that, “Anger and blame are unproductive emotions that tie up energy.”
Although Dr. Kanter was writing about leadership in general, we thought her message held merit for front-line sales managers. Most sales managers work in a highly demanding and challenging environment. They learn early on that accountability driven by constant measurement is an on-going backdrop for everything they do.
But when is the last time you participated in a sales manager training program and the subjects of “handling past mistakes’ or “avoiding blame” came up?
Clearly it is important to help sales managers learn how to create an environment where accountability is valued and taken seriously. However, it is also important to help sales managers learn how to create a culture where trust, experimentation, and thoughtful risk taking are encouraged.
Successful sales managers skillfully set a tone that enables them to build receptivity and trust with their sales team. In such cases, the feedback they provide is more likely to be heard, accepted, and actioned. This all helps create an environment where a sales team can move beyond their comfort zone.
Some other posts on sales management and sales coaching you also might find interesting are:
- Sales managers … don’t forget about trust
- Sales coaching – critique vs. performance correction
- Sales management – it’s about time
- New sales managers- pitfalls and perils of off-the-cuff comments
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