Use “Positive Intelligence” To Beat Self Sabotage And Sell Through COVID-19

Adam McGraw is the CRO at Positive Intelligence Inc.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, Adam shares how Positive Intelligence (PQ) can help sales professionals beat their own self-sabotage and continue to sell through this COVID-19 crisis that the world is currently facing.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Adam McGraw
The CRO at Positive Intelligence Inc

Resources:

Transcript

Adam McGraw:

When you think about it in terms of what we’re going through right now, which is an unprecedented, massive crisis and stressor to the entire world, and the commercial community in particular, it’s really how quickly you can shift from an inevitable negative response to a challenge, to a positive one.

 

Adam McGraw:

I can make my office as clean and as clear as possible, do all the things I read about, about how to be the most productive person but if I’m waking up stressed, uncertain, fearful and feeling like the victim or letting these things hijack me, these head sabotaging behaviours, then it really doesn’t matter so much what I know.

 

Will Barron:

Hello salesmen, I’m Will Barron, host of The Salesman podcast, the world’s most downloaded B to B sales show. On today’s episode we have Adam McGraw who is the CRO over at Positive Intelligence and you can find the book Positive Intelligence on Amazon. The website everything else is linked to in the show notes to this episode over at salesman.org.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode, we’re getting into your self sabotaging behaviours and how you can survive and thrive in this age of COVID-19 that we’re living through right now. These times of uncertainty and a whole lot more. So let’s jump right into it. Adam, welcome to the Salesman podcast.

 

Adam McGraw:

Thanks Will, glad to be here. Happy Friday.

 

Will Barron:

Happy Friday. I’m glad to have you on Adam.

 

Will Barron:

Okay, so, on this show, we’re going to dive into leveraging positive intelligence during what we’re going through right now, and we’re recording this on the 27th of January, February, March, just for context, in case things go good or bad from this point.

 

Will Barron:

So, in context of this conversation, leveraging positive intelligence during this time of crisis, to improve our sales skills, our business skills, and then survive mentally I guess, at home and everywhere as well.

 

Adam’s Definition of Positive Intelligence · [01:42] 

 

Will Barron:

So that said, do you have a definition for what positive intelligence is?

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah, absolutely. The literal definition is the percentage of time our mind is serving us, versus sabotaging us.

 

“The positive intelligence quotient, kind of like IQ and EQ, is a measurement indicator and when you think about it in terms of what we’re going through right now, which is an unprecedented massive crisis and stressor to the entire world and the commercial community in particular, it’s really how quickly you can shift from an inevitable negative response to a challenge, to a positive one.” – Adam McgRaw · [01:54] 

 

Adam McGraw:

So the positive intelligence quotient, kind of like IQ and EQ. It’s a measurement indicator and when you think about it in terms of what we’re going through right now, which is an unprecedented massive crisis and stressor to the entire world and the commercial community in particular, it’s really how quickly you can shift from an inevitable negative response to a challenge, to a positive one.

 

“The more mentally fit you are, the faster you are able to actually go from what’s a very natural human response to challenge and stress, and be able to shift out of it and get to a positive, more clear, calm, laser-focused, discerning perspective on everything.” – Adam McGraw · [02:22]

 

Adam McGraw:

So that’s really the essence of it, its mental fitness and the more mentally fit you are, the faster you are able to actually go from what’s a very natural human response to challenge and stress, and be able to shift out of it and get to a positive, more clear, calm, laser focused, discerning perspective on everything.

 

Will Barron:

And is there, I’m discarding all the questions I was going to ask straight off the bat here, Adam, which is a good sign.

 

How to Scale Your Mental Fitness and Improve Your Positive Intelligence · [02:43] 

 

Will Barron:

Is there a more powerful element to this? Cause I guess we’ve got the carrot in front of us and the stick whipping us on the arse to be motivated and to get stuff done here.

 

Will Barron:

Of the serving element of our mindsets, of our personality, of our emotions, versus the sabotaging element. If we could only focus on one, which we will in this podcast episode, is the one element that has a better bang for buck, for fixing, learning and developing over the over one?

 

Adam McGraw:

You know, it’s a good question, will.

 

Adam McGraw:

I mean, the way we view the way that you actually get your arms around being more mentally fit, or improving this positive intelligence level, is on three different levels, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

So we kind of view it as a three legged stool, a comprehensive mental fitness, and it’s actually kind of coincidentally similar to physical fitness. You have anaerobic strength, aerobic capacity and nutrition, that’s your comprehensive physical fitness.

