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Archive for goal attainment

Here’s what you need to know about training, from my piano teachers.

Special Blog for Anyone Who Trains and Coaches

Recently, one of my coaching clients (an owner of a real estate company) asked me, “Why do some trainers and coaches get great results and others don’t–but seem to be working as hard?”

Great question, huh? In fact, if we trainer/coach types knew that answer, we could build our systems so that we assured great performance! So, I went back to my ‘former life’–that as a musician and piano/flute teacher, and thought, “Why do some piano teachers create great performers–and others don’t?”

Why Use Piano Teachers as the Analogy….

I use the analogy of the piano teacher, because it’s easy to hear differences in sloppy and great performance. I’m sure you’ve heard 2 people play the same piece of music. One plays it accurately and one just kind of slops through it. Or, some piano teachers’ students drop out, unmotivated to practice, while others stay motivated, challenged, and achieve high performance–even if they don’t seem to have great talent.

Five Proven Components for Great Performance

From having taken piano lessons since age six, gaining a degree in piano performance, and having taught piano at the grade, high school, and college level, I’ve had an opportunity to see the great and the not-so-great–both teachers and performers. Here are the five components I’ve discovered make the biggest difference in great performance.

1. Great piano teachers screen their students in and screen their students out.
They don’t let just anybody take lessons from them. Trainers and coaches: What’s your ‘screen in’ process? Do you have one? Do you have a list of questions you ask? In our coaching company, we have a prescribed list of questions we ask potential clients (and we unfortunately have to turn down some). I even have a Coachability Assessment I provide potential clients. Click here to request your copy.

2. Great piano teachers set expected standards (minimums) during the screening process–not after the lessons start!
Those standards include: Amount of practice each day, recitals attended and played in, going to lessons, etc. What do you expect of your clients? Make a list of at least 5 standards now–and get the ‘mutual expectations’ agreement in writing prior to letting them into your program.

3. Great piano teachers figure out the ‘competency levels’ they want their students to attain–and when they expect them.
How good do you expect your students to get in that one-month training program you’ve been doing? Do you even measure skill levels? Which skill levels to you measure? How? Do you have your students practice their listing presentations until they reach the level of competency you believe the real client expects? What an eye-opener! Make a list now of 5 skills and the level of competency you want your students to attain in your training program. You’ll see your outcomes go way up just by doing this.

4. Great piano teachers get better performance because their excellent students motivate other good students to excellence.
Have you ever gotten yourself into the situation where you felt like you were way above the other people in your group? This isn’t an ego thing–it’s just a ‘I don’t belong here’ thing. Likes attract. Good performers motivate other good performers. Excellent performers stay. Are you creating a self-motivating group–or, are you creating a situation where your good performers will leave for a team that is ‘more like them’? This goes back to those ‘screen in’ and setting competency principles. I know we all feel challenged when people don’t appear motivated. Here’s one of the secrets to fire them up!

5. Great piano teachers provide lavish praise–when deserved.

Behavior that’s rewarded is repeated.

If you have competency levels, you have a way and a reason to praise. Your students/clients know when they have reached those levels–and can expect praise, too! In fact, strong students/clients will ask you for praise. Write down the 5-10 methods you use to appreciate and praise good performance. If you can’t get to 10, figure them out.

But, what about the method? The specific coaching, the training? Yes, the method is important, but the coaching/training techniques above are much more important. I’ve heard some great performers and some poor performers all playing the same kind of music from the same method. At the same time, great methods should have some ‘built-in’ features that assure the trainer/coach is achieving these 5 principles.

Principles, Systems, Coaching–Putting it All Together

From talking with prominent trainers, managers, and coaches, we’ve pinpointed a need for all those training and coaching today to get the coaching they need to turn out great performers. Check out Leadership Mastery Coaching.

What do you do if someone won’t get into action?

This month, I’m featuring tips to get your agents–and you into action better–and faster. Why? Because real estate is a ‘performance art’, not a knowledge pursuit!

(Note: Watch for my new little book, it’s literally a ‘little book’, with the quotes I’ve coined (or copied, I’m sure), over the years. The quote above is from the book, too). Oh, the name of the book: Big Ideas (in a little book). By the way, the book is a great gift to your agents–and will give you 80+ quotes for meeting discussions, too.

Real Estate Sales IS Challenging!

I’ll bet your agents didn’t know how challenging real estate sales were until now. To cope with those challenges, our creative subconscious may be coming up with ways to convince us to avoid getting into action. We might even start believing your subconscious! One of the most common reasons is the old “I can’t do that because I don’t know enough.” Or, maybe your subconscious has convinced you that you’re not organized enough to get into action, or that you’re not perfect enough.

Getting Ready to Get Ready

Ned, an agent in my office, acted in a way that is an example of creative avoidance. In the business eight months, Ned had made only one sale. However, he was in the office regularly and appeared busy with paperwork. He attended law courses and was well-informed on financing. One day I saw Ned collating maps. I asked him what he was doing. He explained that he was putting together a series of maps for a buyer’s tour. I thought that was exceptional; buyers would really want to know the whereabouts of the homes they were seeing. (Today, Ned would be using apps for that–and spending lots of time getting the right apps and exactly the right ‘maps’……..)

Unfortunately, Ned had used his strategy with only six buyers—all the buyers he had put in his car in the past eight months! He had spent his time on this nifty map system, but had not talked to enough people to get them into the car—or have the opportunity to appreciate the map system! Which is more important to your goal attainment—talking to people, qualifying them, and showing them homes, or working diligently on a map system in case you find someone who wants you to show them homes?

