Trying brings hesitancy, doing brings commitment.

We’ve all been there. We’ve used “I’ll try” just to avoid saying no – to be polite, to be kind or simply to avoid a discussion. But we know what “I’ll try” means. It’s just a backup in case we fail so that we can say “at least I’ve tried”.

But as a great character once said: “Do or do not, there is no try.

So, if you want your sales team to succeed, start fostering the “Yoda mentality”: only by focusing on doing will you have a high-performing team.

Part of this hesitancy is related to the fear of failure. It is perfectly normal: people do not want to fail. But what makes them so fearful?¬†At Attentive we believe in failing fast and learning from it. We encourage everyone on our team to follow their gut, to go ahead and do it. If it doesn’t work, we analyze what went wrong, learn our lessons and move on.

How do you foster this Yoda Mentality?

Encourage people to act

Especially if you’re already seeing more trying than doing, you may need to give people a little nudge to put things in motion. Maybe they’re waiting for an opportunity to give an idea or to take a project off the paper. So don’t be shy and start triggering motion!

There are several ways you can encourage your team to act. Here are a few:

  • Celebrate small victories
  • Focus on the right instead of the wrong
  • Tell people positive things about themselves
  • Always be honest
  • Be positive (and foster a positive, safe and comfortable workplace)
  • If you can’t say anything nice, be quiet.

Redefine failure

What does failure mean to you and your team? Is that negative cloud hovering over everyone’s head? Then it is time to redefine failure.

By changing the perspective, failure can suddenly become a learning opportunity instead of something to be ashamed of. It can even become a small victory. Rewarding (or simply recognizing) the ones who dare to fail can translate into a huge shift in how your team perceives failure.

Listen and Observe

Watching your team – not in a creepy way – can be a highly valuable experiment you definitely want to try. People open up when they feel someone is listening, leading to a more comfortable and safe environment. Giving people room to speak up and share ideas can be a step toward a more proactive company.

This can be a slow process, but extremely rewarding. Fostering an environment where people feel their opinion is heard and respected is a great foundation for creating a team of Doers.

Be an example

Look at your daily interactions with your team. Are you leading by example? How many times per day are you using the verb “try”? Are you falling into the same trap?

Above all, be honest, not only with yourself but with your team. Vulnerability and business do not go well together, however part of being human is being vulnerable. And leaders are too. It’s how you deal with it that dictates the perception people have of you. And if your team sees someone who is not afraid to fail, who is always ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, who is happy to own a project, it is likely they will feel compelled to do so as well.