A sweet spot is where a combination of factors results in the maximum response for a given amount of effort. In sports, the sweet spot is the place on a bat, club, or racket at which it makes most effective contact with the ball.
As leaders, it's important to not only help people identify their sweet spot, but also to maximize and expand it. Here are three tips for coaching and developing your employee's sweet spot:
1. Discover a person's purpose. It's important to know what makes each person happiest at work. This is the spark that fuels performance.
For example, an associate recently told me she loves being able to help a customer treat herself to something new. As a result, I was able to help the associate see that she does that with every customer, even if the customer didn't mention it. Given more purpose, the associate's sweet spot was expanded.
2. Show an employee how her success in one area can transfer to another. Most employees know what products they do well with, but don't always know why. Take time to observe the employee so you can see and hear exactly what she does to be successful
Now transfer that to another part of the store or company. Roleplay and practice with the person so he can experience why those actions translate to another area.
3. Stretch your employee's comfort zone. I believe that most people have a vast amount of untapped potential. Not that they don't give maximum effort, but that they haven't necessarily been challenged in new and different ways.
One way to expand a person's sweet spot is to give them new responsibilities that leverage what they already do well.
Here's an example. I once asked an amazing sales person to come up with a seven-point plan to increase sales in a specific area of the store. This person had no management experience, and had never done anything like this. At first she was overwhelmed with the idea, but I explained to her why I knew she could do it.
I asked for seven points, as I wanted her to really stretch her thinking. She not only came back with some excellent ideas, but also ended up implementing them, including a new training for the staff.
So let me ask, how have you been expanding your staff's sweet spot? The bigger the sweet spot the higher the level of performance, and that's sure to make your customers, you and the staff all very happy. And that's sweet!
About Doug Fleener
Doug Fleener, a proven business and customer service experience expert, helps companies achieve performance that exceeds customer and employee expectations resulting in more sales, profits, and customers.
Learn more about our services at Sixth Star Consulting, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you achieve higher levels of performance and results. Learn about Doug's keynotes and workshops at DougFleener.com.