Got a minute? If you're a busy manager, that's about all you have. That's why Carla Cross, management coach, speaker, and author, has created this blog just for you, with ready-to-use tips to master management through people.

Archive for Speakers

Recently, I was consulting to a training series. Here’s how the trainer introduced making calls to clients:

“Okay. Get out your phones and make a call.” Sure. The new agents are just going to jump right up and call someone and ask them for a lead. Not.

  1. Demonstrate: The trainer should have demonstrated how to make a call to a particular market.
  2. Provide script or process: The trainer should have provided a script or a process for agents to follow.
  3. Role play: The trainer should have put agents in pairs (or 3s) and had them practice so they can ‘hear’ the words and grasp the process.
  4. Debrief: The trainer should have de-brief the exercise.

Now, the students are confident they can successfully use a script or process and are ready to call ‘for real’.

Principle: Never ask students to do something ‘for real’ until they’ve done it as ‘leatherette’ (role play).

Watch the video below to see how to successfully facilitate a role play.

How have you been preparing your students for ‘real life’? Are you skipping some steps?

See my 2 instructor development and train the trainer (distance) workshops at Cross Institute.

Here are four ways to avoid boring them to tears in a training session.

I just sat in on a training session for new real estate agents, and I had trouble sitting there. Why? Because the presenter was using almost all lecture.  Yes, the agents were listening intently. Yes, they seemed eager to learn. But, that lecture was not helping them learn. They needed to get involved!

Not only that, the students were new real estate agents, scared of a new career in which everything was up to them! They needed exercises to get confidence, to create ‘buddies’, and to meld as a team.

So, instead of lecturing, try breaking up your presenter-directed lecture with these techniques:

  1. Do a warm-up to loosen up everyone, teamify, have fun, and show that it’s going to be an exciting, fun-filled, course (more about how to do a warm-up in another blog).
  2. Instead of asking a question and letting people raise their hands to answer, turn it over to the group, and work in small groups to come up with answers. Then, name a reporter and compare answers (this is the task force, which I’ll also blog about later). This makes it much more interesting to the people, they get to know each other, and they gain confidence that then can come up with good answers.
  3. Pair up people to have them compare opinions, thoughts, and answers. You’ll be starting the buddy system now.
  4. Use accountability: Do you have it built in? You’ll want to build in assignments to complete so the students are learning in the field. That way, they’ll pay much more attention to you and learn a lot more.

Your turn:

How can you use these methods to wake up your students, get them involved, and get them learning at a much higher level?

 

Here’s a great way to teach: the case study. It’s a technique almost every trainer/presenter can use to break up that monotomous and less than effective teaching method too many of us rely on–the lecture.

This month, I’m focusing on training and trainers. Why? Because you actually have the ability to change lives!

In my last blog, I provided a video on the case study.

What’s a case study?

A small group exercise that has people working on a ‘story problem’. This ‘story problem’ can be quite intricate and long. It should have elements that you’ve taught earlier. Usually, case studies are given toward the end of the course to put judgment to work and check learning. It has the ‘story problem’. Then, it asks students to make decisions about the ‘story’ based on what they’ve learned in your course.

Click here for an example of a case study I use when I teach Instructor Development Workshop.

Why Use a Case Study?

. It also tells you if you need to spend some time in certain areas.

Get More Great Reviews, Too!

The bonus for your using the case study? You’ll get more students really enjoying the course, learning better, and giving you great reviews!

Gain My Perspective on Teaching AND New Skills!

Want more teaching skills? Join me for one of my instructor workshops. They have 15 clock hours and fulfill the qualifications to become an instructor in Washington state for clock hour courses. The next one ‘live’ is coming up Oct. 3-4 in Bellevue. See more here.

Or, if you want to get certified to teach clock hour courses and learn great new teaching skills ‘on your own time’, check out my distance learning version of the course, Train the Trainer.

Have you already taken instructor courses? If so, you’ll love my advanced course, Beyond the Basics: Training Techniques to Make that Course Come Alive. We use your course and put exciting, innovative teaching methods into it so you gain confidence AND the skills to energize your courses. I’m teaching this course ‘live’ Oct. 23-24 in Bellevue (7.5 clock hours, too).