 

Adam McGraw:

And on the mental side, we break it down based on the 500,000 person research, across 50 countries, to your 10 root factors, that of all the variable crazy ways we self sabotage as a human species, right? The way that there’s 10 at the root level, through the research that we found, that actually, you know, combine to actually be the sabotaging behaviours, most of us revert to under stress, challenge and adversity in a survival mode.

 

Adam McGraw:

And then the middle kind of pillar or leg of the stool is self command capacity.

 

“Being positive and being able to recover from negativity and set back at a more rapid pace isn’t about insight. Most of us know that we’re not serving ourselves when we’re completely being hijacked by a bunch of negative emotions. And we’ve got all this brain chatter and anger and frustration, fear, et cetera. But our ability to actually shift out of that is 80% a muscle response and only 20% an insight response.” – Adam McGraw · [04:01] 

 

Adam McGraw:

So, you know, being positive and being able to recover from negativity and set back at a more rapid pace, isn’t about insight. Most of us know that we’re not serving ourselves when we’re completely being hijacked by a bunch of negative emotions.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Adam McGraw:

And we’ve got all this brain chatter and anger and frustration, fear, et cetera. But our ability to actually shift out of that is 80% a muscle response and only 20% an insight response. So it’s very different than our old adage of how you fix everything through reading books and watching videos and going to one day sessions.

 

Adam McGraw:

Those have about 10% success rates for actually rewiring your brain, and creating new habits and so that middle pillar is very important. We work on people’s self command capacity and we give you tangible, practical little exercises you can do literally in the middle of your Workday to help you strengthen that.

 

Adam McGraw:

And then the third pillar of kind of comprehensive mental fitness or improving your PQ or positive intelligence level, is what we refer to as the Sage Perspective. So using that same 500,000 person research, drilling it down to the root core factors, that contribute to your most positive elements of your brain, that bridge into and lead into every one of the emotional intelligence competencies, and that’s simply simplified down to your ability to explore, empathise, navigate, innovate, and then ultimately take action.

 

Adam McGraw:

So those are kind of the three main segues, which ones more important?

 

Adam McGraw:

Well, I would argue that the first step that we kind of, we kind of list them in that particular order.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Adam McGraw:

Quite deliberately.

 

“If you are not aware of the automatic knee-jerk responses that you revert to, that you’ve been doing since you were a kid, by the way, when you face challenges, stress or adversity. Your ability to shift and be calm, clear headed and focused and leverage one of those five core Sage Perspective powers of EQ, like being empathetic is most likely not going to succeed.” – Adam McGraw · [05:54] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Because if you are not aware of the automatic knee-jerk responses that you revert to, that you’ve been doing since you were a kid, by the way, when you face challenges, stress or adversity. Your ability to shift and be calm, clearheaded and focused and leverage one of those five core Sage Perspective powers of EQ, like being empathetic is most likely not going to succeed.

 

Adam McGraw:

You have to get a hold of these sabotaging factors, things like the judge and the stickler and the controller and the victim and the avoider, and maybe you could, maybe you’re willing to share a few of yours cause I think you took the assessment. But those need to be identified, labelled and intercepted first, Will.

 

Adam McGraw:

Otherwise you’re kind of taking two steps forward and then two steps back.

 

Will Barron:

I totally agree. And this is something that we teach over at Salesman.org. A spin on this with the idea of productivity.

 

Will Barron:

So I found that no matter what books I read, training I did or anything like that, my productivity would stay the same. I’d just have more ways of measuring the lack of productivity that I had, until I started to treat it as I guess we’re doing here, but more of a dichotomy of, you’re either productive or you’re not productive.

 

Will Barron:

So when I started removing the things that made me unproductive, like the Xbox, like just having a TV in the office, so it, it was supposed to be the idea that we could go chill at lunchtime or when the UFC was on, we could come in and watch this.

 

How Salespeople Manage External Factors That Might Lead to Self-sabotage? · [06:40] 

 

Will Barron:

When I got rid of all that stuff and made the place slightly more sterile, productivity for me personally went massively through the roof because there was nothing else to do other than do the work. So I guess, I guess it’s similar to this here of, if we can get rid of some of the things that are sabotaging us.

 

Will Barron:

The upside of that is, mental health and productivity and all that stuff that comes along with bit. Am I, am I on the right tracks here?

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s a really cool analogy. I mean, you’re, you’re mentioning a lot of external factors, that we’ll sometimes try and address when we know we’re trying to get to a place of peak performance or peak productivity, and then there’s the level below that, right? Is okay, but what’s happening inside our own brains, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

I can make my office as clean and as clear as possible, do all the of things I read about, about how to be the most productive person, but if I’m waking up stressed, uncertain, fearful, right? And feeling like a victim or letting these things hijack me.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm.

