Mikayla Takacs2023-12-07T14:55:31-05:00December 7, 2023|
Ian Robinson is founder of Enliven Design, a company he started in 2012 to create highly functional business software. In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, Ian and host Evan Hackel discussed the art of creating software that enhances all aspects of doing business, including training.
Taking the Pain Out of Software Development
Many people have come to accept the idea that developing new business software has to be difficult, frustrating . . . and painful. But Ian believes that software development should be a positive experience.
The best approach, he believes, is to start by creating a very specific work environment that is imbued with the company’s world view and culture. That environment will help companies create software that is just right for them.
Then when the worldview of the company is expressed in the software that a company uses, it becomes easier to onboard new employees and to train people to perform in ways that express the company’s deeper values.
Advantages of Using Custom, Not Off-the-Shelf, Solutions
If your company has only a small number of employees to train to perform a particular function, off-the-shelf software might be your best, cost-saving option. But you have to remember that off-the-shelf training software was designed to be used by as many companies as possible, and it typically bundles training on more functions than you need. “It wasn’t created for you,” Ian explains, “it was created for people like you.”
One Tip for Members of the Training Unleashed Audience
The most important underlying goal is to create software that is reassuring.
Ian explains, “An architect once said, `The one job in architecture is to make a space that’s reassuring on at least a subconscious level.’ So if a human is in a space, they should be subconsciously reassured. I think that’s a great way to look at software implementations and custom software builds. Put yourself in the place of your employee and create something that’s reassuring.”
Empathy is at the root of all these good practices.
About Our Guest
Throughout a successful career in software development, Ian Robinson has been sought out as a trainer and speaker for numerous engagements in the US and abroad and has interacted with a broad spectrum of clients and projects. These experiences have helped him cultivate his vision for Enliven Design, which he founded in 2012.
Enliven was founded with a mission to create highly functional business software that doesn’t compromise on creative design or user experience.
Hilmon Sorey is an author, keynote speaker and . . . incredibly . . . a man who has trained more than 15,000 people and 5,000 senior executives around the world. He is also Co-Founder of ClozeLoop, a consulting firm based in New York, Houston, Silicon Valley, and Johannesburg.
Hilmon has written eight top-selling books, including 46 Reasons Why Your Cold Calls Fail. . . and How to Fix Them Fast.
You will want to listen to this empowering discussion between Hilmon and Evan Hackel, the host of Training Unleashed. But before you do, please read these excerpts from their conversation . . .
Hilmon on What Is New in Training
In only five years, Hilmon’s training company ClozeLoop has gone from being a startup to one of the most watched training development companies in the world. So what is new in the world of training? Hilmon is in a position to know.
“There is so little being done right now in the area of advancing training,” Hilmon told Evan. One of the obstacles is that many people are still working remotely from home, which has made it difficult for companies to deliver uniformly high-level, high-quality training to large groups of employees.
“So the bottom-line thing here is technology,” he summarizes. “Technology has become the force that catalyzes training in the broad respect, because you need technology to train people who are distributed across the organization.”
Hire the Right People Before You Train Them
“A lot of folks begin to construct the training they need only after they have hired the person who needs to be trained,” Hilmon told Evan. “Instead, they need to step back ahead of time and use what we call a competency matrix to hire the right people. That might mean saying, `I understand I have three roles to fill that might be critical: for the distribution of my product; the sale of my product; and the ongoing development of my product going forward.’”
And then you hire the right people because you have defined the competencies you need them to have.
“Then I can actually imbue these people with information that results in significant performance gains,” Hilmon notes, “but a lot of people don’t take this step before they hire.”
Overcoming Resistance to Cold Calling
Hilmon pointed out many salespeople hate to make cold calls, for many reasons. Some of them feel that cold calling is “beneath them.” Others say they will do it but make it a very low priority and avoid it.
Remember, Hilton wrote the book 46 Reasons Why Your Cold Calls Fail. . . and How to Fix Them Fast, and you will want to hear what he has to say about cold calling in this Training Unleashed podcast.
