The 7-T Success System
In the first blog of this series, I introduced The 7-T Success System, an easy-to-use guide for leaders at all levels of the organization, from supervisor to CEO. As a reminder, the seven T’s are:
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
The 7-T Success System is designed as a guide for those who have the desire and drive to become a leader who inspires others to work toward a common goal. The 7-T Success System provides a comprehensive framework to help leaders identify the right things to focus on and provides a roadmap for doing those things in the right way. The 7-T Success System helps employees at all levels identify what comprises great leadership, how to achieve it, and how to leverage it to drive accomplishment and build high-performing teams.
In the first blogs of this series, I introduced the first 5 components of the 7-T Success System, which are TARGETS, TALENT, TECHNIQUE, TOOLS and TONE. The next two blogs will focus on two T’s that bring all the other T’s together to ensure the team and its individual members are hitting on all cylinders. Those T’s are TRAINING and TRACKING. This blog will focus on TRAINING. Once targets have been documented and communicated, your team (talent) is in place, your technique (processes) have been established and your organization’s tone has been set, now it’s time to ensure everyone has the required knowledge and direction to optimize each element within each of the T’s.
The TRAINING component of the 7-T Success System refers to all coaching efforts, from new hire training to skill building, that should be happening within every organization. To ensure team and company success, each employee needs to understand how to leverage and maximize each of the components and elements of the 7-T Success System. Organizations can have great Talent, Technique and Tools, but fall short of achieving goals due to employees not being trained properly.
“What I hear I forget. What I see I remember. What I do I understand.” – Confucius
One of the best training techniques I’ve learned throughout my career is the Tell-Show-Do methodology. This approach has been around for thousands of years because it’s effective and it works, whether the skills being taught are simple procedures or highly complex activities. Have you ever started daydreaming in the middle of a lecture or workshop? I’d be willing to bet that the instructor was staying too long in the “Tell” zone and not getting participants involved enough.
Training occurs in many settings within an organization. Of course, new hire training is typically an employee’s first experience within a company. But it shouldn’t be the last. Once new hire training is complete, employees begin to perform their jobs in a “production” mode. Here, they are likely coached by an immediate supervisor and longer-tenured colleagues.
I experienced one of the best examples of the Tell-Show-Do approach at the beginning of my career in the contact center world as a part-time telemarketer in the 1980s. My colleagues and I were trained to sell our company’s discount savings club memberships to our client’s credit cardholders. We learned about the product and received sales scripts to use when speaking with current cardholders. Most of the telemarketers were college students like me, with little or no experience in sales.
Training only lasted three days. After that, we would move from training class onto the sales floor. There, we’d spend five hours each evening smiling and dialing to pitch our membership service to credit cardholders across the country. It wasn’t a complicated process. But as we got closer to graduation, everyone in the class became nervous because we’d never done this type of work before.
The last step of the training class was to make an actual sales call from our desks in the training room. Our instructor told us that when we made our first sale we would graduate to the sales floor. We all began to make calls. After each of us had completed two or three calls from our list of leads without closing any sales, the trainer had us stop. He collected our lead lists and addressed the entire class. He gave us generic feedback, telling us that we were following the scripts appropriately and sounded fine, but we simply lacked a confident tone. He went on to explain that if we didn’t sound confident, the customer would subconsciously assume that we weren’t closing many sales. If we weren’t closing many sales, the product must not be very good. Why would they be compelled to buy the product?
This made sense to me. Another trainee then asked, “Well, I haven’t made any sales yet. I’m not confident, so what do I do?” The instructor replied, “You have to fake it ‘til you make it.” His message was clear. Speak confidently and sales will come.
The instructor walked over to me, laid a new lead list in front of me, and told me to dial. He advised, “This time, sell with a confident tone.” I still remember the customer’s name. Mrs. Compton answered the phone and I delivered the script, trying to sound as confident as possible. She bought the membership! The entire room cheered. The instructor asked everyone else to do the same with their next calls. Within 30 minutes, everyone had made a sale. I couldn’t believe how simply changing our tone could make such a difference. We all moved to the sales floor with the class feeling a level of accomplishment and confidence we were lacking just an hour earlier.
About three months later, I learned from one of the supervisors that the second set of leads we’d received that final night of training weren’t real customers. Rather, they were employees of our corporate office, asked to “buy” from us during the sales graduation exercise. What a brilliant way to assess skills and boost confidence at the same time!
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth, without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
The annual performance reviews most companies provide their employees are gradually being replaced by quarterly, monthly and even weekly performance reviews. In the case of a frontline supervisor, performance reviews should absolutely occur on a weekly basis. Obviously, they won’t be the same type of review given annually or quarterly, but like the typical annual reviews, they should address every KPI being measured, not just (for example) call quality or sales results, etc. To facilitate weekly performance reviews, many contact center organizations have invested in modern performance management systems. These systems aggregate data into one centralized database and present it back to the employees in dashboard form. Employees can see their performance in all KPI areas and instantly see how they’re doing vs. targets. This type of system makes weekly reviews between agents and supervisors, supervisors and managers, etc. very easy, without any surprises. The employee is aware of his/her performance, so the eminent “criticism” and coaching is expected, accepted and thus, much more useful than when receiving a formal review once a year or quarter.
As mentioned earlier, an organization may have all the other components and elements within the 7-T Success System nailed, but if it’s not investing and executing in the proper TRAINING processes, none of these other components will reach their potential.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” – Warren Bennis
If you’re already a leader, or are an aspiring leader, you don’t want to simply manage your team or organization; you want to lead it and build a winning team. The fact that you’ve taken the time to read this blog means you’re ready to accelerate your organization’s success journey and demonstrate your value as a leader. The 7-T Success System can help you accomplish that. Let’s go, leaders!
Casey Kostecka is an award-winning thought leader and expert in sales, customer experience management and contact center operations within BPO/outsourcing, healthcare, travel/hospitality, and government arenas. His proven track record in leading $500M+ organizations to record-breaking growth and profitability makes him a sought-after speaker and consultant. Casey’s extensive experience with process engineering, leadership cultivation, and team and customer engagement led him to develop unique, highly effective tools. Casey is the founder of TouchPoint One and its award-winning ACUITYTM Performance Management System, multiple proprietary gamification applications, and the 7-T Success System™ are all of which are employed by Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States. Learn more about his work at www.touchpointone.com and www.7TSuccess.com.