Ever wonder why there aren’t any toilet paper salespeople? I suppose it’s because the stuff sells itself. On the other hand, there and literally hundreds of thousands of financial sales people. I suppose it’s because the stuff doesn’t sell itself.
I’m constantly talking “needs versus wants” as it pertains to budgeting but I wanted to get into it a little deeper.
It’s hard, but necessary, to give people something they don’t want, but very much need. This explains the existence of financial salespeople. This is why retirement plan features like auto-enroll and auto-escalate are so effective; you automatically put people in the plan and increase their contribution amounts every year. Long term results reinforce their efficacy.
Going deeper into the idea of positioning others for success, to positively impact those you have influence over, you’ll sometimes have to give people things they don’t want, but very much need. Like medicine to a sick child, or a strict fitness and nutrition plan to a loved one struggling with obesity.
Recently, I was talking with a good friend who is the CPO for a 200 person company. The topic was her engagement and wellness initiatives and she lamented about some negative feedback she’d received; feedback like “stay out of my personal life!” The initiative in question was diet and exercise related.
Now, negative feedback always feels lousy. That being said, 8 people out of 200 (the number of people who provided less than positive feedback) is 4% of the total population and, while a vocal minority should be heard, it shouldn’t deter or stop your efforts to positively impact others.
The same is true for all of your efforts to help the people you have influence over to become the best possible versions of themselves. It’s hard but necessary to give people something they don’t want, but very much need. If gave up every time you got negative feedback or criticism, nothing worthwhile would ever get done.
Fight past the apprehension of feeling overly parental. Reinforce why you’re working so hard and keep your core values top of mind. Remember that real and lasting change will come incrementally and that you’re on the right track.
Oh and by the way-this is also true for you-you need to give yourself things you don’t want, but very much need.
This is a story of commitment. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Persist!