The Green Sheet Online Edition
January 14, 2013 • Issue 13:01:01
Use your strengths to improve weak areas
What would it take for you to make 2013 your best year ever, both personally and professionally? You may be pleased with your 2012 business results, or you might wish the year had gone a bit better. But no matter how you feel about the past, you can prepare to do even better in the future.
If you're an ISO or merchant level salesperson, you already have a lot going for you. You've chosen a career with enormous potential in a dynamic industry where a sale made today can pay you residuals for years to come. Also, like most folks drawn to a career in sales, you aren't the shy, retiring type. You are friendly and able to draw people out and make them feel at ease. And given the degree of disruption in our industry, you enjoy learning new things and surmounting challenges.
In addition, you are unique, with a set of skills, attributes and experiences that only you possess. Take a moment now to think about your qualities - all the characteristics that make you, you. What do you feel are your three greatest strengths? Write them down. Next, list three things about you that you'd like to improve. Write those down, too. Consider the second list for a few moments. Which one would make the most positive difference in your life if it were improved? Now, think about how you can use your positive qualities to help you do just that.
Here are some examples:
- Let's say one of your main strengths is the ability to develop mutually supportive relationships with your colleagues, and the thing you'd like to change most is your habit of procrastinating for the first half hour of each work day. You chat up your co-workers, surf the Internet, dash to the nearest cafe to pick up coffee for all takers, make arrangements for a romantic dinner with your spouse - anything but pick up the phone to call your next prospect. You can enlist the aid of one of your most trusted colleagues to begin each work day in a more productive way. Explain what is going on and set an initial objective such as limiting your procrastination time to 15 minutes. Ask your co-worker for help in accomplishing this.
- Maybe one of your strengths is your ability to grasp technological concepts quickly, but you are impatient when explaining them to people who don't catch on as quickly as you do. You could pair with someone you work with who has difficulty with technology. Offer to do a series of tutorials that covers every bit of technology your ISO uses. Admit that you want to become more patient when explaining technology to others, and work out a system by which your colleague could give you honest feedback. You would benefit by growing as a teacher, which would help you in dealing with merchants. Your colleague would gain knowledge, which could help with his or her merchant interactions, as well.
These scenarios are, of course, not as nuanced or specific as the ones you will envision for your own life. They are offered to show how you can rely on your strengths to improve areas of your life you'd like to change. Why not start today? Pick just one thing to change. Get support. Take consistent little steps. You may be amazed at how far you will have come by January 2014.
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