A Special Offer
Hilmon is offering a free trial version of his coaching/training platform COACH/CRM to members of the Training Unleashed Podcast community. As part of your free trial, you will also receive a complimentary free session with a member of the COACH/CRM staff. Sign up here.
About Our Guest
Hilmon Sorey is Co-Founder of CoachCRM sales coaching software for managers. He has coached and consulted high performing teams in companies that range from early-stage startups to Salesforce, Box, SurveyMonkey, Bill.com, and some of the fastest-growing companies in the world totaling over $600B in valuation and market cap.
He is also Co-Founder of ClozeLoop, a management consulting firm based in New York, Houston, Silicon Valley, and Johannesburg. He is Partner in 2.12 Angels, a seed-stage venture capital firm.
Hilmon has written eight top-selling books on sales, sales management, and coaching.
People use the expression “Ta-Da!” when they have done or discovered something wonderful.
Joel Zeff, a keynote speaker, improvisational actor, and humorist, believes that there is nothing trivial about “Ta-Da!” and celebrating every day moments. In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, Joel told our host Evan Hackel that its use is rooted in the time when kids are little, when everything they do is a celebration.
“They celebrate even the most routine events, like eating a cheese sandwich, in a big way,” Joel said. “They take a bite of that sandwich, they like it, and they exclaim, `Ta-Da!’ And then the parent joins in the celebration by saying `Ta-Da!’ back to them. And whatever activity they are doing, they are then going to do more of it.
“But as we grow older,” Joel added, “we don’t have enough of those moments of celebration.”
The Importance of Enjoying the Journey
Evan pointed out to Joel that too often, people fail to enjoy every moment of their life journey. Instead, they think, “When I get that promotion or make that sale, I will be happy.”
But both Evan and Joel agreed that it is more motivating to celebrate every day by having moments of joy and elation. The point is to be happy in the process.
Making Those Moments Part of Every Day
Joel also pointed out the importance of supporting other people at work. When you give everyone you encounter through the day – your colleagues, customers, clients – that extra level of positive excitement and support, you are much more effective, and you encourage them to join you on the journey to success.
Joel adds, “You can do this by telling people, `Thank you for listening to me . . . thank you for supporting me . . . thank you for being a customer.’ Those words are gifts, and they don’t cost you any money or take much time. Those words fuel other people, so they will bring positive support back to you . . . It’s all about creating a culture of positivity and support.”
Joel’s Tip for Members of the Training Unleashed Audience
“The best message that I learned from doing improv,” Joel says, “is stay in the game. And that is the message I tell my kids. Improv teaches us that we can’t quit. We have to stay in the game and find success.”
A Special Offer
Joel would like to send you an outline of his approach to bringing more celebration to every day. If you contact him through his website, he will be delighted to send you a copy.
About Our Guest
Joel Zeff is a dynamic speaker, improvisational humorist and author. His interactive performances invite members of the audience to participate in hilarious improvisational exercises that illustrate Joel’s central message: That organizations and individuals should CELEBRATE every day successes to increase collaboration, productivity, passion and innovation.
In 1973, Joel began to work in improv comedy, which led him to discover joy in everyday life.
Visit Joel at JoelZeff.com
DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain are the co-founders of Skilldora, the first all-A.I. online learning company that employs A.I. in every aspect of their business and platform. To see one of their amazing A.I.-instructors “live,” be sure to visit myskilldora.com. In a recent Training Unleashed podcast, DeMario and Dawn spoke with host Evan Hackel about the future of A.I. in training.
“A.I. is being currently used most extensively now in the medical space,” Dawn told Evan, “where it is being used mostly to train future doctors.” Yet both DeMario and Dawn foresee many more applications for A.I. in training.
At the moment, many of their efforts focus on creating digital humans that trainees can interact with in training courses. Skilldora is already using these digital humans, which are dramatically more realistic than the “talking heads” in other training courses. But still more big changes are about to happen.
DeMario and Dawn told Evan that in the future, their digital humans will become much more than merely realistic. They will become increasingly interactive, going beyond the simple ability to deliver information or demonstrate skills. This will make training programs increasingly interactive and engaging.
