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Archive for Leadership

Oct
15

5 More Recruiting Mistakes to Avoid

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In an earlier post, we explored 5 of the 10 biggest mistakes I’ve seen real estate recruiters make–and, admittedly, I’ve made. After all, I started like most of you–here’s your desk, here’s your phone……you know the drill…

By the way, I put a picture of a coach reading off a layer, because that’s certainly a mistake we make in management! (Or, you could interpret it as me yelling at you to avoid these mistakes….)

So, here’s the rest of my list. What did I leave out? Why are we selecting so many who fail to make it in real estate?

6. Recruiting agents without the necessary skills or motivation to be
successful

There are the agents that fall over at the first objection (and there are many, even though they tell us they’re tenacious!) We keep beating our heads against stone walls recruiting agents who are deficient in the two skill sets we say are most important to real state success: technical (computer) skills and sales skills. We hire them, and then we pour thousands of dollars down a black hole trying to train them to do the things they won’t or can’t do.

Why not hire agents who already have technical and sales skills? In my program, The Complete Recruiter, I ask managers to make a list of the skills and qualities they feel are critical in the agents they hire. Please do that. Then, create questions that bring out whether an agent has the skills and qualities you need.

7. Talking too much in the interview process

Well, it’s not really an interview process to most managers. It’s actually a talk marathon, where the manager talks to the would-be agent until the agent gets tired and agrees (or not) to join the company. That’s what dozens of agents have described as their “recruiting interview”.

What are you doing while the interviewee is talking? Asking questions and listening. What are you listening for? Whether or not that interviewee has the necessary amounts of the skills and qualities you want. How do you assure you’ve got the complete story? Probe around that one idea until you’re completely assured that the interviewee has sufficient strength of that trait or skill. The Complete Recruiter has lots of tips on mastering sales skills for recruiting. This is just one of them.

8. Selling all the features and benefits of the company in the same way to each recruit

That’s simply because the manager didn’t ask good questions at the beginning of the process. If he had, he would’ve discovered what needs the agent wanted met. Then, he would’ve designed his presentation to meet those needs.

9. No recruiting plan

A few years ago I was the head writer for the CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) People Management course. This course includes recruiting, selecting, training, and motivating agents for high productivity. I was excited to teach the course the first time, and was thrilled that there were about sixty managers in the course. I found that most of them had been in the business over ten years.

I wanted to create something where they could share recruiting experiences and a wins, so I decided to do a little contest for best recruiting campaign. I introduced the contest the first morning, and waited for the entries. There were none. At the beginning of the second day I asked the students if it was a dumb contest, or what seemed to be the barriers. They told me that none of them had a recruiting plan, much less a campaign! How could you implement your recruiting moves without a plan of action? We pound into our agents heads the idea of business plans. Yet, we dona’t have plans for the most important of all our activities–recruiting. If you’re among the 95% of managers who don’t have a plan, I’ve provided a simple, straightforward method of planning in The Complete Recruiter.

10. No system for agent follow-up

You’ve interviewed the agent. The agent doesn’t join that day. Now, what happens? In most companies–nothing! You need a contact management system. You need a contact plan. You need materials, and you need strategy. Finally, you need someone to run that plan. Hire a competent assistant and let that assistant engage your plan. This agent follow-up is really a part of your overall recruiting plan. You expect your agents to do it, and you need to do this, too, with your potential recruits. Remember, follow up until they buy or die!

It doesn’t take a masterful recruiter to win all the awards. All it really takes is determination and persistence. And, when you look at the few managers who actively recruit, you know that merely taking a stab at in a consistent manner will win you many recruits. Start now!

CompleteRecruiterHow is your Recruiting Plan Working?

Well, shall we be honest? You probably don’t have a plan. At least, that’s my experience in training and coaching thousands of owners and managers. If you don’t have a plan, how do you know what to do each day to find, select, and recruit those you really want? How do you measure how you’re doing? The Complete Recruiter has it all: the plan, the dialogues, the systems. Get it this month at a blazingly good price, too! Find out more here.

This month, I’m focusing on recruiting and selecting.