 

Adam McGraw:

These sabotaging behaviours, then it really doesn’t matter so much what I know, because my ability to tap into them and mobilise anything that’s on the IQ or EQ spectrum or anything I’ve been investing in myself on from a skill perspective, is most likely going to be inhibited and not unleashed to its full potential.

 

Will Barron:

Got it. Okay. So we’ll have this conversation with the global pandemic in mind, that’s going on. Which is going to be causing panic or unease and distress.

 

Will Barron:

So we’ll keep the conversation with that, and we’ll have you back in the future, hopefully when this is all over, to have a more general conversation, perhaps.

 

Will Barron:

So I did the assessment and I got the top results, were controller, restless, hyper-rational and hyper-achiever, and as I went through the, and we’ll link to the assessment in assurance to this episode over at Salesman.org, but as I went through the documentation that comes with it, the breakdowns, it was no surprise to me, any of this.

 

Will Barron:

Yet, I know in hindsight, it’s almost like having someone over your shoulder telling you what’s going wrong during the day, and I, I know that a lot of these elements kind of do hold me back in certain ways. So perhaps we can go through a couple of these. We won’t go through all of them in the episode itself.

 

Do you Have a Controlling Personality? If you Do, How Can You Stop Yourself From Self-Sabotaging when Under Stress or Challenges · [08:41] 

 

Will Barron:

The audience can go through in the assessment does a lot of this legwork for them, but how about the controller and the hyper-rational side of things?

 

Will Barron:

How would those elements hold someone back? How would they sabotage someone who perhaps also has those traits?

 

Adam McGraw:

Well, first of all, well kudos to you for being so openly transparent in the essence of the subject. Right, that’s awesome and I share a couple of those same saboteurs when I’m under stress and challenge.

 

Adam McGraw:

But yeah, as examples, right. This tendency or propensity to be a controller under stress, challenge and adversity, means that you literally think that the only way you can get things done, whether you’re in an individual environment or a team operating environment, is if you can control every single little detail and everything that you can’t control starts to drive you completely wild.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm.

 

Adam McGraw:

And you get very frustrated, very angry, and these things are so subconscious that they’re radiating from you, people around you know that you’re a major controller, but many, many controllers struggle with their ability to even think they have that tendency.

 

Adam McGraw:

And that’s a really, if you think about being that, in the profession of sales and in an environment like we’re in right now, where empathy and the ability to navigate and explore with customers, all of the unprecedented challenges they’re going through, and you’re still leaning on your controller to get through a sales call. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot and probably not getting off to a great start, right?

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm.

 

Adam McGraw:

I mean, this ability to be emotionally intelligent is completely shut down when you’re just automatically leaning on that to such…

 

“Controlling things at a moderate level isn’t necessarily a bad trait. Nor is being vigilant. But just like putting your hand on a stove is a very positive pain signal that we need to know, this is hot. But what do we do when we put our hand on the stove and we realise this is hot, we immediately remove it, because we know that keeping our hand on the stove only leads to the flesh burning off, and there’s no benefit in that.” – Adam McGraw · [10:04] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Again, these things at their core, right? Controlling things at a moderate level isn’t necessarily a bad trait. Nor is being vigilant, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

But it’s just like putting your hand on a stove is a very positive pain signal that we need to know, this is hot. But what do we do when we put our hand on the stove and we realise this is hot, we immediately remove it, because we know that keeping our hand on the stove only leads to the flesh burning off, and there’s no benefit in that.

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s the difference of these hijacking saboteurs, is that when they’re take overtaking us, some people go hours, days, weeks, and months with these things running their days and their performance, and there’s no benefit in that. Right?

 

Adam McGraw:

And so it’s just this extreme version of them, and I think your other question was then, you said controller and what was the second one?

 

Why Being a Hyper-achiever Can Be a Self-sabotaging Trait · [10:41]

 

Will Barron:

I said hyper-rational. But let’s look at hyper-achiever because I think that will be very specific to an audience of salespeople who are led day to day by achieving numbers on a screen and a page. Right?

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah. So, so how hyper-achiever is one of my highest scoring ones and you know, I think a lot of hyper-achievers when they first hear this, even though as you point out in the assessment, it tells you your thoughts, your feelings, and the most important thing, your justification lies, that you tell yourself as to why you need this, to be successful or get through challenging times.

