I remember in detail a young sales executive that continuously butted heads with his manager. There were many outbursts of anger from the manager towards this junior executive, and he couldn’t stand coming into work to face this dreaded situation.
This conflict between the two fascinated me. The Junior Sales Rep had outstanding sales numbers, was arriving early and was given so much opportunity.
Through observing the two, I discovered that the Sales Executive was attracting more attention from this manager then any of the other 30 Sales Reps.
I had the chance to speak to them individually; I was amazed at what was revealed.
Your Sales Manager is in that position for a reason, whether its from consistent performance, leadership qualities, charisma or ability to close the deal. Maybe it’s a combination of them all and more. The first point to remember is no matter what leadership style your manager portrays; he or she is still human.
Understanding the human psyche is the first step.
Every action we take is linked to a positive intention. We are all trying to get ahead in some area of our lives. Our strategy for achieving these positive intentions will vary. In some cases we may gamble away other areas to reach our desired outcome.
The first question to ask yourself is, “What is the positive intention behind your manager’s actions?”
Is he or she trying gain more control in life?
Is it power that they are lacking?
Is it importance?
Is it to release stress?
It may be that your sales manager sees your potential and the only way they know how to bring that out of you is through verbal force.
In the example above, the manager’s positive intention was to achieve his goals for the salesroom. He felt that kicking the Sales Executive’s butt was the best way to achieve that result.
List what you believe your Sales Manager positive intention is through their actions.
When faced with a decision, we tend to feel stressed with a perceived lack of options. This can lead us into a “stuck state of being”. Your manager may have developed a lack of options when it comes to their leadership style. Knowing that this is their perceived ‘best choice’ of action is not going to make you feel better about it. However, it will at least allow you to understand what is going on in their mind.
In the example above, the sales rep did not see that the manager had tried other techniques. The manager discovered results from this specific technique and unconsciously stuck with it.
List the reasons why your Manager could feel limited with his or her options towards leading you?
From the moment we enter the world, we develop an unconscious map of reality based on experiences and beliefs. We measure our current circumstances against how we unconsciously believe our reality should be. This can either work for you or work against you if it leads to self sabotage.
What professional experiences of management and leadership has your manager received for themselves? What is their immediate supervisor like towards them? Could this style of leadership come down a chain of command or a link through time?
In the previous example the manager had an extremely stern leader, who he considered a mentor. Based off the success he had achieved through this style of leadership, he adopted a similar style to confirm his perception on how to be successful.
List what external factors your manager has experienced that may be causing this treatment towards you.
One thing we tend to lack is seeing things how others see them. We all create experiences through our own personal filters and frames of reality. We find it difficult to see a different perspective because we are too wrapped up in our own wants and needs.
Are you looking at this situation solely through your eyes? Have you considered stepping out of yourself and seeing the situation from the perspective of a fly on the wall, watching the communication between the two of you?
In the example, the Sales Executive felt that he was being picked on treated unfairly. The Sales Manager was completely unaware of how the young executive felt, so he kept doing what he thought worked.
Have you stepped out of your shoes to see this situation from a different perspective? Try that now and list some new ways you could see this situation.
Having a clearer understanding on the human psyche will go a long way in your current situation. If you give yourself permission to shift your perspective, you can enjoy a great professional relationship with your leader.
So was it hatred that the Sales Executive was experiencing? Or was it potential?
As I spoke with the Manager, he explained to me that he saw an unbelievable amount of potential in the junior Sales Executive. He was pushing him to reach his potential. Not only was he grooming him to become a manager alongside of him, but he saw himself in this Sales Rep. He wanted him to achieve the things that he didn’t.
Even though the manager had good intentions, his actions were creating a negative working environment. Because of this, the two sat down and discussed the situation and the relationship flourished.
So, before you throw in the towel or spend another night in a state of frustration, look at your situation from another angle. A different perspective allows more options. Options allow you to make better choices.
Don’t wait for your manager to come up with a solution. Take a step in the direction of happiness in your professional life. It’s just around the corner.
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For more information or sales coaching, contact Adam Defoe, iNLP Sales Coach and Trainer.