Messing up is never comfortable. But even more uncomfortable than making the mistake itself is owning up to it. Rather than trying to sweep it under the rug, being open and transparent with your team can actually improve morale and trust.
Learn more in this clip from the What Sales Can Learn From series featuring Sara Gupta.
Being able to be transparent with your team and openly admit when you've made mistakes and I think this was something you had in your LinkedIn post. I think for sales leaders, their first reaction is, "Well, what is my team going to say? How are they going to react? What are they going to look at me like?" When you admitted, "I should have dealt with this earlier with my team, with this particular challenging person," what was their reaction? What did they say? Did the world end?
No, the world did not end. Most people respond very favorably to that, of like, "Yeah. Okay, cool. One, wow, she wasn't a total idiot and she saw what was going on and was just picking her path on how to deal with it," which can actually give the team more confidence because oftentimes that silence, it can come across as-
"I don't really know what's going on here." I think it boosted the confidence, it boosted the bond and the trust with the team, and then there's always going to be that individual or couple individuals who have strong points of view or think it should've been handled differently. But then that's where you have to just have your own personal confidence.
The goal is not to be liked by everyone. The goal is to drive results for everyone and do that in the best way that you know how and most often that comes through being decisive, creating a place of trust, and then being transparent and vulnerable where appropriate. Because, per your point, there's also times where it's not appropriate. And that can be one of the most challenging things is when you start to lean into a style of transparency and a style of vulnerability, knowing where the line is on the other side of it, of not oversharing, of still creating that layer of protection between senior leadership and your team. So that's the other side of the coin, I think.
Yeah. When you said that, you know where that line is with your team and transparency, I was immediately reminded of a conversation I had with a sales person last week where their VP of sales came onto a group call. The company had just been acquired and she's in tears and crying and you can't understand anything that she's saying. Not that there's anything wrong with crying in front of your team or in the workplace, but it was just a little too much. There is a line, I believe. I'm all for being vulnerable, but also have some emotional control to a degree.
Looking for more sales leadership tips?
Check out the Unbound Growth Youtube page for more clips like this, or check out the full on-demand session featuring Sara Gupta here.