 

Adam McGraw:

Is you kind of say, how is that a bad thing? How is it a bad thing to be striving for greatness, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

Again, in excess, if only, if all of your happiness and your ability to control your stress and all of your self-identification is tied to accolades and results and achievements, particularly when things are like they are right now. Then you might be a very frustrated, stressed or feeling very insignificant right now, and that is not a great place to be, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s, it’s very impactful to your relationships. It’s impactful to your happiness, and ultimately it ends up becoming impactful to your performance, because you end up… some people end up getting in a place where they’re start becoming overly pressing, overly desperate, and that’s not a spot to be in, you know, in an environment that needs consultative, exploratory selling.

 

Will Barron:

So it seems to me like each of these saboteur traits are on a sliding scale, right?

 

Will Barron:

And, day to day in a sales role, some of these may be positive or it depends how you look at them and how they influence you, but they could potentially be positive or they could be negative. They could pull you one way or the other, depending on the sliding of the scale.

 

Will Barron:

But right now, I think a lot of salespeople run at 97% of capacity and then all of these things crop up in the environment where it is COVID-19.

 

Will Barron:

Whether it is your business restructuring, and you’ve got the risk of being let go or whatever it is, that’s going to happen in the economy over the next few months and probably years moving forward. And so that can probably tip people over the edge of, of stress, which makes all of this house of cards fall to pieces.

 

How Salespeople Can Start Identifying Their Saboteurs and Move from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset · [12:51] 

 

Will Barron:

So if that’s all said, if I’m on the right tracks here, Adam. How do we go about, I guess, first of is identifying this, how do we go about then changing the wiring or our habits? So on a high level, so that we can then almost give ourself the ability or the…

 

Will Barron:

What I’m getting at is, how do we get to a point where we have, almost like a success mindset rather than a fixed mindset where we can say, I am capable of changing these things. Cause that must be step two.

 

“The growth mindset approach or having, or tapping into emotional intelligence, are all these things that we’ve spent a lot of time and money in for the last 10, 15, 20 years. All require you to have control of this positive intelligence framework, to be mentally fit.” – Adam McGraw · [13:18] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah, you’re right. I mean, that, that is essentially what we’re trying to get folks to realise, is the growth mindset approach or having, or tapping into emotional intelligence, are all these things that we’ve spent a lot of time and money in for the last 10, 15, 20 years. All require you to have control of this positive intelligence framework, to be mentally fit, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

Your ability to tap into them and do them more often is completely contingent upon it, and so your point right now, we’re seeing massive levels and massive what we call vortexes being created, because this is very contagious, by the way.

 

Adam McGraw:

When people are hijacked negatively by their saboteurs, whatever theirs may be, it’s a very, very contagious thing that happens. It’s its own version of a pandemic, right?

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

“Hyper-vigilance. People are taking their stress, their worry, their anxiety, overall the uncertainty and they’re going overboard. They’re getting so hyper-vigilant that they literally can’t think about anything else, and it’s ruining their days. It’s clouding their judgment and they’re not tapping into their EQ.” – Adam McGraw · [13:51] 

 

Adam McGraw:

And right now the most common one that’s being elicited is one that’s not even very common for some people during non-stress times, which is hyper-vigilance.

 

Adam McGraw:

People are taking their stress, their worry, their anxiety, over all the uncertainty and they’re going overboard, right? They’re getting so hyper-vigilant that they literally can’t think about anything else, and it’s ruining their days. It’s clouding their judgement and they’re not tapping into their EQ.

 

Adam McGraw:

So we have to give them the tools to start to build the mental muscle, not just the insight, right? To actually gain control over this, particularly when stress happens. And it happens a little bit gradually.

 

Adam McGraw:

I mean, look, when we put people through our programmes, you can actually see differences in MRI imaging, based on different parts of the brain that start highlighting, because people work on this diligently over a six week period, spending just 10 to 15 minutes a day, strengthening their mental muscle to actually be able to identify these negative habits, shift into a calm clearheaded and focused space and tap one of the Sage Perspective powers that I mentioned, right?

 

“It’s (strengthening your mental muscle) like thinking about physical fitness. You don’t go into the gym and say, today, I’m going to, even though I’ve never done it before, squat 350 pounds for 25 reps.” – Adam McGraw · [13:51] 

 

Adam McGraw:

That three step operating system. That is, that can happen in as short as six weeks, but in the long run, it’s like thinking about physical fitness, right? You don’t go into the gym and say, today, I’m going to, even though I’ve never done it before squat 350 pounds for 25 reps.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm.

 

Adam McGraw:

Everybody knows that’s a recipe for failure. This is a long game, it a lifestyle choice and you have to start to put the discipline and the structure and the cadence in to gradually over time, be able to handle larger and larger challenges. Where those saboteurs that were once a 100 score out of 100, when you were being hijacked by stress and adversity, are now able to be kept at a 10 or a 20 level. Right? Because you’re strengthening that component to catch them quicker and shift, and so we put people through App guided platforms and programmes because we know everyone’s addicted to their phone anyhow, and it’s a positive disrupter.

