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It’s one thing to embrace change personally, but it’s another thing altogether to bring people along with you in your growth mindset. Want to learn how?

In this episode, I interview Talia Esskandanian, Director, Inside Sales at Voltus, Inc., about leadership, growth, culture, and change. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • Talia’s newfound passion for the energy industry
  • Hiring for core values and strategic interview questions
  • Overcommunication and other coaching tips
  • Building a growth mindset into your team

Talia’s newfound passion for the energy industry

Talia’s existing passion for sustainability integrated well with Voltus’ approach to energy demand response.

Their active approach mobilizes major energy consumers to reduce demand during emergencies. This offers a direct energy solution for crises such as the Texas ‘snowpocalypse’ Talia remembers from February of 2021.


Hiring for core values and strategic interview questions

While interviewing for a new role, Talia noticed that the Voltus leaders stood out as the most sincere. She could sense their genuine passion for the difference the business was making in society.

Hiring for core values is a lot easier if you have open discussions about those values. 

As a hiring manager, you may want to ask candidates to rank your company’s values in their own lives, or describe and give examples to highlight their alignment with those values. These kinds of interview questions don’t have right or wrong answers, but they do offer genuine insight into the kinds of people you’re interviewing.

Another worthwhile question is to ask candidates how they handle stress. You could also ask them to rank their own ability here, on a scale of one to 10.


Overcommunication and other coaching tips

Particularly during the pandemic, Talia ensured that every effort went into ensuring each team member sustained a healthy and solid relationship with their colleagues and the business values.

Her signature: showing genuine care and concern for how people felt about what was going on in the world at large, the world around them, and the worlds of the people they each cared about.

The key: don’t let anything linger for too long. Especially when it comes to mental health and personal issues. The longer the issue lingers, the greater the distraction it becomes.

Her advice?

  • Lead with metrics. It doesn’t have to be this way for every meeting, but proof of progress (or lack thereof) always grabs attention.
  • Ask the right questions. Don’t think for someone. Guide them on the right path by asking the questions then let the person think for themselves.
  • It’s okay to be vulnerable. As a leader, show your human side to your team and encourage them to do the same with you.


Building a growth mindset into your team

Talia’s growth mindset developed during her first serious role in sales. Because of the exposure to new, constantly improving tools and processes, she understood that this was the normal way of working.

Only later in her career did she realize what an advantage this way of thinking would present.

Understanding the holistic view of the company’s goals helps employees understand where they each fit in and contribute to that journey, rather than being limited to what’s in front of them from day to day.


Talia’s Key Takeaways

  1. Talk about values during candidate interviews: ask questions that have no right or wrong answers, that show you the true character of a candidate when answered, instead of how well they ‘prepare for interviews’.
  2. Overcommunication is part of being a human: it goes hand in hand with vulnerability and leadership. Care, genuinely, then communicate that you care. Do so through your actions, not just the occasional few words during a company stand-up.
  3. Get comfortable with change: it’s part of developing a growth mindset. Don’t just accept it. Embrace it.

Get in touch with Talia on LinkedIn.

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement in your favorite podcast player.

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