Building any culture for that matter. I had the fortunate experience of attending Gong.io‘s Celebrate summit a few weeks ago. Lots of great content but the thing that stuck out out to me the most was the interview between Amit Bendov and Headcoach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr. Amit asked about building a culture and Coach Kerr shared a story of where and how he started when he first took over as head coach in 2014. He explained that he asked and went to watch the Seattle Seahawks training camp and spend time with Pete Carroll their head coach. At one point Coach Carroll asked Steve to come into his office, and he asked Steve, “How are you going to run your team?” Coach Kerr asked, “Do you mean, what kind of offense?” And Coach Carroll, explained, “Not that, but how will you build your culture to run your team?” Steve then spent some time thinking through this and came up with 4 pillars for which to build the culture for the Warriors.
Pillar 1: Joy
Coach Kerr wants the team to have fun. Whether it’s music in the locker room, humor, and even letting the team coach themselves throughout the season.
Pillar 2: Competition
It’s professional basketball, come on! Apparently all the skills and drills they run during practice also include some tracking of metrics and competition between the players. Given his resume in basketball, and in particular, playing with what he calls the most competitive person he ever met/played with, Michael Jordan, that seems appropriate.
Pillar 3: Compassion
While these are grown men playing a game, one must still have compassion for them. Also, he wants to pursue compassion in the community, not just the locker room.
Pillar 4: Mindfulness
This is definitely a piece of what he learned under Phil Jackson and the Bulls. He spoke specifically about the meditation. All the Bulls, MJ included, who would spend time meditating, learning to breathe, and learning to create white space moments in thought where you learn to think about nothing. Through this, it allows you to better focus on things when you are thinking.
All of this is critical in building culture, in particular, a #sales culture.
If you think your team needs “Negotiation Skills” Training, you could be making the biggest mistake EVER! First, people don’t define what they mean by “Negotiation Skills” when it comes to sales training. Here is how to better define it, and be careful of buzz words. At the end of negotiation training, we want the team to be better at ___, ____, and ____. (Hint: Cannot be “closing more deals”) Here are some examples. I have seen when it comes to negotiation training, it often means doing a better job of qualifying and discovery. The tactics in negotiations are many times the same in qualifying: How to use open/closed-ended questions, Psychological Mirroring, Emotional Labeling, earning the right to ask questions through Respect Contracts. Yes, negotiation strategies do exist, but they are often fruitless if you haven’t done more before you reach that point.
Ability to walk away from the deal – If the rep, manager, C-Level will not walk away from bad deals, then negotiation skills training will be meaningless.
Discounting Hangover – Too many discounts reduce your teams’ courage to hold pricing and confidence to do so, and more importantly, it reduces their confidence in the leadership team.
This means your team thinks you (they) plays favorites, does things on a whim, and sends conflicting messages. Then when you (they) decide not to give a discount (no matter your justification) you “blame the rep”. It’s not their fault. “It’s your (Managements’).
So, before you hire “the worlds greatest negotiator” you now need to fill in the following blanks as an executive. After negotiation training I will STOP ____, _____, and _____ which f’ups my team.