 

Adam McGraw:

It’s all the negative disruptions, you get on the phone for your mentality and your mindset, and we help people go through a process where they get very strong at identifying and intercepting these sabotaging habits they have after taking the assessment, and that’s different for everyone. Yours is different than mine, as you’re going through it.

 

Adam McGraw:

They’re practising on a daily basis what we refer to as PQ reps, these are little 10 second hyper-focuses on any one of your senses, which you can do in environments like this right now, once you start doing them enough or in conference rooms, or whenever you need them to quiet the brain chatter and essentially experience the very same thing we all create, that for those of us that are really into yoga, mindfulness, meditation, et cetera. But hyper practical and hyper conducive for the very busy and over achieving type of individual.

 

“Some of these sabotaging behaviours have their positives. Again, only in moderation, though. Only at the very moderate level, because when you are under the influence of those sabotaging behaviours, you feel negative emotions. That’s the easiest way to identify this.” – Adam McGraw · [16:17] 

 

Adam McGraw:

And then that third piece is okay, you said, yes, some of these sabotaging behaviours, they have their positives. Again, only in moderation though. Only at the very moderate level, because when you are under the influence of those sabotaging behaviours, you feel negative emotions. That’s the easiest way to identify this.

 

Adam McGraw:

If you’re feeling negative emotions and things feel hard like a grind, et cetera. You better check yourself, you’re most likely under the influence and being hijacked by a sabotaging behaviour.

 

Adam McGraw:

Which means you are not pulling one of the levers of that Sage Perspective where all your EQ sits. You’re not empathising exploring, innovating, navigating, or taking action, and if you’re a salesperson or you’re a sales leader, those five words, right? When you think about all the things you’ve ever been taught, emotional intelligence wise, or in any of your selling classes, are imperative.

 

Adam McGraw:

You need to be thinking about one of those levers in order to do anything and be intellectually nimble enough, right? To navigate a very, very challenging customer environment right now,

 

Will Barron:

Do you… This all makes sense, when I wrap this up, but Adam, do you watch or are you watching the TV show Westworld?

 

Adam McGraw:

I, I do not. No.

 

Will Barron:

Okay.

 

Will Barron:

I’ll won’t ruin it for anyone, and essentially in the not to distant future, they build a theme park full of robots. The robots are on what they call these loops, so they wake up every morning and they do the same thing over and over, and if they get attacked by humans or whatever, they go and be rebuilt and then put on these loops.

 

Will Barron:

The theme of the new season of the show is the robots are now out of this park and there’s all this parody of humans being on loops and going through the same things over and over, and the main character who is Jesse from Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul is his name, the actor. He is working on a construction site gets up, hates his life, goes to work, comes home, is having therapy for some issue he had in a war or something that went along those lines.

 

Will Barron:

And it’s going back and forth between the fact that we look at these robots and they’re just running in these loops all day, and now they’re looking at us now that they’ve become conscious and there’s a lot of humans running in these loops all day.

 

How to Train Yourself and Overcome Self-sabotaging Emotions · [18:08] 

 

Will Barron:

The reason I ask that, Adam, is how much of all of this is the fact that we don’t take a moment to…? I know, I don’t want to get all hippy and talk about, meditation and sitting on a rock in the desert for six months.

 

Will Barron:

Now, that side of things, and I, I use meditation Apps, so I’m sold on the science of meditation. But I don’t, I don’t want to sound like a hippie to the audience as I go through this, but how much of this is the ability to train yourself, to be able to stop and be conscious and be in that present in that moment versus what a lot of us do, because we’re busy, because the news is hammering us.

 

Will Barron:

We’re all constantly in these loops, these cycles of, of news and if it wasn’t Corona Virus this week and this, probably next few months, it’d be something else that we’re all wrapped up in. How much of all of this is just stopping and being for want of a better word, centred for two or three minutes and taking back control over these loops that we’re all probably running through.

 

Adam McGraw:

Well, yeah. I would assume for different people, it’s a different weight as far as how much it impacts their daily loop. A great analogy, right? This automatic habitual response where there’s literal neural pathways that you’ve been building.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah.

 

Adam McGraw:

And strengthening for 30, 40, 50 years and now we’re asking you to think about how you shift that and start building new ones.

