“There Tiffany was doing exactly what I told her to do, or at least how she had interpreted it: she was rotating the milks, spinning them in circles…and putting them back in the fridge.”
What the heck does that mean?? You’ll just have to read to find out.
Today we are talking all about helping your team get better at the skills they need to master to be successful in their business, and by the time we’re done you’re going to have four easy steps that you’ll be able to use with any team member to not only be excited to train with you, but keep it super simple and easy for you and for them.
Whether you’ve been running your business for years or your brand new at leading a team, one thing you can’t ignore is the importance of providing your team with the best training and development because at the end of the day the key to success in network marketing is developing your leaders. Not only will this help your business to grow, but it will also help your leaders to be able to grow their business too! But before I share the 4 keys to helping your team master their skills I want to share a story with you.
For those of you who are Back to the Future fans we’re hopping in the Delorean again and going back in time to when I first began my career in leadership development. I was working for a national coffee franchise, and I have to say I had a pretty awesome gig. I was 19 and my job involved traveling the United States, helping new franchisees open their new coffee house and train their team. At the time, I had already been at the shop for a week prior preparing for opening and we had crossed the threshold and were two days into their operation. I had a week left with the team there and on this day I was working with one of the team members, Tiffany, and my interaction with Tiffany and what I learned from her was something I’ll never forget.
Because the shop had just opened two days earlier, everyone was still learning the basics and today I was working with Tiffany on some of the day to day operations that she would need to be able to do, as would any member of the team. We were tackling a super fun and exciting task – cleaning the stock room refrigerators and preparing them for the milk delivery that was scheduled to arrive later that day!
Something important I want you to remember is that this shop JUST opened, which meant that their wasn’t a ton of milk stored in this refrigerator. If I had to guess there was probably about 40 gallons, give or take, and I know to most of you that sounds like a lot, but coming from the specialty coffee industry one thing you should know is that we use a lot of milk. In reality, they should call it the the dairy business because on most days any shop probably uses more milk than coffee, so 40 gallons wasn’t much considering on an average day a busy shop can blow through about 15 to 20 gallons of whole milk alone in one day. OK, so back to Tiffany.
I explained to her that milk delivery days were the perfect time to clean out the stockroom refrigerators because they would be the most empty, which made cleaning all the shelves and walls a lot easier because you didn’t have to navigate through gallons upon gallons of milk. And because the shop had just opened the fridge wasn’t really dirty which meant this would be a super simple and easy task to accomplish in about 10 minutes or less. I showed her how to wipe down the shelves, and I also let her know the most important thing to do, aside from make sure the fridge was clean was to rotate the milk.
For those of you who don’t have a food industry background, rotating product simply means making sure the oldest product is in the front and the newest product is in the back so make sure nothing goes bad. After explaining the task to Tiffany, I handed her the towel, cleaning solution and let her know to come check in with me when she was done, and then I left her to it, proceeded back up front to check in with some of the other team members, and start working with them on some additional daily tasks.
Before I knew it more the 10 minutes had passed…it had probably been closer to 30 or 40 and there was no sign of Tiffany. So I headed to the stockroom to make sure she was ok. I’ll never forget what I saw. There Tiffany was doing exactly what I told her to do, or at least how she had interpreted it: she was rotating the milks, spinning them in circles, I don’t know how many times and putting them back in the fridge.
In that moment I wanted to die laughing, but instead I paused and thought to myself “How could something like this get so misconstrued? Why was it that she was spinning the milks instead of rotating the older ones to the front? Was it just her? Was she just not the brightest crayon in the box?”
- Sad to admit my friends, it was me. I realized then and there that as her leader I had done a poor job because I had failed to be clear and specific in my instruction and had missed some key steps in the training process.
Instead of clearly explaining what rotating the milks meant, and them demonstrating for her, I rushed, assumed she knew what I meant, which subsequently meant that she did EXACTLY what I asked her to do based on my poor training and her interpretation.
I tell you this story, not only because I hope you’ll get a laugh, but because this was a turning point for me in how I teach skills and I hope that you’ll learn from Tiffany too so that you won’t come to find your team members spinning their wheels instead of gallons of milk.
So how do we avoid the mistakes I made? EASY. Tell, Show, Do, Review.
1) TELL them what you are going to do
We’ve all learned how important agenda’s are and when it comes to meeting with your customers and it’s no different when it comes to training and developing your team. Tell them what you’re going to do. This not only helps to remove any pressure, but it sets the tone for the rest of your training time, everyone is on the same page, and there aren’t any surprises.
With Tiffany, it might have sounded something like, “Today we’re going to learn how to clean out the stock room refrigerator and rotate the milk so that the fridge stays clean and we make sure to use all the milk before it expires.”
2) SHOW them what you are going to have them do
This is one of they key steps I missed. I failed to demonstrate to her what rotating the milk actually meant which is why instead of shuffling product from front to back, she ended up spinning gallons instead.
Be sure to take time to demonstrate or model what it is that your team member is expected to do. In this case, I should have taken the time to demonstrate rotating a row of product so she knew exactly what to do. With your team members, an example might be doing some role play so they can see and hear what it looks like to invite someone to learn more about the business or ask for referrals. While all the steps in this process are important, I would argue this is probably one of the most important because it allows for both you and your team member to be perfectly clear on what it is that their expected to do and sets them up for success because it leaves no room for interpretation or confusion.
3) DO it with them
Now it’s their turn… showing them is important, but taking the time to do it with them is also just as important. This not only builds trust and shows your team member that you are patient and they they are worth your time, but also creates a safe space for them to learn and make the mistakes with you. This way, they’ll be able to do whatever it is they need to do successfully on their own, and have the confidence that they know how to do it right!
With Tiffany, this is where instead of walking off and leaving her on her own, I should have showed the patience to hang out for a minute or two and have her give it shot. This would have not only provided an opportunity for her to ask any questions if she had any, but also provide some space for recognition as well when she completed the task successfully.
After all is said and done, the last thing is to review everything you covered so that you and your team member knows exactly what success looks like. And here’s another key to helping them become masters at their skills. Instead of repeating all the steps that you just taught them, have them walk you through step by step and repeat it back to you. This will continue to build trust because it shows your team member that you are listening and paying attention. You’ll also be able to catch any places they might still be a little fuzzy on and spend some more time on that specific thing which will only help to build their confidence, and make sure they’ll be able to do it on their own when you’re done.
I hope that the next time you meet with your team member to train them on a new skill that you’ll put these 4 keys- to TELL, SHOW, DO, REVIEW- into practice, and I’d love to hear how it goes so feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for reading today’s post. To sign up for one of our free trainings on closing, recruiting or leadership, go to emergesalestraining.com/freetraining. Have a great day!