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Why Are People Afraid to Try Something New?

No matter what you do, does it sometimes seem like you can’t get your staff to act on certain things? You could have proverbial lightning in a bottle in terms of a marketing idea or prospecting approach, but invariably there will be someone on your team who’s not willing to give it a try.

Here are five reasons why this performance conundrum exists:

1. Fear of feeling vulnerable

No one likes to look silly in front of others, but failure is a component of learning. If someone is learning the language necessary to surmount an objection, the first few times they attempt it, they will mispronounce words and stumble over sentences; it is an inherent part of the learning process. Improvement is about a willingness to temporarily allow your ego to be briefly bruised in the name of future improved performance.

2. Too much focus on seeking perfection

Life is about success and not perfection. I’ve never seen a flawless deal, and I’ve never delivered a flawless workshop. But you know what? That doesn’t matter. Both parties were happy with the deal, and attendees left knowing more than they did when they arrived. Your career is about success — not perfection — and you owe it to your customers and yourself to try new approaches.

3. Thinking more information is needed

I’ll always remember the sales manager who told me he couldn’t make outbound calls until he knew what the national average was for making such calls. I, perhaps not so politely, informed him that one call would be a significant improvement.

4. Fear of rejection

Social rejection might be the biggest fear of most people. And it’s not just fear of a manager’s rebuke; it’s fear of rebuke from colleagues, too. That’s why placing outbound calls in a crowded office almost never works. You try something new and a coworker says, “That was bad.” Or “Who do you think you are? That’s not how we do it here.” Comments like these can be catastrophic to your improvement efforts.

5. Refusal to play well with others

You might think that in challenging business times, co-workers would come together to improve a dealership’s performance. That’s not what happens in many situations. Under stress, people often do whatever is necessary to protect their own situation. This is evidenced by finger pointing, gossip and backstabbing. Silos and claims of territoriality are made (“I don’t want salespeople giving payment guidance! That’s my job as the desk manager!”).

To find solutions to management challenges, you must be willing to invest the time to look for disruptors. You might not always like what you see, but now you know where to start.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash.