A defining question.

Author:Cunningham, Casey

MOST EVERY LOAN OFFICER, branch and mortgage company wants to be successful. Many times the most complex, difficult and challenging mysteries that surround lack of personal, team or company success can quickly be understood when seeking answers to one fundamental question: Is lack of success originating from one's will (attitude) or skill (talent)?

Most personal and professional performance-related issues can be resolved by focusing on an individual's determination to succeed and/or his or her qualifications to act. When an individual has experience with any task, including effective training, incredible knowledge and natural talents needed to succeed, he or she possesses skill.

When the individual has an incentive to complete a task(s), a desire to achieve it, the confidence that comes from knowledge and positive feelings about the assigned task(s), the person possesses will. When either of these issues is missing, performance suffers again and again.

Think about it in the realm of loan officers taking "quality loan applications." In my 29 years in the business, the message has been the same to the sales force: You must take a complete loan application. Yet it doesn't happen to the satisfaction of the majority of leaders. Why? It is due to the fact that the loan officer either lacks the skill or the will to do it right.

Without overstating the obvious, no one can know it all. For the most part, our industry makes a fairly good effort of establishing unique, specific roles based on job responsibilities. However, in today's new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) world, every company, branch and individual is being overwhelmed with new rules, regulations, risks and responsibilities by the day.

As frustration levels build, business costs increase, interest rates begin to rise and purchase production pressures begin to mount, today's loan officers and managers should continually assess their personal strengths, weakness, likes and dislikes.

Training and coaching are the most common prescriptions that can improve almost every will and skill performance-related issue.

To be delivered effectively and generate positive results, those tasked with delivering coaching and training should also have the proper combination of will and skill to ensure their contributions are positive in an adult learning environment.

Active listening, relevant training and effective coaching should be...

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