Top tips for trainers: Use the Case Study.

This month, I’m focused on helping trainers refine their skills. So, I’ll be sharing some short videos I’ve made to explain various types of teaching techniques.

Is lecture your favorite method of teaching? Maybe you think it’s your only way! Wrong!!!! In fact, relying on lecture and ‘wimpy’ discussion makes you lose control of your audience–and bore them to tears. Instead, use what we trainers term ‘alternative delivery methods’–teaching alternatives to lecture. Your students will learn much more, will be more participative–and love you to death!

Watch this video on ‘case study’–one of the teaching techniques almost every instructor can put into almost every class.

Want more teaching skills? Join me for one of my instructor workshops. They have 15 clock hours and fulfill the qualifications to become an instructor in Washington state for clock hour courses. The next one ‘live’ is coming up Oct. 3-4 in Bellevue. See more here.

Or, if you want to get certified to teach clock hour courses and learn great new teaching skills ‘on your own time’, check out my distance learning version of the course, Train the Trainer.

Have you already taken instructor courses? If so, you’ll love my advanced course, Beyond the Basics: Training Techniques to Make that Course Come Alive. We use your course and put exciting, innovative teaching methods into it so you gain confidence AND the skills to energize your courses. I’m teaching this course ‘live’ Oct. 23-24 in Bellevue (7.5 clock hours, too).

You can always see all my courses, the calendar, and resources at www.crossinstitute.com.


Does your course ‘fit’ the adult learner?

May is my designated Trainer Appreciation Month. So, I’m writing a blog series to help trainers teach and write great courses. And, I’m offering special discounts on my resources for trainers. See them here.

Most real estate courses are not written with adult learning principles in mind. So, let’s look at these truisms and write our courses to reach the adult learner effectively. This is one of the areas we address in my resource on how to write a course (click here to see it).

From writing courses for most of the major real estate franchises, and training thousands of real estate instructors, I’ve found some undeniable truisms. Here’s one:

Why Write a Course for the Adult Learner?

Benefits to teaching to these principles in your course:

  • Adults aren’t bored (!)
  • Adults feel important
  • Adults pay attention
  • Adults retain more
  • Adults feel protected; low risk environment
  • Adults like you better
  • Easier for you to teach!

The Big Principles to Keep in Mind

Adults learn through association.

We learn what we already know. Two fellows teaching community colleges instructors how to teach shared that one with me. How insightful!

How do skilled presenters accomplish this in a course environment?

Do you relate what you’re teaching to the adult’s prior experience? Or, do you jump right into a complex theory and expect your students to keep up…..

Adults learn by doing

Life is do it yourself. Do you have your students doing an action in class? What happens in your course to assure the students are doing? How do you know they can do whatever it is you are teaching them to do? Observe it in class, of course!

Retention soars when adults do and say something at the same time. How are you using this principle in your course?

How much doing of significance do you have planned in your class?

Big principle: How we retain information is directly related to how we acquire that information.

Would you say that instructors are most concerned with short-term, or long-term student learning?

Adults learn from each other

Use teaching methods to encourage information exchange.

How do you assure students are exchanging information? Are you using various alternative delivery methods (not lecture) to assure students are learning not only from you, but from one another?

Adults learn through repetition

Use several approaches to the same concept/process. Does your course offer review and repetition to assure students are really learning?

Adults learn through rapid recall

What rapid recall methods have you seen used in the classroom? Do you do this so you ‘tie up’ each section before you move on?

Adults seek to satisfy individual needs

Experience levels vary greatly. How would an instructor find out each student’s individual experience levels prior to getting into the classroom?When I’m teaching Instructor Development Workshop, I provide each attendee a ‘pre-conference survey’ at registration, so I can see the needs and level of learning of that person. Even the words used give me some powerful hints about each attendee’s priorities and beliefs!

Adults learn practical information.

They want information and skills to directly apply to their lives–right away.

