Recognizing Your Own Stinking Thinking
In previous posts, we’ve looked at the Championship Mindset that separates
the top 10% sales professionals from everyone else. Beyond stellar sales skills and a “play to win” mentality, these top performers are able to persevere
and thrive in the face of the same market and environmental challenges that others find insurmountable. The key? They recognize moments of “stinking
thinking” and are able to reframe those thoughts in positive, forward-looking ways.
The Dangers of Stinking Thinking
We know that our perceptions create self-talk and our self-talk influences our behaviors. When our self-talk is negative – stinking thinking – we can convince ourselves that a situation is hopeless. If everything is out of our control, then there is nothing we can do that will lead to success.
When stinking thinking goes unchecked, even high performing reps can become toxic, eroding their own confidence and success over time – and negatively
influencing others around them. In the most daunting dark times of negative self-talk, this can make one question whether they are really a fit for
the sales profession. Anyone who has done sales for more than 90 days has had this thought. Those who had it within 30 days of starting a new sales
position are probably not in sales today.
Recognizing Stinking Thinking
While everyone has moments of stinking thinking, the top 10% salespeople are differentiated by their ability to view challenges mostly as opportunities for growth and learning. The chart below includes some of the most common examples of stinking thinking, along with the positive thinking approach that a top 10% performer would take in the same situation.
|I've never done it before.||It's an opportunity to learn something new.|
|It's too complicated.||I'll tackle it from a different angle.|
|I don't have the resources.||Necessity is the mother of invention.|
|I'm too lazy to get this done.||I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.|
|There's no way it will work.||I can try to make it work.|
|It's too radical a change.||Let's take a chance.|
|No one bothers to communicate with me.||I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.|
|I'm not going to get any better at this.||I'll give it another try.|
Turning Stinking Thinking into Positive Thinking
The solution appears relatively simple -- if we can learn to identify our stinking thinking and the associated triggers, we can use those moments to reorient to positive perceptions. However, that approach merely addresses the surface issues, rather than delving into the thinking patterns that are the root cause of stinking thinking and self-sabotage.
Our positive and negative thinking patterns are often sub-conscious, making it difficult to correct and develop real independence and belief in self. Creating
positive perceptions and positive, performance-enhancing thinking patterns can re-ignite confidence, increase drive, develop mental toughness, and
If you have been working to improve sales performance, you know that we can train, practice and coach to improve sales skills and product knowledge. We
can learn about the market, competition, and to be creative problem solvers and expert advisors. All of these things can build self-confidence in the
performer, but without developing positive, performance-enhancing thinking patterns, we lack the foundation for success.
Ready to address your own Stinking Thinking and develop the Championship Mindset that can boost you into the top 10%? Visit our Workshops & Webinars page to register for an upcoming session.