Notice Fortitude…and Its Absence!

I’ve recently had the opportunity to coach a professional athlete who decided to pursue a career in financial sales. The area he’s chosen is quite daunting in its complexity, yet his commitment to it is profound. As anyone would be when entering into a field with its own lexicon and intricate details, my client was challenged with putting the entire puzzle together in a short amount of time. Throughout his endeavor though, I’ve been struck and inspired by his discipline, positive mental attitude and, most of all, his fortitude. defines fortitude  as: mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously

One does not become a pro athlete overnight. It takes, among other things, a tremendous amount of practice, which is a test of fortitude. As such, we spent a good amount of time working on his delivery, focusing on using probing questions to understand a client’s goals and challenges. Several sessions included videotaping his sales presentations/recommendations. Upon seeing himself, he found his delivery to be halting versus conversational, disjointed versus seamless. This athlete realized each short coming and maturely focused on listening to my coaching, experimenting and running the plays I designed for him in a dogged, optimistic fashion. It’s quite inspiring; I never wanted our sessions to end!

There has never been a hint of resignation or frustration from him, only the discipline and fortitude of repetition. From this, he’s now conversational, curious and clear with his recommendations. He’s able to kid with certain clients he’s developed rapport with and close them with a nice level of relational urgency.

As a leader make sure you acknowledge this type of fortitude when you see it. Without acknowledging it, a person could feel the opposite. As this person excels, find ways they can stretch even further. Great achievers enjoy this attention and challenge. It affirms them.

In what area of your business communication could you exhibit more fortitude? Let me know with a reply below. Thanks! – SG