Isn’tt it amazing the number of things a new manager is supposed to be able to do from day one, even though he or she isn’t trained to do those tasks? Take recruiting, for example. As As a new manager, I was expected to lead generate, get appointments, ask great questions, and select agents who would be successful. But, did I have the skills to perform those tasks with competence? You can bet not!

Even though I was a top-producing agent, I didn’tt take the time to think through, and didn’t know how to, apply the sales skills I had used to attain high sales volume to the recruiting tasks at hand. So, I, like thousands of other new managers, just did it allby ear! Along the way, I had some wins and lots of losses. Through my observations of myself and others, Ia’ve created a list of ten top mistakes, so that you can avoid the pitfalls I and others without training have fallen into.

In this blog, we’ll look at the first five. Also, I’ll add some advice I learned from all those mistakes!

1. Charge ahead to hire

It should occur to us that we need to sit in a quiet place and think about the kind of people we want to hire before we dive in. But, we are so thrilled that someone is in front of us that it doesn’t occur to us that they bring with them their values and ethics. So, if we haven’t thought out our values, our beliefs, and our perspectives first, we run the risk of hiring people who will then dictate what the company values become. Before you start interviewing, decide what you will and what you won’t stand for. Write out your values and your beliefs. Then, when you interview, check to be sure that agent carries those same values and beliefs into your office. Someone’s got to be the leader, and it better be you!

2. Recruiting to old-style management strategies

I know, I know. Just go make those calls and you will get some recruits. Yes, that’s true. But, wouldn’t it be better if you built a company that stood apart from the others because of its attractors? The greatest attractors today to a company are twofold:

Values: Does the company have values and beliefs that the agent can live by and agree with?

Focused on success of its agents: Does the company focus its energy on the success of the agents or on itself/

If you are still trying to recruit to an old-style dictatorship, or, if you’ve given up leadership. Find out what participative management is all about. Find out how to build a team. Figure out how to help each agent reach his/her goals. Now, you’re on the right track. Re-tool your business structure so you’re attractive to the entrepreneur of today and tomorrow.

3. Trying to recruit on the company features

“Our company is the largest around.” Well, guess what? If you’re a branch manager, and all your branch managers say the same thing, you’re not going to differentiate yourself that way! You must make yourself a magnet. What about your background provides a benefit to a new agent? To an experienced agent? For example, I was a musical performer and teacher. That taught me performance skills, and how to teach others performance skills. You can see the benefits to agents. I’m able to help an agent reach his goals through greater skills.

4. Not differentiating the feature from all the other companies that have the same thing

“We have a great training program.” So says every company out there. What’s so great about your program? You’d better be able to tell ’em and show ’em. For example: “Our training program has a 90% rate in our agents making a sale in the first thirty days they’re with us.” No one else in the area has success figures like that. Here’s the brochure about our program. It spells out the comprehensive five-step program for new agents. Do you want a program that assures you make money fast?

5. Trying to attract agents through price wars

We in the real estate industry just love to hire agents through the bidding wars. We either provide a lower desk fee, better commission splits, or more trinkets and trash. Guess what? That’s the chicken’s way out. In reality, price is never the best recruiter. But, if you don’t have a great company organization, if you don’t help agents meet their goals, you’re going to have to compete on price. It’s all you’ve got. Now, work hard to provide real value. After all, consumers pay 10% more for products and services they believe are of quality.

Recommendation: Read Drive–The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink. The motivators have changed, but no one has told real estate professionals!

So far, what have I left out?

Get The Insights You Need to Hire with Confidence

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

Here’s what to do if you’re interviewing and the candidate says, “I hate the word ‘salesperson’.”

Ever been interviewing and, you think, Darn, this is going really well. The person looks good, smells good, and talks good. The person is likable. The person eagerly answers your questions. Then, somehow, you bring up the word ‘salesperson’. (In fact, throw that into your interviewing repertoire: “What does the word ‘salesperson’ mean to you?” And be ready for the responses below).

After you ask that question, all that positive energy that had been in the interview comes to a screeching halt, because the person says,

I don’t want to be called a ‘salesperson’.

You’re thinking, Woooooh up there. I thought I was interviewing for a sales job. What’s going on here?

What Do They Want to Be?

