Craig French – Thriving Through Rejection | Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

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Conversations with Coaches | Boxer Media

Craig teaches mindset techniques and habits that allow individuals to access their potential, meet their goals, and create happiness. He helps people optimize their lives by increasing self-awareness, developing healthy routines, and teaching meditation. His clients range from individuals to couples, businesses to leaders, and sports teams.

In today’s episode, Craig and Kevin touch on a number of coaching topics, spending most of their time talking about the importance of how you handle rejection.

In sales especially, hearing “no” is a regular part of your business. With experience, this becomes easier to handle…though it’s never entirely easy. However, how do you learn to handle rejection early in your career, before developing the “thick skin” of a veteran salesperson?

Craig has a whole suite of tools and techniques to help you grow the skills you need to not only handle the weight of rejection but to thrive through it.

To learn more about Craig:

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Kevin Stafford 0:01
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the coffee with coaches podcast. I’m your usual host, Kevin. And today I have with me Craig French. Craig teaches mindset techniques and habits that allow individuals to access their potential, meet their goals and create happiness. He helps people optimize their lives by increasing self awareness, developing healthy routines and teaching meditation. His clients range from individuals to couples, businesses, to leaders and sports teams as well. Craig, welcome to the podcast. I’m excited to talk about all of that.

Craig French 0:32
Thanks, David. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

Kevin Stafford 0:35
Let’s, let’s first of all, we’ll begin at the beginning. Let’s just talk about your superhero origin story, as I sometimes like to call it, how did you get started in coaching? How did you realize that maybe you already were a coach? Did someone tell you that, hey, you know, you should do this for a living you? You know, you’re you’re great at this? Or did you? And then, you know, what prompted you to go from there that realization into starting a coaching practice for yourself?

Craig French 0:57
Yeah, I think, I think this was sort of, in the stars for me. You know, early on, as a young kid, I was always playing sports, and always sort of prided myself and showed signs of being a natural leader. A lot of times was Captain a lot of the kids on my team would like, you know, sort of look to me for direction and advice. And a lot of friends as I got a little bit older, middle school, high school, you know, would come to me for advice and you know, wife questions. So it felt like a natural sort of progression for me. And, you know, like all of us, we go through, you know, the journey of life. And if we’re paying attention, we were noticing maybe some commonalities or aha moments or, you know, little winks, you know, if you will, and piecing all together and I was like, Alright, I think this actually makes sense. I could combine all of my experiences into one sort of cohesive system and coaching technique.

Kevin Stafford 1:58
Nice. That’s, I liked I love that you pointed out actually, because there really is there’s, I, I’ve referred to it, I think of it I’ve been I’ve been I’ve had conversations about it, where it just feels like the universe life, whatever. They’re just constantly kind of talking to you. And those moments when you’re able to stop and listen, or put pieces, put it all together and be like, oh, oh, and all of a sudden, it’s almost like looking at a language you don’t speak and it’s all of a sudden, the words just kind of move around and snap into place. And you’re like, Oh, I understand this completely. This is what I should be doing. This is what I maybe already am doing. And it really is like, it’s both a long process and also like a lightning bolt.

Craig French 2:38
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I actually refer to this similar story a lot. With my books. It’s like I always find myself reading a book. And there’s a weird synchronicity like, it doesn’t happen every book I read, obviously, but it happens pretty often. And I usually just smile a little bit. And you know, I’ve kind of gotten out of the habit of telling people because it gets lost a little bit in translation. Can I just smiled to myself and say, Okay, it’s another little sign that you know, I’m on the right path, or, you know, that things are aligning. So I totally agree with you.

Kevin Stafford 3:10
Nice, yeah, it really does. It’s there some, I often find myself using the word momentum. Like, oh, my God, I in my head, I think of it almost like a train on rails, because there’s this this idea that you basically snapped into place. You can, you can move. It’s an imperfect analogy, like most are, but there’s this, this snapping into place where you’re like, oh, this direction, this is it, and you’re pretty much on rails, and there’s just like, momentum that just carries you as you go. It really is a great feeling. I feel like what actually I know, every coach I talked to, and I’ve talked to quite like, you know, almost 100 At this point, they basically practice what they preach, they’ve experienced what they’re trying to share with others that that sense of and when when a coach like every like every one of them like when they see it dawn on someone’s face, that moment where it snaps into place, and they can feel this momentum, this potential for energy that they haven’t felt before. It really it’s like, it’s they look back on that they’re like, that’s why I got into coaching. Because I saw on their face when I felt in my heart.

