What To Do When Your Office Is In A Malaise, Part III

What To Do When Your Office Is In A Malaise


“You can’t change the winds, but you can adjust the sails!”

Part III


Bob Marshall

May 21, 2018


Last week, in Part II of this series, we talked about Pumping Up The Volume and Monitoring The Numbers with the 100 Point Sheet.

In Today’s Part Three, our finale, we will talk about How To Constantly Adapt (To Be Noted For Your Flexibility) and How To Change The Office Attitude:


  1. Constantly Adapt – Be Noted For Your Flexibility

Adaptation in our business can best be explained by understanding “The Principle of Requisite Variety”.  The textbook definition of this principle is that in any “closed-loop system”—electronics or human communications—the element with the most variables always controls the outcome.  What this means in layman’s terms is that you need to be “noted for your flexibility”.

When obstacles are thrown in your way, you need to evaluate the new situation and change your behavior accordingly.

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that when a human being learns a task and new circumstances present themselves so that alternative measures are indicated, the human being will almost always take the path of least resistance and revert back to the task they have learned, even if it doesn’t work anymore, as opposed to learning a new task to handle the new situation.  The superstars, however, have learned to adapt, have learned to be flexible and change with the new circumstances.

Three thousand years ago the Asian philosopher, Sun Tzu, put it this way, “Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively.  They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow.  They have form but are formless.  They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles: for they win in advance defeating those that have already lost.”


  1. Change The Office Attitude

The difference between success and failure in sales is attitude.  And yet, as soon as we start talking about attitude, we face our first hurdle.  “Attitude” seems to be one of the most over-worked words in selling.  How many times have you and I heard that we had to have a Positive Mental Attitude in order to be successful?  Believe me, we recruiters hear it so much that we either stop hearing it (tune out) or become rebellious.

But think of it a different way.  Any true professional’s real secrets to success are their highly trained skill and ability which will lead to the right attitude.  A doctor will tell you this; a lawyer; an engineer; the captain of an ocean liner.

The mistake we make in recruitment is that we try to magically acquire this Positive Mental Attitude.  Well, it is a proven point psychologically that the more we try to force an attitude into the mind, the more the mind rejects it.  The bottom-line is that positive attitudes are not acquired by will-power.


How Attitudes Are Acquired, Changed, or Modified

Attitudes are acquired, changed or modified in two ways, and two ways alone:

  1. Change in environment or conditions (temporary)

If I can change your environment severely enough, I can change your attitude.  If I can magically put $1,000,000 into your pocket, once you realize that change, your attitude will completely change.

On the other hand, if I can change your conditions adversely, I can also change your attitude.  If I can magically transport you, moneyless, to a strange country where you don’t know anybody, and you do not speak the language, once you realize that change, your attitude will also change completely.

Implementing this theory, when a recruiter hits a slump, how do we change their environment or conditions?  We tell them to work harder or suggest longer hours.  We give them a new candidate to market or even suggest a new specialty niche—anything so that they will have a chance to feel more successful and be able to sell more successfully.

The only problem with this approach is that we are ‘manipulating’ attitudes and that won’t last for an extended period of time.

  1. Acquisition of ideas or knowledge (long-lasting)

This is the longer lasting solution because the knowledge becomes a part of you.  Through knowledge, attitudes have sources and you will have the ability to return, when necessary, to your sources and the knowledge you have acquired.  This is where the coach/trainer enters the picture with new training manuals, daily planners, quick resource guides and sets of DVDs and CDs.

Ours is a unique profession.  Most of us got into recruitment after pursuing some other endeavor.  Most of us didn’t go to a college or university to get a degree in recruitment.  But, for whatever reason, we ended up in this fascinating profession.  And then, right away, our manager, or some coach/trainer, told us that we needed to have the right attitude in order to be successful.  And so, we started to force that attitude in our mind.

Now don’t get me wrong.  While a positive attitude is critical, most professionals have it because they have spent a lifetime acquiring knowledge that causes that attitude to naturally be there.  If their confidence ever gets low, they don’t go home and look into a mirror and try to force themselves to have the proper attitude.  They merely return to the knowledge they had previously acquired.

So those of us in selling need to follow the same path as any true professional.  We need to have the ability to revisit our sources of knowledge.


The Right Attitude is comprised of two elements:  Enthusiasm and Self-Confidence.

Enthusiasm has two sources:

  1. Product Knowledge (knowing what we are selling); this involves a detailed understanding of the specialty area in which we recruit and the candidates who populate that area.


  1. Knowing what we can do for others; we change lives for the better, on a daily basis. We help both our client companies and our placed candidates to become more successful, quicker.

But occasionally even the best recruiter loses their enthusiasm for their desk.  They become exhausted or worn out.  Or they become too accustomed, or hardened, to what they can do for others.  It gets to be ‘old hat.’  So, get in the habit of conditioning your thinking so that you can go back to what you can do for your clients and your candidates.

On every day of your selling lives, have a personal sales meeting—something that includes motivational literature; maybe a testimonial letter from a satisfied client or candidate.  Read these over aloud for the animation to help get the words into your subconscious (that’s the nine-tenths of your brain that controls your behavior).


Self-Confidence has three sources:

  1. Product Knowledge

You need to know your specialty niche and the companies and candidates who live there.  You need to know the lexicon of your specialty.

  1. People Knowledge

You need to know the answers when your client, or your candidate, asks you a question.  Remember, we are always looking for candidates who can make an impact on our client companies—either Superstars (candidates who can make our clients’ money) or Heroes (candidates who can save our clients’ money).

  1. Recruitment/Selling Skills Knowledge

Here is the foundation that any good coach/trainer will lay out for you.  These are the tools of our trade—the MPC; the FAB; Sales Linkage; the Qualifier JO; the Eight Point Candidate Prep, etc.  You just need to learn them and then use them on a daily basis.  Treat your recruitment profession as a ‘process’ and not as a ‘series of events’ and you will be consistently successful!


In Conclusion

So, there you have it.  This series is now complete.  I can almost guarantee that if you follow the six-step plan I presented in this series you will change your operation significantly.  Then just stay current with these new good habits and you won’t have to face periodic makeovers!


Is it time to engage a Coach?

I realize that taking that first step to engage a Coach to help you reach a higher level of production is not as easy as it sounds.  After all, your training investment – and your time – are important and deserve every consideration.  I share your feelings.  I believe that how you approach your recruitment career matters…that you should get what you pay for, and then some…that you should enjoy your time with your Coach as you are benefiting from it…and that you should never settle for the ordinary.

So, for those of you who have been toying with the idea of working with a Recruitment Coach, now may be the time.  Only you can come to that decision point.

When considering ‘individual change management’, consider this theosophical proverb, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!”

If you are ready, so am I.

Until then, I continue to send my best!



Bob Marshall began his recruiting career in 1980 when he joined MR Reno, NV.  In 1986 he founded The Bob Marshall Group, International, training recruiters across the nation as well as in the United Kingdom, Malta and Cyprus.  In 1996, he returned to working a desk full-time, while continuing to train recruiters.  In 2015, Bob began to offer his one-year TBMG Consulting Partnership proven training system in selected US and international territories.  To learn more about his activities and descriptions of his products and services, contact him directly @ 770-898-5550; bob@themarshallplan.org; or visit his website @ www.TheMarshallPlan.org.



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