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Sales Training: Is Your Sales Team Too Nice

Category: Sales Training  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sales Training Insight: Is Your Sales Team Too Nice?

By Paul Nolan

As published in SalesForceXP - July-August 2011

There is a condition afflicting companies that often goes undiagnosed because it's perceived as benign, but the truth is it's corrosive, says John Baldoni, an author and leadership coach (baldoniconsulting.com). He calls it the "disease of nice."

"Niceness in an organizational setting is the avoidance of conflict," Baldoni says, adding, "Note that I said avoidance, not absence."

 

While non-confrontation may seem more desirable, when it becomes part of the culture it can wreak havoc. How do you know when your company has fallen into the too-much-niceness syndrome? Baldoni offers some tip-offs:

People say "Oh wonderful" a lot. We all like to get a pat on the back, but when affirmation is constant, you know it is nothing more than "happy talk."

In meetings, people say, "Hmmm." That's a signal there is disagreement but someone is reluctant to voice his doubts or opposition.

Colleagues frequently say, "No matter." This may be the worst symptom of all - apathy. When employees cease to care, then the whole team is in trouble.

Conflict - aka "creative tension" - has a positive role to play in every company, Baldoni says. Failure to address conflicts creates a non-confrontational culture that is complacent. In today's world, complacency is a recipe for a slow decay.

As Baldoni puts it, "You don't want employees throwing stones, but you do want them to have a pebble or two they can hurl when the status quo needs breaking."

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