How People Get into Action

How do you “get into action”? How do your agents get into action? In a wonderful book, The Conative Connection, Kathy Kolbe explores the ways different personalities get into action—not how we learn, but how we get into action. Some people barge ahead and worry about the details later. We start badly, but, because we’re tenacious, we surprise people by how good we finally get. Unfortunately, our supervisors often remember only how bad we were when we started. We must be tough-minded and keep at it; we must retain an image of ourselves as “finished products,” because others will not see us that way. Other people observe the action for a long time. Finally, when we feel ready to perform well, we get into action. We start slowly but well.

Slow Starters May be Deceptively Competent!

Because of our slow start, we don’t get much positive reinforcement from our supervisors (or coach or manager), who note our lack of progress compared with others in the office. If slow starters are tenacious and believe in themselves, they become very good because they practice perfectly. Kolbe points out several “get into action” styles. This book will help you pinpoint your “get into action” style as well as the barriers and challenges various types of ‘action starters’ face as they start their real estate careers.

Help Your Agents Embrace Embarrassment

Go ahead—be embarrassed. There is no way to be experienced until you get experience. No agents like to take risks, be embarrassed, or have buyers and sellers guess that they are new in the business. But face it—everyone has been new in the business. Just go ahead and get those first few months over with. You will be embarrassed every day—many times. As a new agent, my most common statement to buyers or sellers was “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.” In music, little could stump me—but in real estate anything could stump me! Still, I muddled through it, and you will, too.

* Big Idea: Your ability to get into action and risk being embarrassed is one of the attributes of a successful new agent (or manager!).

Why not take your time? I’ve interviewed prospective agents who told me they really didn’t want to sell real estate right away. They wanted to learn everything they could. Then, after six or eight months, they would feel ready to sell real estate. It doesn’t work that way! I wish I could tell you that agents can successfully launch real estate careers by taking lots of time to “get ready.” However, if you take all the time in the world, you will fail. Why? Because lack of success is a great de-motivator!

. To remember and emulate good performance, we need to perform right after we have heard, seen, and practiced that performance. Learning something in a class and letting that skill lie dormant for months just guarantees poor skill—and high stress.

* Big Idea: 99 percent of what we learn we learn by doing.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being “I jump right into action”, how would you rate yourself in getting into action?

Let Me Help Your Agents Get Into Action with More Confidence

It can seem like every day in real estate is a new challenge! I know–I remember those days well! Why not get the best start (or re-start) possible? Take a look at my innovative online, training/accountability program, Up and Running in Real Estate. There’s a coaching component, too, so you can track your agents’ successes and coach them along the way. Check it out here.

Here’s what the Beatles and Bill Gates reveal about reaching goals.

This month, I’m writing about how we can increase our performance and results–using methods that we normally don’t discuss in real estate. This blogs are a reflection of my new keynote, “You CAN! 5 Secrets from Weird Sources that Will Get You to your Goals.” In this keynote, I investigate the performance skills I learned as a career musician–along with other ‘weird sources’. I show exactly how you can apply these secrets to your business and life to gain exceptional performance.   (and I use the piano to demonstrate!)

You know that the Beatles attained pop music mastery. You know Bill Gates did the same with technology. But, did you know what they have in common-and that you may have, too?

Before I tell you that, let me share something that happens to me often.

You’ve heard the old chestnut, Practice Makes Perfect. I certainly know that as a musician. But, how well do we apply that principle to our business lives? Is this something that is a key to our attaining our goals? I think so. Read on.

The Commonality between the Beatles and Bill Gates

In his fascinating book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell studies performers-from Mozart and the Beatles to Bill Gates. The commonality he found was that high achievers spent an average of

Ten thousand hours practicing and honing their craft to get to mastery

In other words, it isn’t talent, it isn’t just circumstance (although Gladwell points out being at the right place at the right time is important, too)-attaining exceptional performance is just slogging it out, practicing your craft, logging in ten thousand hours.

The Beatles–Having to Work Seven Days for Eight Hours a Night Was the Beset Thing that Could Happen to Them

When I read that the Beatles played in Hamburg 8 hours a night, 7 days a week-for 2 years, I instantly felt tired! I know what it’s like to perform in bars for hours! (I played piano in bars to put myself through college–what an education!) But, the Beatles said that experience was key in making them the performers they became. In an interview, John Lennon said, “We got better and got more confidence. We couldn’t help it with all the experience playing all night long…..we really had to find a new way of playing.”

Bill Gates-Practically Living at the Computer Lab

Gates describes his early years: “It was my obsession….I skipped athletes. I went up there at night. We were programming on weekends.”

Isn’t There a Shortcut?

For those of you who have never attained high performance, you don’t–and can’t-realize the importance of practice. You think that it’s just a matter of talent or luck. But, haven’t you known extremely talented people who just extinguished themselves like a flaming rocked? Haven’t you known people with all the advantages who just didn’t attain what you thought they could-or should? Of course.

Are You Willing to Put in those Ten Thousand Hours to Excel?

From the many examples in Outliers, and from my own experiences as a pianist (I have a degree in piano performance and a master’s degree in music theory), I know that practicing your craft provides the only true competence and confidence. You don’t gain mastery by talking about it. You don’t gain mastery by someone trying to motivate you. You don’t gain mastery by dabbling and calling it ‘good’. It’s practice. So, get out there, and practice and perform. Rack up those ten thousand hours, and you will achieve your goals. If the Beatles and Bill Gates didn’t take shortcuts, we shouldn’t try it that way, either. Isn’t devoting enough time to your goals important enough to you to feel the joy of attainment-of mastery?

Help Them Start on the Road to Mastery Now

What’s the secret to gaining mastery? Starting–and starting with an accurate, proven process. That’s how I created Up and Running in Real Estate–the online training, coaching, and accountability program for agents under 2 years in the business. It’s created to start people practicing, getting into action fast, and getting feedback to keep getting better. Check it out.