“And by the way,” Dawn adds, “this trend will not put training professionals out of work. If anything, it will create many more opportunities for programmers.”
Another trend to watch for is the application of A.I. to create and adapt culturally sensitive training programs for companies in other countries, where trainees speak languages other than English.
A Special Offer
DeMario and Dawn would like to offer our viewers a free Skilldora course, How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Gain More Success. To access your complimentary course, CLICK HERE, register as a member and claim your free course.
About Our Guests
DeMario and Dawn Nicole McIlwain are co-founders of Skilldora, developers of a training platform that combines powerful AI eLearning with tried-and-true tactics like peer-to-peer learning and networking. To learn more about their company and what it does, visit MySkilldora.com
Lisa Baker is the Founder of Ascentim LLC, a coaching practice that guides its clients to live more meaningful and abundant lives, and she is the guest on this episode of the Training Unleashed podcast. Lisa spoke with our host Evan Hackel about her unique approach to achieving success.
Why Lisa Left the World of Fortune 500 Businesses to Start Her Own Firm
She chose to leave corporate life so she could pursue her calling to help others reach their peak levels of success. “Outside that corporate world,” she told Evan, “people have more freedom to say and do things.”
Lisa explains, “I’ve merged my executive leadership experience with my greatest passions – faith, family, and financial freedom – to create my coaching practice, Ascentim. At Ascentim, we guide our clients to live more meaningful and abundant lives through an awakening that uncovers who they really are, what they value, and their purpose – using it all to create the career and life of their dreams.”
Lisa Explains Her G.R.O.W. Approach to Coaching
G.R.O.W. is a process and a methodology Lisa created to help people move from where they are to where they want to be.
The four steps of G.R.O.W. are:
• Gain Insight – This means gathering the information that you need to move ahead toward success. “Many times a person in an organization is struggling to add a new skill or overcome some obstacle, but is blocked and doesn’t know what the blockage is,” Lisa told Evan. “So that person has to strive to understand what is really taking place. What skills do they need? What connections?”
• Realize New Possibilities – Once you have gained insight, you can start to consider what you can do with the information you have gathered. “Where do you want to go?” Lisa asks, “what is now possible for you?”
• Overcome Obstacles – This phase is all about planning. “Life always brings obstacles our way,” Lisa says. “We didn’t expect some of them, but there are other obstacles we can anticipate and plan for. “
• Win – This means winning at life. It’s bigger than just winning in your career. It has to do with your life and your legacy. “Winning is all about defining what success looks like to you,” Lisa says, “and for each of us, that is something different.”
Evan Hackel observed, “Part of the problem is that when people don’t define success, they never feel successful.” Lisa agreed.
Lisa on Helping Younger Employees Grow
“Younger people value the idea of having a pathway for their careers. However, many of them think that path should be very fast, and straight up. So part of managing those people is to expand their understanding of how careers grow.
“It’s not always linear. Sometimes you take some side steps. You might even see it as a step backward . . . and that’s all good.”
How Training Departments Can Support Individual Growth
Lisa says that training departments can incorporate the G.R.O.W. process in their training. “And they can also bring a more holistic approach to training that addresses a broader base of considerations than just their career,” she adds. “One of them is finance.”
A Special Offer
Lisa would like to offer listeners a copy of her new eBook Financial Therapy: Change Your Beliefs and Change Your Life. To get your copy, CLICK HERE and enter the promotional code FREE BOOK at checkout.
About Our Guest
Lisa L. Baker has more than two decades of financial experience in Fortune 500 companies and is a Ramsey Certified Master Financial Coach. No stranger to financial hardship, she bounced back from extreme debt and bankruptcy to retire at the age of 54 – DEBT FREE! She shares her wisdom with others who are ready to go from financial bondage to financial freedom.
Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saint Louis University. She is a certified Personal and Executive Coach (The CaPP Institute) and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). She also holds a certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business.
Our Training Unleashed podcast host Evan Hackel sat down with Crista Grasso, the creator of the Lean Out Method, a simple way to grow a business to scale in the right way, by minimizing waste and maximizing efficiencies, and a known authority on helping global businesses simplify and scale. The two discussed the importance of growing your business to the right scale.
