About two years ago, I was browsing through a bookstore where I found a book called Overachievement by John Eliot, Ph.D. I bought it. As I read the pages, it felt like this book was written for me. You can achieve what you want to achieve - even when the rest of the world thinks you are craz



About two years ago, I was browsing through a bookstore where I found a book called Overachievement by John Eliot, Ph.D.

I bought it. As I read the pages, it felt like this book was written for me. You can achieve what you want to achieve - even when the rest of the world thinks you are crazy. Eliot has spent years studying the actions and behavioral characteristics of super businesspeople, athletes and musicians. He explains a lot of what makes them so successful in his book. As a professor at Rice University, he applies his knowledge and teaches it every day.

I've gotten to know Eliot and he's been on the Web site Businesstvchannel.com (and will be again). Most of the very successful people in life go for the big goals. They try to do what other people think is crazy: They believe in themselves.

They are the overachievers.

Eliot's found the common thread. He says there are two mindsets: the "training" mindset and the "trusting" mindset.

With the training mindset, you practice, practice, practice. It takes a lot of time. Then when you are "in the moment" - at a prospective customer's home, talking with an unhappy customer or technician - you just have to trust that you know what you are doing.

Let the experience happen. Don't think. React. That's the trusting mindset.

Apply this to a sales situation. You've done the training. You've practiced repeatedly. When you get in front of potential customers, trust yourself and react to what they're saying. Enjoy the experience and interaction. Don't try to think about what they might say.

I now use the technique almost every day. Your salespeople can benefit; your dispatchers can benefit, too. And so can your technicians - and you.

Squirrel thinking

One of Eliot's suggestions is to "think like a squirrel." This easily applies to dealings with dispatchers and technicians

When squirrels are crossing a wire or a tree, they don't think. They instinctively know how to cross the wire and do it successfully. When dispatchers run into different situations, whether they are customer issues or technician issues, they should instinctively handle the issue. They should not think too hard - simply react to the issue.

To do this takes training and practice. Experience gives you practice. Once dispatchers get to know the personality quirks of technicians, they instinctively know how to handle them.

It's almost like "mom" knowing what to do and say to a child. Dispatchers try certain words and actions and learn what gets the behavior they want. Then, the next time the issue comes up, dispatchers instinctively uses those words and actions. They don't think. This is the "squirrel mindset" or the trusting mindset.

However, to get to the trusting mindset, dispatchers have to train their brains. This was done through trial and error in the training mindset. To help, they should learn their personality profile and that of the technicians. It will suggest actions to take based on their personalities.

Here's another example: an unhappy customer. Through training, dispatchers learn to listen, take notes and repeat back what the customer is saying. They ask the question, "How do you think we should handle the situation?" and wait for the answer. Through practice, they learn to negotiate a solution that makes customers happy.

Practice and training enables your dispatchers to think like a squirrel and react the right way when issues arise.

For more information about Elliot and his book, go to www.overachievement.com.