 

Adam McGraw:

It’s one third on, on the scientific component, right? Because like I said, what we view as mental fitness is three pillars and it’s the middle pillar, right? This, that mind control under pressure and adversity. That ability to shift, be calm, clearheaded and laser focused like a kind of like a Jedi warrior is, how the martial artists train themselves to be unbelievably focused, amidst even every bit of adversary that they, or adversity that they fit meet is, is absolutely one third of it.

 

Adam McGraw:

But for some people, I would argue for most people we’ve noticed so far, it’s the one that’s been least approached and least practised. And so it’s the weakest link. You know, people can quickly learn, these are my sabotaging behaviours and they can quickly learn, these are my five Sage powers that leads to all of my emotional intelligence, but that middle indicator to your point, because even if you’re really into yoga, and really into meditation and you do a lot of running and you’re very physically fit.

 

“Can you, in the middle of a conversation with a customer that’s heated, in the middle of an altercation with a relationship that you have, can you pause, stop, not let yourself get hijacked and shift and use one of those emotional intelligence pillars? Most people don’t. Most people do things under the major stress and adversity like we’re facing right now, that ultimately they regret.” – Adam McGraw · [20:20] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Can you, in the middle of a conversation with a customer that’s heated, in the middle of a altercation with a relationship that you have, can you pause, stop, not let yourself get hijacked and shift and use one of those emotional intelligence be pillars? Most people don’t. Most people do things under the major stress and adversity like we’re facing right now, that ultimately they regret and they go, I should have done something like this, right?

 

“If you look at the spectrum of all the research we’ve done, only 20% of people are typically able to stay centred, calm, clear-headed, and focused under stress and adversity.” – Adam McGraw · [20:48] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Or they can teach someone and tell them how to do it, but then when they go to do it, they can’t. And it’s it’s about if you look at on the spectrum of all the research we’ve done, only 20% of people are typically able to do this and be able to stay centred, calm, clearheaded, and focused under stress and adversity.

 

Adam McGraw:

So when they hit their free pro line and the game’s on the line, they can be cool, calm, and collected and shoot it as if nobody else was in the gym. 80% of people fall victim to the vortex of this subconscious, habitual loop that you were referencing where they’re most likely going to be in more of a choking circumstance, or do something where the negative emotions get a hold of them, and they ultimately end up not rising to the occasion and reaching peak potential.

 

Will Barron:

I love it. Cause I, I’ve never been able to… You’ve put it into a structure here and obviously there’s data behind it and it’s measurable, but I’ve noticed this in sales people, the best sales people… I’ve talked about this on the show before, you ask them a question, and there’s always a slight hesitation before they answer back, a slight pause where obviously they are in control of their response, their emotion, their EQ, and all that good stuff. And then they think about it, and then they give you a response. Sales people who are the people who’ve thrived in the eighties and nineties, the people who have the gift of the gab, who could just blag their way through everything. Are just ba, ba, ba, bam and they’re not really listening to what you’re saying and because of that, they’re not really able to give you an answer and I’ve noticed this.

 

Will Barron:

I don’t know, maybe the guys over at Gong.IO do a lot of data processing with voice conversations in sales. Maybe they, maybe they can measure that pause or there’s, there’s a hesitation or something that they can process, but I find this really interesting.

 

Hyper-Vigilance and How to Overcome it During the Pandemic · [22:15] 

 

Will Barron:

So we’ve all of us said, let’s get practical here to wrap up the show here, Adam. Hyper-vigilance is clearly going to be a saboteur for everyone right now, because the news cycles is so pressing. We’re all, a lot of the population is under some form of quarantine, throughout the world, so we are again, bombarded by these messages even more.

 

Will Barron:

So this is probably raising the stakes of it all. Whether that’s real for you or whether that’s perceived for you, depending on your environment that you’re in. How do we, using these three legs of the pillar of the sabotaging behaviours, of being in control and the Sage Perspectives. How do we manage this hyper-vigilance in this situation that may be a once in a decade, once in a lifetime scenario, that we find ourselves in right now?

 

Adam McGraw:

Well, it, we’re going to spend a lot of time offering some free value and putting out some webinars and videos [inaudible 00:23:08] been the new York’s times bestselling author of this subject and leader of the research who lectures on this at Stanford, is already starting to push out videos, because we can see just how pressing this saboteur is right now in our current environment.

 

Adam McGraw:

It’s not a quick answer, but to just try and summarise it, first step is realising that it’s happening, right? Realising there is a vortex happening out there and this is not mitigating the severity of the situation, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

I don’t want to sit here, I know people are losing their jobs, they’re being furloughed, they’re watching loved ones die and not being able to attend funerals or visit them in the hospital. I mean, this is unprecedented emotional stuff. That said, everyone’s in their own predicament where there’s a certain amount of time that they’re most likely letting some of this get to them more than it should.