How have you seen instructors assure that the information is not only applicable, but that the student applies the information to their challenges, while in the classroom? Are you assuring that each of your attendee translates the course information/skills into action plans?

Go back to the course your teaching or writing and see if you are adequately addressing how adults learn. Doing so is one of the attributes of a real course, not just an ‘information overload!

Expert Guidance to Write that Great Course–at a $30 discount this Month!

If you’re serious about writing that great course, this is the resource for you. Step by step, Carla Cross, who has written courses for Re/Max, Better Homes and Gardens, Keller Williams Realty, GMAC, Royal LePage, and CRB, shows you exactly how to create your course and your outline. And, for those Washington state instructors, she shares tips on how to get your course approved for clock hours.

This resource is digital. You will get access immediately.

May Trainer Appreciation Month bonus: Keys to a Killer Introduction

This ‘how to write a course’ includes:

2 instructional videos
Templates to use as guides for course creation
Examples of courses
2 ‘cheat sheets’ to write your course modules

Tips on how to write teaching methods right into that course, so you can sell it!

Guidance in how to get your course approved in Washington state.

With 95 pages, this resource, along with the 2 instructional videos, shows you exactly how to create a course that has substance, sizzle, and ‘sell’!

May Trainer Appreciation Month price: $99.95 with coupon create course. (Regularly $129.95. Save $30)

Click here for more information and to order. You’ll get immediate access to the 95-page resource guide and 2 instructional videos. Remember, to get your discount use the coupon code create course.



Teaching adults effectively: How are you doing it?

This month, I’m writing a blog series to help trainers write great courses or take those courses and make them ‘live’. From writing courses for most of the major real estate franchises, and training thousands of real estate instructors, I’ve found some undeniable truisms. Here’s one:

 So, let’s look at these truisms and write our courses to reach the adult learner effectively. This is one of the areas we address in my resource on how to write a course (click here to see it).

How Adults Learn and Retain: How to Weave These Principles into your Course

Benefits to teaching to these principles in your course:

  • Adults aren’t bored (!)
  • Adults feel important
  • Adults pay attention
  • Adults retain more
  • Adults feel protected; low risk environment
  • Adults like you better
  • Easier for you to teach!

The Big Principles to Keep in Mind

Adults learn through association:

We learn what we already knowa Two fellows teaching community colleges instructors how to teach shared that one with me. How insightful!

How do skilled presenters accomplish this in a course environment?

Do you relate what you’re teaching to the adult’s prior experience? Or, do you jump right into a complex theory and expect your students to keep up…..

Adults learn by doing

Life is truly ‘do it yourself’. Do you have your students doing an action in class? What happens in your course to assure the students are doing? How do you know they can do whatever it is you are teaching them to do? Observe it in class, of course!

Retention soars when adults do and say something at the same time. How are you using this principle in your course?

How much doing of significance do you have planned in your class?

To live by my own principle, I just increased the amount of ‘student’ teaching I have during my Instructor Development Workshop. The students loved it and showed me I can get them into action faster and more often than I thought!

Big principle: How we retain information is directly related to how we acquire that information.

Would you say that instructors are most concerned with short-term, or long-term student learning?

Adults learn from each other

Use teaching methods to encourage information exchange.

How do you assure students are exchanging information? Are you using various alternative delivery methods (not lecture) to assure students are learning not only from you, but from one another?

Adults learn through repetition

Use several approaches to the same concept/process. Does your course offer review and repetition to assure students are really learning?

Adults learn through rapid recall

What rapid recall methods have you seen used in the classroom? Do you do this so you ‘tie up’ each section before you move on?

Adults seek to satisfy individual needs

Experience levels vary greatly. How would an instructor find out each student’s individual experience levels prior to getting into the classroom? When I’m teaching my Instructor Development Workshop, I provide each attendee a ‘pre-conference survey’ at registration, so I can see the needs and level of learning of that person. Even the words used give me some powerful hints about each attendee’s priorities and beliefs!

Adults learn practical information.

They want information and skills to directly apply to their lives–right away.