I just wrote a blog for for a large blogpost in which I chastised real estate agents for the ‘shortcut’ mentality of trying to use technology so they didn’t have to talk to the people. (Yes, it’s true. They think that’s smart. Just read their comments back to me.) At least two things became apparent from the very strong comments:


2. Some agents think technology will take away the need for agents to form relationships (These are the licensees who love houses. They just hate people).

So, When you hear the comment ‘I don’t want to be called a ‘salesperson’, consider:

1. That person will be resistant to any kind of sales training (which means they won’t be willing to ask insightful questions to determine buyer/seller qualifications–and so they won’t be willing to close)
2. That person will want a different ‘label’ on the business card. Something like ‘consultant’ or ‘educator’.
3. That person will feel most comfortable being as far away from potential prospects as possible!
4. That person doesn’t want to sell; that person wants to be the happy recipient of someone else’s work to get the ‘lead’
5. That person won’t work to create trust and long-term relationships, because they don’t think that’s the point

What This Means to You

You already know 90% of what I’m going to tell you here. The bottom line is that this person doesn’t respect the art, science, and skill of becoming a competent salesperson. They’re not going to your sales training. They’re going to discount any help you try to give them on communication skills development. They going to think that mastering the knowledge and technology of real estate will make them successful. They’re going to wait until you give them leads, and then they are going to discount these leads because they aren’t “good enough”.

Should You HIre This Person?

I know. You hired one person once who had the traits mentioned above and they were successful selling real estate. Okay. But, are you going to base your interviewing decisions on Las Vegas odds? Better not. Probe more to find out what that person thinks ‘salesperson’ means. Find out their prior sales training. Delve deeply into this question and their answers, so you’ll hire those who love sales.

Get The Insights You Need to Hire with Confidence

You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

Here’s how to avoid hiring the agent from hell!

Let’s be honest. Have you ever hired someone and found out it was the ‘hire from hell’? If you haven’t, you just haven’t hired enough agents or staff! Many managers tell me that the hardest thing they have to do is to hire staff. I think that’s because most of us never had any training in how to hire staff (or hire agents, for that matter).

After a 3-day management symposium I taught in South Carolina, one of the attendees emailed me: “Can you give me some tips to assure I don’t make a hiring mistake with staff? If any of us hasn’t made mistakes hiring staff, please comment! I know I’ve made many–and that’s why I’ve developed the tips here. This tips work for hiring agents or staff.

And, these tips work for agents hiring team members. (Managers: forward this to your agents who want or have teams).

So, here are four surefire tips for you.
1. Create the right kind of questions from your job description
Using that job description you created (you did create one, didn’t you?) for your agent or staff position, create past-based questions that tell you if the candidate has the skills and qualities you need. For example. You’re looking for someone who cares about the company. Here’s the question: “In your past jobs, give me 3 examples of how you watched out for the company’s best interests.” Listen and probe. Here’s an example for hiring agents. Let’s say you want an agent who is a ‘self-starter. The question: “Was there a time in your past when you wanted something badly, and you went out and got some kind of job to earn it?” Listen and probe.
For more information on behavioral predictors, see The Complete Recruiter and my eBook on interviewing, Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners.
2. Follow a planned, proven interview process to assure you get all the information you need
Most of us don’t interview; we, just sell. We don’t find out the ‘secrets’ about the candidate, but, the candidate sure finds out about us! If you need a proven process, see Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners. I created 8 steps to use each time for a smooth, professional interview.
3. Use a Behavioral Profile
I’d also suggest you use a behavioral profile, for those who pass your first interview. Use it to gather information prior to your second interview. In our coaching company, we use Michael Abelson’s: www.abelson.net. It’s well worth it because you find out things that are very hard to discover in the ‘live’ interview. Then, you go back and ask more past-based questions about those areas. That’s called ‘validating’.
P. S.
4. Check references “3 deep”
Be sure to check references–not just the ones the candidate gives you, but go ‘3 deep’. That means to ask the people the candidate gives you, ‘Who else could I contact about this candidate’? Go 2 people deep from each of the names the candidate gives you. That way, you’re sure to get a better, less biased picture of the candidate. You’ll find you learn a lot from people who weren’t ‘direct references’!
Now, you have those four surefire tips to avoid staff hiring mistakes. Let me know how they work for you!

eBook Cover(2)You work so hard to gain those interviews. But, do you have planned interview process that assures you pick winners? (And assures the candidates are impressed with you….) Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners, with new information about what desired agents of today are looking for, is a guide to create your unique attractors, how to put together a powerful presentation, and a completely new video showing exactly how to craft the best ‘crystal ball’ type of questions. Learn more here.

