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A Simple Lesson in Complex Times

I’ve been having career conversations with lots of people in recent days, and Coronavirus is taking center stage.

It’s hard to put career growth and dream jobs at the forefront when you’re stressed about your financial security, unsure when you’ll be allowed outside again, and fretting about family health. So today, I wanted to share a story and a lesson that I use to guide me during these difficult times.


I went to a conference once and attended a workshop on how to coach front line salespeople. The speaker decided to run a mock demonstration with an audience member.

The instructions were clear: book the next call.

The unsuspecting audience member rang the speaker to make his sales pitch. Instead of your standard pushbacks, the speaker replied that his wife was in the hospital and he was really worried.

The speaker was making a point. Train your team to be people first. The right response is not to book the demo, but to express humane concern for the person on the other end of the line.

This lesson is important all of the time, but right now, it feels critical.


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