 

Adam McGraw:

And it’s impacting everything. It’s impacting relationships, stress, and happiness, and ultimately productivity that most of us are still forced to figure out a way to do.

 

Will Barron:

Yep.

 

Adam McGraw:

Through this, right? So you’ve got two choices, right? It’s the old narrative, if you visualise your house is burning down. You’ve got two choices of how this is going to happen, right. You’re either going to run around frantically and you’ve got six family members in the house and a couple of animals, and you’re going to be, oh my gosh, you’re going to be screaming, you’re just going to be kind of moving all around. Not really any strategy or tactics to go with it. And meanwhile, we know time is of the essence, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

Or you’re going to say, okay, this is a major crisis. You’re going to remain calm, clearheaded and focused. You’re going to think about what’s the area of the house that you need to get to first, who are the people that can be a part of the assistance plan, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

There’s such a difference, in the way that you can be vigilant and still get through with maximum preparedness, but not do so at the detriment of what we know is not going to help us, or help the people that we want to get through it with us. Right?

 

Adam McGraw:

We’re trying to lead our families. We’re trying to lead our companies and our teams. We need people that can be calm, clearheaded and focused, when this house is burning down.

 

Adam McGraw:

It’s a severe analogy, but these are severe times, right? And I think that everyone’s got their different knee jerk responses. Again, some people maybe they aren’t falling fixed to their hyper-vigilance. Maybe they’re falling more it to the victim and the avoider and the restless, right?

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Adam McGraw:

But all of those are negatively clouding your judgement , and it’s then the brain chatter is impacting your ability to use all of your intelligence, that you know is best suited for you to again, explore, empathise, navigate, innovate, and ultimately act your way through this.

 

“The people that are staying focused and getting through this and planting as many seeds as they possibly can are ultimately going to watch themselves spring forward at a faster pace. They’re going to recover faster.” – Adam McGraw · [25:33] 

 

Adam McGraw:

Because right now it’s winter. Well, I view, right, this is, this is a really dark, hard, long winter. And those sales folks and those people that do have roles and, and are whatever predicament you’re in, the people that are staying focused and getting through this and planting as many seeds as they possibly can, are ultimately, because we know spring will come, are going to watch themselves spring forward at a faster pace.

 

Adam McGraw:

They’re going to recover faster, and that’s really what we want to try and help people do. Right? We want to reverse this 80/20 trend, where 80% of people are getting automatically hijacked and not reaching their full potential to get through this, and maintain their sanity and only 20% are, oh we want to try and flip that on its head and do anything we can to help.

 

Throw Out the Temptations and Overcome Your Mental Fitness Deficiencies · [26:04]

 

Will Barron:

So is it fair to say then to the audience and we’ll leave it on this, Adam, that if they are feeling a hijacked, I love this word. Or I wrote down something else, but I totally cannot read me on handwriting. But if they are getting these automatic responses, they feel hijacked.

 

Will Barron:

The first step for them is to go through, read the book and go through the online assessment and get some data from there and get some information about themselves, but also to perhaps go, right. Every morning, while I’m working from home, I’m going to be sat in front of the computer, dressed in a work appropriate outfit with trousers on, at 9:00 AM. And I’m going to do this, this, and this and this and then perhaps we’ll let the afternoon kind of develop and see what’s going on.

 

Will Barron:

And perhaps even, I’m not even going to watch the news that morning until I’ve done a bit of productive work, so it can’t physically derail me. Is that, am I in the right tracks?

 

Will Barron:

Is that is a good structure for someone’s day, to relieve some of this pressure that they are getting this automatic hijacking from all external stimulus, that’s been thrown at you during this time?

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah. I think it is a good piece of advice that you point out, Will.

 

Adam McGraw:

I mean, let’s face it. If you’re told to go on a crash diet and you need to get in the best peak condition physically of your life, first thing they advise you to do is throw out all of the temptations.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Adam McGraw:

Right? Throw out all the temptations. Don’t leave it, don’t stare at it every day in the fridge, all of your vices in your weaknesses, right? Get that out of there so that you can take one step forward.

 

Adam McGraw:

That being said, you still got to go to the gym, right? Even if you throw out all the external factors that pull you into the vortex of not being successful, in the end, you got to sweat, you got to practise. You got to be disciplined and regimented and so I think our recommendation to people that say, hey look, yeah I am.

