How to Manage Your Millennial in the Workplace – Innovate in the Face of Rejection (Part 1)

How to Manage Your Millennial in the Workplace – Innovate in the Face of Rejection (Part 1)

The inability of your Millennial sales leader and salespeople to deal with rejection effectively undermines your brilliant strategic plans.

How much does your up-and-coming sales leader struggle in handling rejection? How often does this become a weak link in his or her sales armor, preventing them from being as courageous as they need to be in stretching and expanding their leadership comfort zone?

My recent Forbes article, Two Secrets to Building Resilience in Millennial Leaders to Achieve Sales Results, highlights three action steps you can use to coach and mentor your Millennial sales leader on resiliency and to:

  • take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors;
  • creatively overcoming their latest challenge; and
  • get back into the ring when they fall.

You can read the full Forbes article here.

How does your Millennial sales leader react when they get rejected?

 “The only way for the leader of a team to create a safe environment for his team members to be vulnerable is by stepping up and doing something that feels unsafe and uncomfortable first.” ― Patrick LencioniThe Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

Our research shows that 31% of all salespeople do not handle rejection effectively. These are some of the behaviors that I see in up-and-coming sales leaders who struggle to handle rejection:

  • It affects their self-image.
  • They see themselves as a failure.
  • They experience personal rejection.
  • They avoid future “high risk” scenarios.
  • They struggle to put the last episode behind them quickly.
  • They are hesitant to take the necessary actions to shape positive future outcomes.

Each of these beliefs and behaviors undermines their productivity, reducing their ability to hit their numbers and exceed plan.

Here are additional insights to assist your Millennial in the workplace to build resilience and overcome rejection.

  • Engage the Sisu conceptOxford Dictionary defines resiliency as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” This definition ties in perfectly with another powerful word – sisu. It’s a Finnish word I grew up with. In short, sisu means taking responsibility and moving forward, even when facing strong competition and seemingly overwhelming stumbling blocks. In the Forbes article, I’ve written in greater detail about the origin and meaning of this word.
  • Evaluate Self-talk – Encourage your emerging sales leader to take inventory of their reaction to rejection. Help them realize that they can’t con­trol outcomes (such as getting a “no”), but they can control their reaction. It is important to monitor self-talk after getting rejected. Is it negative? (I’m a failure, I’ll never make my target.) Or is it constructive? (This client rejected my proposition, they didn’t reject me.)
  • Establish an Emergency Recovery Plan – Assist your millennial sales leader to draw up an action plan to help them deal with rejection. This list can include simple, yet constructive ideas such as:
    • Mindshift – Getting the “no” is not the end of my world. It simply means I can move on to my next sale.
    • Reflection – Might I have done something differently to get another result? Do I need to go back and push harder, or do I need to let go?
    • Learn – What can I learn from this experience? (Encourage your Millennial sales leader to talk to a colleague who is able to bounce back quickly from rejection. They can ask them questions about how they think and behave after getting a “no.”)
    • Action – I’m putting this experience behind me. I will now focus my attention on the preparation of my next sales call.

Rejection comes in many forms. It might be a prospect who says, “No thanks.” Maybe your up-and-coming sales leader experience rejection when their latest bright idea isn’t accepted. The source of rejection isn’t important. What matters is how your millennial sales leader reacts to this powerful word.

Remind your Millennial that resilient salespeople don’t wallow in defeat. They get back into the game and emerge as respected leaders. 

Read my next article in this series to learn more about building resilient Millennial sales leaders. Read the full Forbes article, Two Secrets to Building Resilience in Millennial Leaders to Achieve Sales Results, for all the detail. Read part 2 of this article here.

Leadership Lesson: Resilient salespeople recover quickly from rejection, get back into the game and emerge as respected leaders. 

Leadership Question: How are you assisting your Millennial in the workplace to deal with rejection?

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© Copyright 2018 Danita Bye

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