How have you seen instructors assure that the information is not only applicable, but that the student applies the information to their challenges, while in the classroom? Are you assuring that each of your attendee translates the course information/skills into action plans?

Go back to the course your teaching or writing and see if you are adequately addressing how adults learn. Doing so is one of the attributes of a real course, not just an ‘information overload!

Honestly: Are the Courses You Teach Boring? (Even to YOU?)

Come join me to put these creative, fun teaching methods into your course. Attend Beyond the Basics: Advanced Skills to Make that Course Come Alive, coming up April 23-24 (approved for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state).

We’ll be working with parts of a course you bring. We’ll put in some great methods and then practice to see how they work–a unique opportunity!

There’s no other course like this–and your chance to get some individual and small group coaching to make your teaching and your course a huge success! Click here to see the course and register.

Here’s why your small group exercises don’t work–and what to do about it.

(See my 12-point checklist to use every time you’re going to launch a group exercise. You’ll find this invaluable!)

You’re teaching, and you’ve decided to change it up and add a small group exercise–instead of that boring lecturing. So, you blithely put people into small groups. But, things go wrong:

  1. They wander around without knowing where to go to get into their groups
  2. They cluster together in groups of 10-15 so no one gets anything done
  3. They don’t know how to proceed as they as supposed to start the exercise
  4. They don’t know what the exercise is
  5. They don’t know what to do when the exercise is over

And on and on…..

This month, I’m doing blogs on teaching–specifically, how to change it up and quit lecturing your way through the day.

So, in this series, I’ll help you build in ‘relief’ from that awful, boring lecture and change it up to keep your audience interested and learning.

The Alternative: Divide and Conquer

In the previous blog, we explored the ‘divide and conquer’ method of teaching. One of the configurations of the ‘divide and conquer’ is the task force: Small groups of people working on a common problem. In this blog, I’ll show you a few things to do with that task force to assure it goes right. Most of these principles would also apply to dividing people into groups, too, for role play and other small groups.

The Checklist for Assuring Every Small Group Goes the Way You Want 

See my 12-point checklist to use every time you’re going to launch a group exercise. You’ll find this invaluable! How do I know? I’ve made every mistake you can make on these, and have learned how to avoid mistakes and make the small group go well.

Gain Advanced Teaching Skills Now!

Come join me to put these creative, fun teaching methods into your course. Attend Beyond the Basics: Advanced Skills to Make that Course Come Alive, coming up April 23-24 (approved for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state). We’ll be working with parts of a course you bring. We’ll put in some great methods and then practice to see how they work–a unique opportunity!

Teaching: Here are 3 principles to make those small groups work right.

This month, I’m doing blogs on teaching–specifically, how to change it up and quit lecturing your way through the day. I know we have thousands of dedicated real estate instructors. But, we seem to have thousands of bored students! Why? Because most of our courses don’t have a variety of teaching methods built in. So, in this series, I’ll help you build in ‘relief’ from that awful, boring lecture and change it up to keep your audience interested and learning.

The Alternative: Divide and Conquer

In the previous blog, we explored the ‘divide and conquer’ method of teaching. One of the configurations of the ‘divide and conquer’ is the task force: Small groups of people working on a common problem. In this blog, I’ll show you a few things to do with that task force to assure it goes right. Most of these principles would also apply to dividing people into groups, too, for role play and other small groups (I’ll write a blog on this later).

Three Principles for Great Task Forces

  1. The task must be something the attendees can do without further information. For example: If you’re teaching Instructor Development, you’ll probably have a section on ‘how adults learn’. You can easily subdivide this topic into 3 or 4 sections. For example, you could have ‘obstacles to adult learning’. You already know that your attendees can come up with several obstacles to adult learning–they have either experienced them or observed them.

What wouldn’t work in a task force: To ask your attendees to tackle something that they need additional information or training to accomplish. For example–if I were teaching a group of would-be instructors how to facilitate a task force, I couldn’t ask them to write down all the steps to facilitate until I’d taught them the steps.