What Do You Need to Focus on As You Scale?
Crista says there are four factors to consider: Strategy, Planning, Systems and Team
One common problem is that when things are not working well, many companies assume they need to add more people. Yet the real problem could be something else: they don’t have the right systems in place.
And if they pause and simplify, many companies find they can stretch their people a bit further and align them with roles that will get more from the business.
Where to Focus as You Scale
If you can focus on your most important goals as a company – where you really want to be and what you really want to achieve – that will help you pinpoint activities where you can reduce your energy and your resources.
Unless you have clarity of vision, everything will seem like an amazing opportunity and you can invest your people, time and effort in the wrong areas. So the first step is to clarify your vision, so you engage in activities that are directionally correct.
On a Bigger Vision of Training
Training plays a critically important role in helping a company grow to scale provided the company asks not only “what are we doing?” but, “why are we doing it?”
Crista’s One Biggest Tip for Members of the Training Unleashed Community
“Have that clarity of vision,” Crista says. “If you know what is directionally correct for your organization, it will help you make the right decisions and help you grow to scale.”
A Special Offer
Crista has written a guide that outlines the top ten ways that people waste time and waste money in their businesses. She invites you to download your free copy HERE.
About Our Guest
Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning and systems expert for online businesses when they want to scale. Known as the “Business Optimizer,” Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and provide clarity on the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She is the founder of the Lean Out Method, creator of the Lean Business Scaling System, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast.
When you improve sales training, you improve your bottom line. But what kind of changes should you make, and what results can you expect? Host Evan Hackel sits down with Jeremy Miner, sales training expert and CEO of 7th Level, to explore these questions and more in this episode of the Training Unleashed podcast.
Jeremy asks, “Is training something that you did, or is it something that you do?”
Please take a moment to think about that question. Jeremy is telling us that if you want to sell more, you need to do sales training continually. Top athletes and sports teams don’t only train when they’re young or just starting out. They train every day. And if you want your organization to succeed, you need to do that too.
One Big Hidden Impediment to Selling More Today
Post-pandemic, your customers are more cautious and skeptical about making the wrong buying decisions. Your salespeople need to address that fear.
There is More Clutter to Cut Through than Ever Before
Checking email, for many people, is the first thing they do in the morning—even before they get out of bed or walk down the hall. When they drive to work, they hear ads on the radio and drive past billboards. And at the end of the day before they go to bed, they look at Facebook and other social platforms.
If you can’t find a way to cut through all that clutter and deliver your sales message, you are simply not going to sell more.
Sales Training Needs to Be Virtual
Jeremy points out that kids do not learn to ride bicycles by attending seminars. They learn to ride bikes by riding bikes! In a similar way, if sales professionals are selling virtually, then sales training needs to be virtual and based on real-world experiences of selling to people.
Jeremy told Evan, “If you want to continually hone your skills and actually learn how to apply them, you want to continually hone those skills in virtual sales training every single day.”
Why the First Few Seconds of a Sales Call Are Critically Important
Jeremy says that if a salesperson is only fixated on making a commission, that salesperson develops what he calls “salesperson’s breath,” which can be smelled 100 feet away. And when prospects are confronted with a salesperson who has entered that state, they immediately go into a fight or flight state and cannot be sold to.
Curiously, this can happen when salespeople become too excited about their products. Today, are we learning that if you don’t want to scare your prospects away, you need a calmer approach in which you come across as calmer and more unbiased.
Jeremy’s Tip to the Training Unleashed Audience
At the end of every episode of Training Unleashed, Evan asks his guest to offer one tip to members of the audience. Jeremy’s tip for us:
“Every time you are selling something, you are selling change. And you do that not by telling people anything, but by asking questions that allow them to tell themselves what that change will be. You need to show them that making that change is safer than staying in the status quo. If they stay in the status quo the problems stay the same.”
About Our Guest
Jeremy Miner is the Chairman of 7th Level, a Global Sales Training company that was ranked #1,232 of the fastest growing companies in the United States by INC magazine’s list of the top 5000 companies in 2021. He is also a contributor for INC magazine and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur magazine, and a host of other publications.