In the last blog, I named 3 things that bad hiring costs you.

There are some of those line items that are hard to quantify–but are very real. If you’ve ever hired an agent who lied to you or others, or undermined you, or talked behind your back in the kichen–you know there are very real costs to your culture.

Another real but hard to quanitify cost: Have you ever had good agents leave because they weren’t challenged? Because they felt you were hiring poor agents, and dragging down everyone’s production? If that only cost you one productive agent, it’s a lot!

What are your numbers? What does it cost you for an agent who failed? Have you ever figured it out? Let me know. As a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor, I would ask managers this question. Generally, they figured the cost of a bad hire was $10,000-$30,000. What’s yours?

eBook Cover(2)
Grab Your Selection Blueprint and Gain a System

Are you wasting time interviewing those who fail? Do you want to have a systematic method of selection (just as you tell your agents to use with sellers and buyers!).  Or, do you need some guidance to figure out those you don’t want? Get Your Blueprint for Selecting Winners and make better hiring decisions.

Ready to use and immediately downloadable!

Here’s why just hiring more may not be best for you. This month, I’m focusing on hiring–and termination. Why? Because they are the most important activities you can do. And, they determine the profitability and culture of your company.

Do you know how much poor hiring practices cost you? Most brokers don’t realize they are doing irreparable damage to their companies by hiring those who aren’t going to go right to work and keeping those who won’t work. Here are the 3 biggest consequences to poor selection I see.

1. Stops you from hiring great producers.

Likes attract. How can brokers hope to hire that great producer when they have more than 10% of their office as non-producers? I can see it now. Sure, I’ll come to your office. I’m a top producer, and I just love to be dragged down by those non-producers. It will be my pleasure to waste my time with them. Not.

2. Kills your recruiting message.

Do you have a training program? Do you use it to recruit? Here’s the real message: We have a training program. All our new agents go through it. We don’t get any results from the program, so it really doesn’t work. But, join us. You can’t possibly show how successful your training program makes your agents because your training program can’t possibly get results from poor people in and no actions and accountability required.

3. De-motivates your agents to provide referrals to you.

Why would one of your good agents possibly refer someone to you when your good agent doesn’t see those you hired starting right out and making money fast?

As the Market Shifts: It Won’t Cover Up an Inadequate Selection Process

In a fast market, accidental sales buoy up poor agents and make them look as though they were actually selling enough real estate to be a median agent. When the market shifts, so do the agents ‘ mirage of decent production. With that shifted market, brokers need to hire with purpose (using a stringent, professional interview process). Then, they need to put agents right to work with a proven start-up plan.

Please Tell Me What You Think

What do you think a non-productive agent costs the company? In my next blog, I’ll give you some line items that will probably double what you think a bad hire costs. Let’s see what you think first. Poor hiring practices really, really hurts brokers, both financially and emotionally.

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.

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. 

 

Here’s more from Mr. Rogers–on how to use your talents and skills to contribute.

In my earlier blog, I discussed what we can learn from Mr. Rogers. Here’s more.  I’ve been thinking about his legacy, because there’s a new movie about his philosophies: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

First, who was “Mr. Rogers”? Best known from his children’s show, which ran from 1968 to 2000, Fred Rogers was so much more—a minister, a musician with a degree in music composition, and chief puppeteer of his show. I’ve always enjoyed his quotes, because many of them are from his experiences as a musician (as am I).

From What We Do to What We Can Contribute

I don’t know about you, but I got bored selling real estate after about 5 years. All those split levels started looking the same! So, let’s say you’ve mastered what you do (and maybe have become bored with the routine of your life!). Then, what do you do? How about doing like Mr. Rogers did: Shine your light and talents outward to influence others in positive ways.