 

Adam McGraw:

If I were to rate myself on a daily basis, the percent of time I’m under the influence of negative emotion versus positive, which is the almost the complete simplified way to look at this, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

is you would A, get yourself some insight on it, which we do have the book there that’s been out for a while. A New York Times, bestseller. B, take the assessments they’re free and they’re better than most self assessments that I took when I was running businesses at Amex. And they’re completely complimentary, and usually people say, they’re spot on. Then C, we do offer an App guided platform that’s essentially your gym, right?

 

Adam McGraw:

So it’s like, it’s kind of a meditation space, they’re offering you Apps and everything, but it’s a gym with specific regimentation to be your digital executive coach. To help you 10 to 15 minutes a day, usually every three hours to be able to pause and continue to practise the three pillars of over overcoming your or mental fitness deficiencies, which is identifying these sabotaging behaviours, practising on your self command capacity to shift positive when you’re under stress, and unleashing and mobilising the Sage Perspective that leads to all of your emotional intelligence.

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s the regimentation that people that are really serious about it, go through because then this essentially becomes, Will, when you do this, this becomes your simplified version and operating system mentally.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

“Have this at the baseline, ensure that it’s never going to be your mindset that’s a detriment and an inhibitor. That’s always going to be the jet fuel to anything that you’re investing, time, energy and money in into.” – Adam McGraw · [28:54] 

 

Adam McGraw:

For every other application skill wise, personal or professional productivity wise that you want to actually improve on. You have this at the baseline, right? You ensure that it’s never going to be your mindset that’s a detriment and an inhibitor.

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s always going to be the jet fuel to anything that you’re investing, time, energy and money in into. And that’s what we really want to try and help people understand is, this is a three step operating system.

 

Adam McGraw:

So all your Apps that you’re looking at on a daily basis, all the books you read, all the podcasts you go on are going to work in it and over the long haul.

 

Will Barron:

Got it. Well, I’ll link to the book, positive intelligence, the website, the Apps, everything else, and some details of yourself over at Salesman.org.

 

Adam’s Thoughts on the Changes That will Impact Sales Post-pandemic · [29:24] 

 

Will Barron:

One final question to wrap things up here, Adam. Other than the obvious, that sales people are more likely going to be working from home, offices are going to shrink, people are going to be sharing desks to save office space in the future.

 

Will Barron:

Most probably the idea of a boiler room sales team is probably going to disappear over the next decade, if not over the next few years after this COVID-19 crisis, is there anything else you think is going to change business, is going to change sales people specifically, moving forward?

 

Adam McGraw:

Yeah, I mean, I think there were things that were already changing that are going to hit tipping points because of this, right? This whole kind of evolution towards more and more people being virtual.

 

Adam McGraw:

I mean, I spent my B2B sales career virtual at Amex. You know, I think that’ll stick for a lot of companies that are doing it as a temporary bandaid. I think that this whole trend towards mindfulness.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Adam McGraw:

There’s going to be more and more companies buying into the fact, because right now they’re going to watch a lot of employees go through major personal and professional stress and unhappiness and depression and things that are really challenging and impactful to their daily productivity.

 

Adam McGraw:

And then, I think, the third thing is going to be okay, we’ve talked a lot about emotional intelligence. How well is the payout been? Right? How can we actually create operationalized ways that people deliver and mobilise that emotional intelligence?

 

“I’ve been arguing for quite a while, that most of us have been empathetic at times in our lives when we want to. We’ve been good listeners when we want to. So how do you give people the tools to know how to be empathetic, even when they don’t feel like it, or when the person across from them isn’t being very empathetic?” – Adam McGraw · [30:39] 

 

Adam McGraw:

I’ve been arguing for quite a while, that of us have been empathetic at times in our lives when we want to. We’ve been good listeners, when we want to.

 

Will Barron:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Adam McGraw:

So how do you give people the tools to know how to be empathetic, even when they don’t feel like it, or when the person across from them isn’t being very empathetic?

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s the art of selling as we become a more automated and digital sales environment. Is these people that master how to unleash it and mobilise EQ are going to be, get the edge, and they’re always going to have job security, and they’re always going to be the ones creating the new vision for all the companies that are coming up with really great technology and digital applications that helps to simplify the selling process as well.

 

Adam McGraw:

That’s my opinion for what it’s worth, you know.

 

Will Barron:

It’s worth a lot to me.

 

Will Barron:

To me that makes a lot of sense, and with Adam, I appreciate your time today. Appreciate your running through this with me and I’ve got a lot of notes to scribble down, to go back over myself. To explore some of this in more detail.

 

Will Barron:

So with that, mate, I want to thank you for your time and for joining us on the Salesman podcast.

 

Adam McGraw:

Absolutely, Will.

 

Adam McGraw:

Thanks to you, man. Great talking to you.

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