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Making the Most of Difficult Situations: Changing Markets, Changing Times
Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:30 AM

Garrison Wynn

Garrison Wynn Presents Closing Keynote at Southwest Lending Conference

At last week's Southwest Lending Conference in Austin, keynote speaker Garrison Wynn closed the general session with his presentation "Making the Most of Difficult Situations: Changing Markets, Changing Times." Wynn focuses on solutions and draws from research conducted with 5,000 top-performing people of influence in multiple industries.

Based on his data, they discovered some really interesting things about what drives people's choices:

  • People don’t choose what’s best; they choose what they are the most comfortable with. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best.
  • The lesson: Being the best is not good enough. The illustration: The best product or service does not always succeed.
  • The key: Success is based on knowing what people value, why they value it, and how comfortable you can make them feel.

Wynn also says that to succeed, we need proof of value. We must create willingness in others. To create a culture of change, you must let people know their experience plays a key role in the future. People who feel valuable are more likely to be supportive even if they don’t fully agree with the changes taking place, he says. Making sure people feel valued is critical to success. Prove your value by doing what’s best for others.

Wynn points to those things that are common among the most influential people.

  • They know the impact of clarity in all aspects of communication.
  • They know clarity is the foundation of value. A good idea isn't enough; you'll have more influence if you position your good idea inside the clarity-of-value formula:  Issue > Action > Impact. And remember, most people believe that if you can't simplify your information, you don't understand it well enough yourself.
  • They avoid jellyfish (spineless) communication from leaders that don't blame those above them for changes the company requires.
  • They stand on their value. Realism and honesty are your weapons—low price equals high risk, and high price equals low risk. Not every buying decision hinges on price. Will a lower price still be worth it if the product/service doesn't completely meet your expectations? Everybody values something; you just have to ask the right questions.
  • They know the perfect team is not perfect. The foundation of a true agreement is disagreement. People must feel it's permissible to voice differing opinions because you can't reach a real solution unless you know what the problems are. People are loyal if they can be honest about how they feel.
  • They know that teaching or transferring their knowledge onto others isn't enough. You need to get people to think by asking questions that provoke thought. This proves you care and gets them to think more deeply about what you’ve told them, which might spur them to ask the questions they were afraid to ask. Asking good questions takes effort.
  • They use the agreement formula (ask, listen, agree, recommend) because people rarely disagree with their own ideas. The best idea they’ve heard is their own.
  • Three most common traits of top performers:
    • A superiority complex—they believe they deserved to win;
    • An insecurity complex—they felt their efforts were not good enough, which fueled constant improvement; and
    • Impulse control—they resisted temptation enough to sacrifice the present for the future.
  • For the average person, the takeaways are these:
    • Know you can win.
    • Don’t stop getting better because you have had some success.
    • Be patient and look for the opportunities that will really get you where you want to go.
  • They spend time with people who can position them to succeed. The top 1 percent network with the right people and associate themselves with those who can help them succeed. If you spend all your time with people who can’t help you succeed, you don’t have time for those who can or will.
  • They have fair partnerships that create good relationships. It’s difficult to build strong relationships if you are perceived as making others work hard while you goof off. Show your people that you have the willingness to do the very things you ask of them.
  • They are present in the moment, using body language and making eye contact that reflects their presence in the moment. People are loyal to (and write checks to) people who are present in the moment!
  • They pay attention to what’s important. The danger of complacency: Satisfaction might be the goal of the average person, but it is the enemy of greatness.
  • They make good first impressions. Wynn's research shows the experiences that people have on their first encounter with you creates the filter through which they view all future interactions with you. Good first impressions will help you stay competitive.
  • They deal well with generational differences. The worst strategy you can have is wishing people were more like you.
  • To get younger people to show up consistently for work, make it clear that you are willing to replace them with someone less skilled who does show up consistently.
  • What works: Trust each other and believe that every problem comes with its own set of solutions.