My boss wanted me to hire a ninth sales person. I knew I would be setting this individual up for failure.
I instinctively knew my business couldn’t support nine people, in fact, it was a big uphill battle to support eight. I tried explaining this gut “feeling” to my boss and was quickly dismissed. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t believe me.
At first, I agreed to do something I knew didn’t feel right.
As I interviewed people, I could feel my neck and back getting tighter and tighter. I felt like I was misleading these individuals.
Next, I got passive aggressive. I stopped all interviews and ignored the problem, which just led me to feeling anxious every time HR reached out to see how interviews were going.
Then I talked to one of my mentors about the situation. He made me realize that I wasn’t providing my management with the full picture. I was explaining my “Flow,” my gut instinct, without backing it up with the facts, or my “Go.” (Chapter Three of Out of the Grind and Into the Flow)
I realized I needed to face this head on and the best way to do that was not through saying, “I feel bad hiring someone because I don’t think the growth will support them and their family.”
Instead, I needed to explain my point with a narrative backed by hard numbers and facts.
So, I modeled out my business, the growth forecast, the factors and the impact. I was able to show productivity numbers with realistic expectations/forecast.
With this information, he understood what I was trying to say, the business couldn’t support another sales rep. I’d created all these extra work by relying just on feelings rather than using both to paint the picture.
This exercise showed the value of balancing the “Flow” feelings and “Go” facts together, as well as the importance of valuing my gut reaction and building the facts to back it up. Not only did this help me do the right thing, but it also opened up communication with my management so he could understand my business and set clear expectations.
Delivering bad news is challenging for anyone, but it’s far easier when you include a holistic picture made up of “Go” and “Flow.”