2. One task per group: If you have several groups, assign only one task per group.

What wouldn’t work in a task force exercises: Assigning all the tasks to all the groups, or assigning the same task to every group. Why? Because the first group to report will report pretty much everything the other groups have come up with–an exercise in frustration! (There is a way to do this, which I’ll discuss in a later blog).

3. Put no more than 5 people in a group, so people have a chance to interact easily with each other, and everyone gets to have input.

What wouldn’t work: Putting more than 5 people in a group. The ‘outliers’ can’t communicate and only 2-3 people will end up contributing.

When To Use a Task Force

Task forces work really well at the beginning of a session, to break up your lecture in the middle of the section, and to summarize learning at the end.

Where will you employ a task force in your teaching? Let me know!

Come join me to put these creative, fun teaching methods into your course. Attend Beyond the Basics: Advanced Skills to Make that Course Come Alive, coming up April 23-24 (approved for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state). We’ll be working with parts of a course you bring. We’ll put in some great methods and then practice to see how they work–a unique opportunity!

If you teach: tips to stop them from being bored!

Let’s get honest. Do your students get bored when you present? As a student, you know those 71/2 clock hour courses can be killers! The presenter goes on and on. It may be great information, but, after _____ minutes (you fill in your blank), you just zone out (usually about 10-15 minutes!). And, sellers and buyers feel the same way about boring presentations.

Here are 2 quick tips to rev up your presentations, increase your effectiveness, and keep your a�?audiencea�� riveted.

  1. Ask more questions

Dona��t go over 3 minutes in a listing or buyer presentation without asking a question. How about your presentations? Do you drone on for A? hour or an hour without involving your audience? Quit right now. Thata��s where your audience a�?controla�� problems starta��when ita��s all about you.

Action: Write down a question you can ask during your normal a�?lecturea�� period. Or, as a listing or buyera��s agent, write down a question you can ask instead of droning on over 3-4 minutes.

  1. Quit lecturing your way through all that time!

Instead, break up that lecture with some questions. Better yet, use a�?alternative delivery methodsa�� (all those methods to teach besides lecture!). Those would include breaking students into task forces, or giving small groups a case study to tackle, or role play.

You can even do some of this with your sellers and buyers. Involve them in the process!

Action: If youa��ve taken an instructor development course, go back and see where the instructor used a�?alternative delivery methodsa��. Then, find a place in your presentation where you could use one of these methods. Keep expanding your horizons!

The result: Youa��ll have more enthusiastic a�?receiversa��. Youa��ll have more fun teaching, and youa��ll greatly reduce any audience a�?controla�� challenges.

Click here to grab my ‘workshop cheat sheet’, which shows you how to put alternative delivery methods into any workshop–and in which order so they ‘flow’ right.

Is the Course You Teach Just a Lecture (read ‘boring’ to students!)?

Is the class youa��re teaching (or supposed to teach) full of facts and figures? And, therea��s no instructor manual or guidance in how to teach it? Are you finding yourself talking through ita��talking for hours? (Even boring yourselfa��) Are you struggling to make that course come alive?

If you want to energize your course, keep your audience interested, and change their outcomes for the better, you need this unique course!

Bottom line: Youa��ll walk out of this course with the skills to take any boring class and make it highly participative, useful, and fun to teach. Youa��ll get the 3 best methods to use, how to use them, and when to use them to a�?plug them intoa�� any course at the right time. Youa��ll even have time to try out your new methods in your own course and get feedbacka��and watch others, too.A� Why not energize your course, have a better time teaching, and gain business all at the same time?

When: Sept. 12 and 14 (2 half days, so you can polish your course)

Time: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm each day

Where: Bellevue, Wa.

Investment: $149

Accredited for 7.5 clock hours in Washington state

Not in Washington? Contact Carla to bring her to your company or association and invigorate your courses so your students clamor to come back! (and they learn a lot!)

Click here to register.

Here are secrets to fill your classroom with enthusiastic attendees–and gain raving fans!