“The single most effective way to sell anything to anyone in 2021, is to be a problem finder and a problem solver… NOT a product pusher.”
For Jeremy Miner, the embodiment of this philosophy has made him one of the
wealthiest sales professionals on the planet. During his 17 year sales career, Jeremy was recognized by the Direct Selling Association as the 45th highest earning producer, out of more than 100 million salespeople – selling anything, worldwide! His earnings as a commission-only salesperson were in the multiple 7-figures, EVERY year.
Jeremy’s unique brand of sales training pioneers the use of behavioral science and human psychology, reflective of his deep studies in the subject from Utah Valley University.
Jeremy is the host of the podcast, Closers are Losers, and his new book, The New Model of Selling: Selling to an Unsellable Generation – co-authored by Jerry Acuff – CEO of Delta Point, is being published Fall of 2022.
In this instalment of the Training Unleashed podcast, host Evan Hackel sat down with Dr. Michelle K. Johnston to discuss the shift in leadership style from a “command and control” style to one based on building connections with yourself, your style of communication and your organization.
What Is the shift in Leadership that Michelle Has Identified?
Michelle noticed this change in leadership style when she realized that executives who were still using a “command and control” style were getting pushed out of organizations and were no longer valued.
The New Leadership Is About Connection, Connection, Connection
Michelle’s research found that leaders who were getting pushed out had failed to establish a deep connection with the people on their teams. Their teams didn’t trust them. Their teams thought they were inauthentic, sometimes fake. They wondered, who is this person?
They couldn’t tell because their leader was putting on a professional act by trying to look like what a leader should be. And she saw that today’s most effective leaders are all about connection.
Michelle’s Deeper Levels of Connection
Connect with Yourself
Michelle describes this step as “giving yourself permission to be who you really are.” She stresses that to become connected to yourself, you need to engage in a lot of self-reflection. Spend a lot of time owning your story. Who are you? Where are you from? What is a significant life event that made you who you are today? What did you learn from that? How did it shape you? Also ask, what are your superpowers? What are your strengths? Do you really understand yourself?
When you are comfortable in your own skin, you can bring your “whole self” to your work and your teams. Only then can you really connect with others.
Connect to Your Communication Style
Michelle has developed a self-assessment tool about identifying and owning your communication style. She includes it in her new book The Seismic Shift in Leadership: How to Thrive In A New Era Of Connection.
Owning your communication style means asking questions like . . .
- Who am I?
- How do I “show up” as a communicator?
- What are my defaults?
As she went through this assessment, Michelle determined that her greatest strengths lay in being a nurturing coach and a facilitator. But she had been suppressing those natural skills because she believed that if she wasn’t a “command and control” leader, people wouldn’t take her seriously. It took courage, but over time she was able to develop a leadership style that allowed everyone to connect to her and to grow and learn from each other.
“And so I had to take that huge risk to go in and do things differently that were more me and felt authentic,” Michelle told Evan. “And once I did that, then I was connecting with those around me. So that’s that second level of connection with your team.”
Connect to Your Organization
Michelle interviewed 18 business leaders from around the world and helped them deconstruct and understand their connection to their organizations. She had them talk about their successes and their failures, for example. And she has them explore questions like these:
• How do I most successfully connect to our organization?
• Am I able to align people with the organization’s goals?
• How does my calendar help me align and support your organization’s goals?
• How do you create an environment of psychological safety and trust in each other?
About Our Guest
Dr. Michelle K. Johnston is a management professor, executive coach, and leadership expert helping leaders achieve results through meaningful connection. She is an award-winning professor studying leadership and business communication, and her research has shown a clear link between a team’s effective communication and its positive financial performance. Michelle is a celebrated keynote speaker presenting at conferences and events nationwide. She received her PhD in communication from Louisiana State University and was named to the prestigious 100 Coaches group, which consists of the top executive coaches around the world. Michelle serves as the Gaston Chair of Business at Loyola University New Orleans where she teaches in the graduate and undergraduate programs in the College of Business. She lives in her beloved city of New Orleans, Louisiana, with her daughter, Elizabeth.