Focus On Progress
May 2, 2023
I was recently in a performance disussion with a young colleague struggling in his newly appointed sales role. He was accustomed to quick success in his previous roles, so not achieving results in the current sales role was a challenging and new experience for him. He reflected, “I have spent time on the role but am struggling. Results are hard to come by, and I wonder if I am in the right place.”
Neither my young colleague’s struggles nor his way of thinking were unique. Most people process their challenges in a similar way.
In many workplaces, success is often defined by the achievement of specific goals and targets. As a result, people tend to celebrate and recognize those who meet or exceed their targets while overlooking or ignoring those who fall short. This creates a false impression for many that progress or growth is not happening if goals are not achieved. Consequently, people may feel discouraged and think they are not progressing, even if they are developing valuable skills and improving in their roles.
The image below illustrates this point nicely
This is the same message I conveyed to my young friend. Don’t get distracted just because results are not happening. In sales, results are always a lagged indicator(like in most roles). They occur when you develop your selling skills.Focus on making progress in terms of improving your skills. Results will automatically follow. This was my parting message to my colleague as the discussion concluded.