Having trouble getting them to training? Authored by one of our Senior Career Coaches, Jodi Sipes, M. A., this blog shows you how to market your training to attract your agents and get them excited as students! Jodia��s advanced education in adult learning, plus her years of experience creating and implementing exceptional training for new agents, gives her a unique perspective. Here are invaluable tips as you take action to control your income in these shifting markets. Youa��ll make your training an awesome recruiting tool, while making it effortless to implement training week after week.

Dona��t be Dull! Set up Themes to Pique the Curiosity and Up the Attendance

Dona��t just list the topics you are going to present. Create themes. For example: Listing month! New Year Planning! Spotlight on Buyers! Now that you have the over view of training and components put together, make sure that they compliment and support each other. For instance, when you are coachingA�new agents with the Up and Running in Real Estate program, you should have supplementary training/practice days in your office. This is also a great place for experienced agents to grow as trainersa��plus, their time will be saved, as they will teach everyone at once, instead of having a bunch of new agents knocking on their door with questions all the time.

Get Creative! Give it a Provocative Title

Dona��t just list the topic. (How exciting is ‘All about Listing’…..) Instead, get creative. Make the topic interesting, even provocative. Put a new a�?spina�� on the topic. For ideas, read the names of programs given at your state and national conventions. Some of the topic names are really creative!

Give it a Double Punch for Double Learning

Dona��t just teach the curriculum. Find ways to expand that subject from all the angles. For example: When you have a new agent training section on listing presentations you should have a top Realtor from your office give a demonstration on an effective listing presentation or an effective CMA. When you work with Buyera��s presentations, have a lender come explain the issues and requirements Buyera��s face. Lead follow up and business planning create a good time for software vendors to show their programs. Marketing sections offer an opportunity for affiliates to show how they can support agents, and for vendors to show how their products can support agents. These supplementary classes are great for all agents of all levels.

Alternate Formal with Casual for the Unexpected

Ita��s also great to incorporate casual (brown-bag luncha��agent a�?Rapa�? session) support groups to encourage agents to share their ideas and frustrations. This creates a a�?teamworka�? feel to your office, and helps agents through current challenges. When the manager shows up at these for the first part, agents can get their questions answered in a format that answers these for many agentsa��saving the manager time!

One of your Biggest Problems Solved: Getting them to Attend Enthusiastically

Here are 3 surefire ways to get your agents to attenda��and get recruits to attend, too!

1)A�Leverage Affiliates
Title representatives, mortgage brokers, escrow companies, home inspectors, and others can support your training calendar by adding lunches and other incentives to improve attendance. The best benefit is that this is a win for everyone, and forges bonds between agents and affiliates. The benefit for the affiliate: they get in front of your agents and get to know thema��building trust. The benefit for the agents: they get hands-on training from people who are a�?out there doing it now,a�? and they get to know a variety of affiliates so they can decide if they would like to do business with them.

2)A�Create Positive Expectations for their Accomplishments
For new agents, create a booklet that details all the classes you expect them to attend in their first year. You can use this to set mutual expectations at the time of hiring. Check off each class as they complete it, and celebrate their growth! Everyone should celebrate when they get their first listings and sales, too. The booklet helps them keep it all straight, and is a tool for you to keep track of their progress, as well.

3)A�Be Lavish in your Recognition/Improved Performance
Have drawings or special prizes and recognition at meetings for the agents who grow to a new level through the office training. Use their testimonials when you market the classes to your agents. When an agent admires the performance of another, they will want to model what they do.

Remember that putting together world-class training is a process, and will not be all you want it to be right away. It takes planning, support from your agents and affiliates, and time to catch on and develop. You can grow and improve each year!

Support for your Training

We are here to support your agent development systems. Talk to us about coaching you in developing world class training. Youa��ll go further faster, and have time to do all the other management duties you know you should be doing!

Can You Join Me for my Innovative Instructor Development Workshop?

Why not polish your presentation, teaching, and facilitation skills, gain 15 clock hours, and have a great time at it? I’d love to work with you to do all these things. Click here for more information and registration. See you May 22!

P. S. New–We also put creative teaching methods into YOUR course–while you’re in class.