Craig French 4:07
You see that little sort of light bulb go off for you know, your clients, you I mean, are people you’re coaching, it’s a very rewarding experience for sure.

Kevin Stafford 4:15
Let’s talk about what’s rewarding you in the present day. I know you have a lot going on in life, but let’s and I’ve been working workshopping different ways to ask this question and I’ve kind of boiled it down to who do you coach and how do you coach them? The WHO being Is there any any particular type of person who’s at that particular stage of their life? Whether it’s personal or professional, both? And either or? And then the how do you coach them? Are you primarily one to one do you do small group coaching, maybe medium to larger group coaching, where it’s more like you know, large teams where you’re like coaching from a stage, obviously write books. So there’s, you know, there’s always coaching through through authorship. So yeah, who do you coach and how do you coach them?

Craig French 4:53
Yeah, I’m almost exclusively doing corporate coaching at the moment right now. So I still do some one on one engagement, some of people reach out to me through referrals or, you know, I’m not actively pursuing one on one clients. So I am almost exclusively working in the corporate setting. And my specialty is in the sales sort of arena. So any kind of like revenue, responsible role, it could be customer service, it could be account management, but also a lot of like new revenue roles, like account executives, you know, I mean, and sales development reps, because I’ve been doing that myself for about 20 years. And, you know, it’s such a mental strain on carrying quotas, and hitting, you know, key performance indicators. And, you know, the pressure of investors and boards and, you know, just the natural changing environment, the competitive landscape, and also rejection to I’m very passionate about the mental toll that rejection, you know, plays on us, when you’re in sales, you’re getting told no, you know, potentially many times a day. And, you know, if you stop and think about it, it’s not that natural for humans to be told no, that frequently and that often. So there’s a lot of mindset coaching that needs to happen around that for people to, you know, be okay with that. And obviously, some people as they get older in their career, they’ve learned to sort of just deal with it through experience. But there’s also what it’s sort of get people in the earlier stage of their career and train them and give them tools and techniques to deal with it. So they can have a longer, you know.

Kevin Stafford 6:32
yeah, no, that’s, I’d love to hear. That’s very powerful. That’s really the whole concept around No, I’m not, it’s not just No, but that fear of rejection, and the way in which you handle it, because it’s like, I know, like, there’s there’s like, 101 version of it, where like, rejection feels like hold, it feels like when you’re when someone tells you you know, what, regardless of what it’s for, whether it’s personally, professionally, whether it’s huge whether it’s Would you like a second helping of mashed potatoes, and you get a no, it’s really, it’s frightfully easy to interpret that as a complete rejection of your entire existence. You don’t think of it that way, because you say it out loud. And it sounds absurd that you would do that. But human beings have some Wellborn grooves when it comes to how we process rejection. And yeah, there are a couple of industries in particular, where you have to traffic in nose in rejection on a daily basis. And if you don’t have the skills, if you don’t have the techniques, the experience comes obviously, that helps to but if you don’t have those skills and techniques, you put yourself in some, in some real danger of having of carrying the weight of that projection around with you as you go. And it builds up over time. And as I love that, you focus on that, because that’s such a an underserved element of professional skill.

Craig French 7:43
Yeah, I appreciate that. I mean, there’s a couple of things to touch on there. One is that after doing some research on this topic, I mean, one of the things, Kevin is that we actually are hardwired to have a visceral effect on rejection. And it goes back to sort of like our primitive brain, because when we were hunter gatherers, and living in little smaller tribal communities, if you got rejected from your pack, or from you know, your group, that means basically, you were ostracized, and you were sent out on your own into the middle of nowhere, to fend for yourself and hunting and keep yourself warm. Whereas obviously, if you’re winning in the community, you had more safety, more food, more camaraderie, more connection, more love support. So there’s something hardwired in our brain about this thing about rejection. And so it’s, it’s pretty, I don’t know if fascinating is the right word, because it also obviously has a little bit of a, you know, a sad connotation to it. But I think it’s something really, really, really important, especially in the modern sort of commerce driven, capitalistic society that we live in.

