Monthly Archives: April 2010

Training Activity: Story in 6 Words or Less?

Can you tell a story in 6 words or less? Hmmm….let’s try:

She just left…I am exhausted.
Thank God, good things still happen.
We came. We conquered. We celebrated.
Hot fudge sundae. I am stuffed.
We kissed. She melted. Mop please!*
Find satisfaction for now, regret tomorrow.*

The challenge to tell a story in 6 words or less was posted on the ASTD National page on LinkedIN. What an interesting idea to paint a picture in a few words–leaving much to the imagination. As I read through the discussion posts, I wondered how we might incorporate this challenge into a training design:

4MAT Connect Activity (Step 1 of a 4MAT Training Design): Encourage the learners to reflect on their experiences around the training concept. Have them write a story about their experience in 6 words or less. Imagine learners reflecting on their experiences of “great mentor relationships” or difficulty in “resolving conflicts” or “being part of a powerful team”. What stories might they share in 6 words or less? What powerful dialogue might emerge as the learners explored their 6 Word Stories further?

Who are YOU? In 6 words or less, can you tell your story?

How else might we use a “6 Words or Less” Story Exercise?

*Posted comments on ASTD LinkedIn page

Inc. Magazine and the Concept of Selling

If you were tasked with designing a high-impact sales training, where would you start? The 4MAT design model leads us into analyzing and defining four distinct outcomes for the learner:

Quadrant 1-What value shift must occur in the learner? How must they think about this differently?

Quadrant 2-What knowledge must the learner have?

Quadrant 3-What skills must the learner possess?

Quadrant 4-What adaptations will the learner need to make to ensure transfer in the real world?

To get started with that training program, you may want to check out this month’s Inc magazine which gives us a glimpse into the inner psyche of the super salesperson. To craft a solid Quadrant 1 outcome (and great training opening), you must get into the mindset of the high performer. How does the high performer think differently than the struggling performer? What do they value differently?

In the article titled, What Makes Great Salespeople Tick psychoanalyst Rapaille shares that great salespeople are “happy losers”. Rapaille shares that “Happy losers are people who see rejection as a challenge.”  Rapaille goes on to explain that our first experiences in selling shape our views. When we sold (or didn’t sell) that first box of Girl Scout cookies, a foundational view of sales was formed.

What if you designed that sales training with the concept of “happy loser”. It might look like this:

4MAT Step 1: Connect

Reflect on early experiences in “selling” something. Can you recall being faced with your first rejection? Describe the experience. How did you feel? What was the impact of that expereince?

Here the learner is tapping into their experiences which shape their perceptions around the content.

4MAT Step 2:  Attend

Share your experiences in your table group. Answer the following questions, as a group:

What were the commonalities in your experiences?

How did this experience shape your view of “selling”?

Here the learners compare and contrast their experiences. The learners begin to notice themes and identify how perceptions shape their behaviors. Energy is building around the topic.

4MAT Step 3: Image

Using the materials provided by your facilitator, create a visual which illustrates how positive and negative  feedback from a potential “buyer” impacts your sales approach.

Here the learner begins to see how their perceptions (which are shaped by past experience) influence their results. Imagine a learner sharing a visual with “positive=negative” written across the paper chart sharing, “Positive and negative cues from a buyer give me equal value. Each points me in the right direction.”

Notice how the concept of “happy loser” (or, if you must be traditional “embracing negativity”) links to the image of finding value in positive and negative cues. The rest of the design could flow easily from this beginning.

What concepts have you used in sales training that worked well?