Note to managers, trainers, and coaches: Do an exercise where each person names a talent/skill they have. Then, have their partner ‘translate’ how that skill can be translated to others. Example: “People tend to tell me their secrets and their fears.” Partner: How about gaining some coaching expertise and start coaching to help people?

Let me know what you come up with. I’ve found that it’s easier for someone else to be creative about your talents and skills that it is for you to be! Here’s to a very fulfilling, rich, and contributive year!

Let Me Help You Help Your Newer Agents!

I want YOU to be the hero here! So many times, I’ve talked with managers who want to design training and coaching programs to help their agents. But, I know, from experience, it takes thousands of hours and test marketing to create effective, results-based training. So, why not let me do the heavy lifting and you coach to the program? Check out Up and Running in Real Estate, my online training, coaching, and accountability plan with an amazing, results-centered business start-up plan. You (and I) will be helping more people faster! Check it out here.

 

Jun
19

What We Can Learn from Mr. Rogers

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What can we learn from Mr. Rogers?

I’ll bet we would all agree that today the world is more divisive than ever—in every way! So, we can’t move forward. We’re spending all our energy defending our thinking…..even when we should be looking at it critically—and honestly looking at other points of view.

What does that mean for us, as businesspeople (and us people in general)? That perhaps the energy we’re expending in one direction isn’t giving us the kind of pay-off that we ultimately will find most rewarding (and not just monetarily). Although I have some general conclusions here, I also have some exercises for managers to use with their associates to help them reach their potentials.

Mr. Rogers to the Rescue

The solution to our divisive world may be with a person who had a long-running children’s show—Fred Rogers. First, who was “Mr. Rogers”? Best known from his children’s show, which ran from 1968 to 2000, Fred Rogers was so much more—a minister, a musician with a degree in music composition, and chief puppeteer of his show. I’ve been thinking about his legacy, because there’s a new movie about his philosophies: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Mr. Rogers’s Big Lessons for Us

 Morgan Neville, Academy Award winning filmmaker, is the creator of the Mr. Rogers’s film mentioned above. From studying Rogers’s lessons, Neville boiled it down to one thing: radical kindness. “He talked about grace all the time … As a minister himself, he saw the idea of grace is the undeserved goodness bestowed on you by God. In other words, being good to someone whether or not they deserve it, and whether or not you’re going to get anything back. You just do good to other people, for the sake of doing good. And that is essentially what Fred was preaching all along.”

Question:

Big Lesson from Mr. Rogers about Attaining Mastery

As a coach, first in music, then in business, I see potential in people that they sometimes don’t see in themselves. What I can’t tell, though, is their ability to stick with it from beginner to mastery. As a musician, I know that only practice makes perfect. (And perfect practice makes your performance truly perfect—getting to mastery). You just don’t sit down at the piano the first time and play a Beethoven sonata well!). Yet, too many times, I see people settling for ‘first time performance’ as their standard.

What Mr. Rogers Says about Learning and Practice

For years, I’ve given a little book as a gift to clients, referrals, etc. This book is The World According to Mister Rogers. I love it because, as a musician, it has quotes that I know to be true. Here’s one that’s so appropriate because it reminds me of what new real estate agents (and new managers) sometimes think:

When I was young (about eight or ten years old), I was trying to learn so many things all at once, things like the piano and organ and algebra and cooking and typing, and I even started to take clarinet lessons. But, I just didn’t practice the clarinet, so I didn’t learn. I think I wanted to learn by magic. ….But magic doesn’t work with learning, not with anything really worthwhile.

Note to managers: Lead a discussion on the difference between ‘first tries’ and mastery. Brainstorm some methods to attain mastery. Brainstorm the stumbling blocks to getting better. Create some ‘next steps’ for those who want to get to mastery (get a coach, become a mentor, take a ‘how to train program, become a trainer, become a coach)

Help to Practice Perfectly and Get Farther Faster

There are several unique ‘learning strategies’ imbedded in my online training/coaching/accountability start-up program for agents under 2 years in the business. I didn’t learn these ‘learning strategies’ in real estate–I learned them as a practicing classical/jazz musician. They work to get better performance faster–and motivate us to go right back and do it again! Check out my unique program, Up and Running in Real Estate. There’s even a coaching component so you can be involved with your agents–without spending thousands of hours at it! Check it out here.