Five Ways To Defeat Distractions
Your sales reps have a lot competing for their attention. From common disruptions at home, like the TV or errands, to more time-consuming obligations, like homeschooling children or caring for a sick family member, the distractions seem to be at an all-time high. When your team members are pulled in many different directions, productivity suffers.
If you feel like your sales team is constantly running late, putting out fires or operating from a generally frenzied state, you can take steps to help them through the chaos and get them back on track. Karen Hurt and David Dye, leadership development experts and founders of Let’s Grow Leaders, note that distractions and disruptions are part of life, but they don’t have to be so frustrating.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share guidance from Hurt and Dye on how to help your employees make the most of their workday by defeating distractions.
1. Define the M.I.T. According to Hurt and Dye, your team’s M.I.T. is the Most Important Thing. Do your sales reps know what they should focus on first, and do they know what to do each day and week to help them achieve these goals? Without clearly defined M.I.T.s, your team will always be reactive and distracted by the unexpected and urgent, note Hurt and Dye. To get your team back on track, be sure your team knows what it means to stay on track.
2. Accept that unexpected things will happen. Living through the pandemic in the past year has prepared your team for more interruptions and emergencies than you might think. While your sales reps are resilient, you can still help bring calm to the chaos by determining what is causing the most disruptions. Dye and Hurt recommend listing your team’s most common distractions and then considering how often these distractions arise and how disruptive they are for everyone.
3. Develop a plan to return to the M.I.T. When you know your team’s biggest disruptions, you can develop a strategic plan to handle them. For example, if one of your common distractions is a client who regularly escalates to the executive office, Hurt and Dye say it’s important to build a standard way of responding that will minimize the time spent addressing the situation. Without a process, it’s easy for this urgent situation to involve more people than necessary and end up derailing your team’s progress.
4. Allow some wiggle room. Another way to defeat distractions is maintain margin. If you scheduled your team every day with wall-to-wall meetings and urgent deadlines, you have a fragile system with no margin for error, say Hurt and Dye. Any interruption is likely to throw your team completely off course. That’s why it’s important to not only plan your response, but also give yourself margin in your calendar to respond.
5. Eliminate causes. When know your team’s frequent distractions, think about how you can remove them. For example, can you develop a new process or fix a problem in your user experience? Maybe you can address a communication breakdown that regularly happens. Dye and Hurt recommend bringing your team together, showing them what a successful idea will achieve and asking for their thoughts on how to solve the issue.
Whether they happen at work or at home, distractions take your mind off what you should be doing and diminish your team’s ability to do their best work. From clearly defining priorities to anticipating disruptions, you can equip your team to push back against distractions and bring more focus into their day.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Karen Hurt and David Dye are leadership development experts and founders of Let’s Grow Leaders.