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Ever have a bad day?

Yah, me, too.

In fact, I’ve had lots of them; but I’ve also had lots of good ones. And, even though there will always be good days and bad days, good meetings and bad ones, good calls and pure rejection, at your core, you are still 100% YOU – not good, not bad…but AWESOMELY you!

The I/R Theory

There’s a concept in the Sandler Training System called the “I/R Theory,” which basically says everyone has both an IDENTITY and a ROLE (several roles, actually), and that they should be kept separate at all times.

Your IDENTITY is how you see yourself, or your self-perception.

Your ROLE is whatever particular part you are playing at any given moment – salesperson, business owner, employee, father/mother, friend, etc.

A Rating from 1 to 10 ​

Your identity and your role can be ranked on a scale from one to 10. Typically what happens is your identity matches up with your role. If you had a bad sales call, you don’t feel very good about yourself. If you forgot your anniversary, you feel like a failure in your role as a husband or wife, and you get down on yourself. If you mess up on something at work, your identity gets messed up, too.

For the majority of people out there, the goal is to be “better than most” – five or higher in the ranking system shown here. Those that fall in this comfort zone are called the At-Leasters (“at least I’m not as bad as that guy…”). We feel okay in our role and, therefore, we feel okay with our self-identity.

In fact, we often pull our identity down in order to match our role, or vice-versa, because we get out of our comfort zone if things are going “too well.”

Crazy, right? But, think about it. It goes something like this:

“Boy, I’m feeling great. [high identity] I just closed that big deal with XYZ Company. [high role] I’m surprised that one came through; I’ve never closed a sale that size before. [lower role] I probably won’t ever get one of those again, so I’ll ride it while I’ve got it. [lower identity]”

The Reality is We are ALL I-10’s

The reason Sandler focuses on separating these two is because your role should never define your identity. Who you ARE as a person (your identity) is not affected by what you DO as a person (your role) – in sales, in business, in marriage, in relationships, in whatever.

Your identity should always be at a 10, no matter how great that meeting went or how terrible you acted at your son’s soccer game. And, that’s what drives WINNERS in the graph above. Their self-perception – how they think about themselves – is always as high as possible, because they know the difference between their roles and their identity.

A winner recognizes a prospect’s rejection doesn’t mean he is a bad person. A winner understands a mistake at work doesn’t make him a failure as a person. A winner realizes his identity is separate from his roles.

What About You?

Do you consider yourself an I-10? Or does your identity ebb and flow depending on your success or failure in your roles?

Thank you to Matt White for sharing. Matt is the owner of JoltCMS where he helps businesses help their customers.


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