Kevin Stafford 8:54
Yeah, yeah, that’s that fascinating is an element of it. You know, it’s obviously it’s not only fascinating, because it’s also it also carries a lot of weight, there’s damage to trauma, there’s sadness, but there’s this fascinating and it’s also, and I think you rightly represent this in your coaching, it is also fertile ground for positive change and growth. And that’s a transition that can be difficult to make where you realize that these knows this rejection is an opportunity to grow skills that will help not just you but everyone you come into contact with in your life, be able to process that kind of negativity and I put negativity in air quotes, even though we’re, you know, audio only podcast on air, I’m scared quoting on the screen. Because it’s not. It’s defined almost universally as a negative when you get to know when you get to projection. But there’s so much that can grow out of that. And if you have the skills and the tools.

Craig French 9:42
Yeah, I’m glad you mentioned that because I just, I just finished reading a book called Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. I read about 20 years ago, and I just reread it and I also just took a course with him on emotional intelligence and one of the things that he says about in relation to sales and this topic that we’re discussing Is that someone in sales who’s naturally optimistic, which usually starts off in childhood, early stages of childhood, they have not only a longer career in sales, but they usually produce and perform at a higher rate than pessimists, because you have to be able to turn those nose into yeses, you have to turn those rejections into silver linings and opportunities. You know, I mean, like you were just describing, so there is an element of optimism too. When it comes to rejection, they kind of work together and they could become gold. You know, I mean, for future growth, if you allow it to.

Kevin Stafford 10:40
I love that, alchemy, golf, I’d often reference that lead to gold. It’s a science, it’s a science, we couldn’t quite ever crack. But turning the lead of no into the gold of a yes, or the gold of a positive is something that we know a lot more about than we think we do. Totally, totally. Man, I could, this is such a meaty subject. And there’s so many facets to explore. I could talk about this for hours with you. But we’re already coming up on time. So I want to make sure that you get a chance to tell the audience a kind of a two part question. Where do you Where can people find out more about you? And where do you like to engage online? Do you have a preferred social media or preferred method of people to reach out and get to know you a little bit better?

Craig French 11:19
Yeah, I mean, the easiest way people will find me is my website, my personal website is Craig, Jared So let’s see our ai I am just in the process of launching a new corporate coaching business called system with an OM at the end. So it’s sort of my system with you know, the sound of the universe, the OEM sounds nice. And thank you. And I’m getting quite a bit of traction with it right now. So there will be a whole website launching around that right now I currently have, you know, a corporate deck that I can share with your audience if people want to reach out and get the new system, corporate deck, which is focusing on sort of this performance mindset around sales and revenue roles. So if anyone listening is interested in hearing more about that, they can reach out to me directly through my website, my email, my personal email, CJF. At Craig, jarred,

Kevin Stafford 12:24
Nice, simple and effective. And are you Are you active anywhere on social media? Or do you just not have time for that these days?

Craig French 12:30
Well, it just glass glossed over that. That question. To be honest with you, Kevin, like that is a part of the strategy like future strategy. I’m not spending a ton of time, I am on Instagram, as Craig jarred French, I’m on Facebook. Those are the probably the two main ones. But a lot of my business is coming through, you know, either outreach that I’m doing through my network or referral. So then the social media, I’m I’m taking the opposite approach as much coaches, I think in like, that’s more of like a secondary byproduct of, hopefully, positive momentum to use your word again, you know, I mean, as opposed to pounding social media and being super out there and active, it’s more of a passive approach to it.

Kevin Stafford 13:21
Now, it’ll pass a little organic when as things develop and become present and get their own momentum that will naturally radiate out to all of the all of the channels on which you exist. And so wherever you are, it will go there.

Craig French 13:35
You’ll find it some coaches put a lot of emphasis on the social first, you know, before the stunts and so I’m sort of doing it the opposite.

Kevin Stafford 13:43
All right, I like it. Greg, thank you so much for being here today. It was really fun to talk to you. And I’m going to be wishing that we could talk for longer, all day, maybe off to have you back for a part two or something. Yeah, thanks for having me. And to the audience out there. Find Craig learn more, reach out if you liked this conversation, and I think you did. Just find out more. You know, maybe reach out on social media, you might get back to you, who knows, but definitely find out more. There’s a lot of good stuff here and we’ll talk to you again soon.

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