Although I am very aware of what is happening in terms of the ego from my own perspective and the difficulties I already have in dealing with it myself, it becomes even more challenging when you have to deal with someone else’s ego.
A couple of days ago I had a meeting with my colleagues. The main point on the agenda was the feedback from the accountant on the business financial situation. We discussed the figures and saw a positive trend. We even talked about distribution of extra’s in November. This was clearly a polarity since within seconds, when the topic changed to the actual figures of customer conversions there was apparently an issue. We had very little conversions the last month and in order to keep the business running the way the accountant pointed out we needed to make more money.
The cause of the lack of conversions was quickly found. Me. Since I am the sales manager and responsible for the first contact with potential customers I had to be the cause why only five conversions were generated out of 88 registrations. I was surprised by this conclusion but as a system started to doubt myself immediately. Have I done everything I could to convert as much as possible? Did I spoil occasions to convert. Was I paying too little attention to potential customers? Have I been not convincing enough to talk new customers into our services?
All these questions where amplified by opinions about the way I do my job. My colleagues have no idea how I perform since we do not see each other very often since I work from home most of the time and tend to limit the calls to customers the few occasions I am in the office to dedicate my time to other issues we have to address as a team. We agreed that we should see each other more often and to analyse more in depth the reasons for the low conversion rate in April.
Only later I asked myself why we did not speak about the previous months. March had been the best month ever in terms of turnover. Apparently there is a reason why everything focuses on April. A day later I received a mail from the business owner proposing to take back partially the sales work alternating customer contacts with me. He proposed to see who was able to make the most conversions and if I managed to do 5 in May he will take back all the doubt he expressed about my performance as a sales manager.
Since I felt fucked by this and was not going to agree with the terms I had my back chat shooting all kind of possible discussions in high speed in my mind and my ego trying to suggest I should become angry and tell the fucker to shut up with his stupid allegations of me not doing my job properly. While writing this I still feel some adrenaline going through my veins… a typical reaction of me against unfair situations and feeling unable to do something about it.
Later on the day we discussed the whole matter again and reached an agreement that is kind of acceptable for all. The big challenge however, besides the real fact we need to address the low conversion rate, is to tackle the starting point that consequently manifested into this time consuming discussion instead of being just a fact we had to address professionally. My focus is now to bring the whole back to just the fact and to separately deal with the ego and back chat part since this is a perfect situation to analyse in order to understand myself better.
I also see I can be a living example in this and will discuss the situation with both colleagues to see if I can create some awareness on what really are the trigger points and the consequences of allegations, accusations and idea’s based on nothing else than thoughts that are expressed to another in words. Another interesting point is the polarity I saw clearly when talking about the business’ future. There is a growth (hurray) BUT in order to keep this growth we need to keep working hard (bummer) and not make any wrong decision (That is what the accountant said). This apparently caused some fear and consequently a quick analysis of the actual situation (and not the whole picture) causing some panic, a search for a cause to justify why the results are not what they are expected to be.