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Archive for accountability

Breaking through those barriers: Keys to higher performance from an unlikely source–my piano teacher. 

This year, I’m focusing on performance–higher performance for agents, leadership, and trainers. All of these principles are foundationed in those actions that create higher performance taken from a field that absolutely depends on increasing performance–music.

What does my piano teacher have to do with real estate coaching–or training? Everything. Here’s what I learned about coaching great performance–not from a business coach, but from my great piano teacher (in fact, I’ve had many of them.)

Good or Great?

As you know, some pianists become great, while most others just become good enough to play the notes. It’s the same with trainers’ outcomes. 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. As you read this, ask yourself, “How am I, as a trainer and/or coach, applying these principles?” “What outcomes am I getting?”

1. Great piano teachers screen in and screen 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 Coach ability 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, System, 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. In my online coaching program for new agents, logoUp and Running in Real Estate, I’ve put these components into the program as an integral way to assure great performance. 

Just updated and revised to make it an easy and fun experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

coaching teaching skills

Make your training pay off: four great principles.

This month we’re focusing on training.

How badly do you really want your training to pay off? Recently, I A�reviewed a training program to see if the attributes for effectiveness were there. Most of them weren’t. And, frankly, I think they weren’t there because no one cared enough to assure they WERE there. Why? Because it’s regarded as just too much trouble! That’s the sad truth. But, why do we bother to train if we can’t expect a measurable outcome? What if I could absolutely guarantee you, that, if you put these 4 principles in place, you will see results in your training, turn out productive agents, and have a great recruiting tool. How much would that be worth to you? (I don’t mean how much would you pay for this, but how much effort would you be willing to put into it?)

Here are the four principles/attributes that need to be in place:

1.A�Expectations/Accountability

How will you hold agents accountable to work to be done in the program? What are the ‘rules’? When do you explain the rules? Do you have a commitment letter?

2.A�Work during the course

Do you have the agents completing work during the course? Lead generation, packaging, presentations, etc. If not, how do you know they can do what you taught?

3. Measurable results

Are you having the agents measure their results? If not, how are you going to use the program to recruit? How will you know the program worked?

4.A�Fixed curriculum and highly trained instructors

Do you have a written curriculum with course objectives? If not, are you just wandering around in a wasteland of information?

Are your instructors trained in participative teaching methods? Are you monitoring your instructors so you know they are teaching skills, not just talking or providing war stories?

Grade yourself on each of the attributes above. What did you excel at? What do you need to improve?

How awesome could your training be if it had these 4 principles/attributes in place?

logoHere’s a Program with the Principles Written Into the Training

It’s deceptively challenging to include those 4 principles/attributes above in a training program. Yet, if they aren’t there, your training can’t be effective. Why not look at the unique UP and Running in Real Estate, written by National Realtor Educator of the Year Carla Cross.

This online program is terrific for those hiring 1-4 agents a month, because the agent can start the program at any time, and work through the program, while jumping ahead to needed topics–and going back.

Check it outA�here.

Also: There’s a coaching component, so you can fully support your agent’s success.

 

coachingAre you helping your agents be accountable? Did you think it was even your job?

I’ve just published the 5th edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. In it, I’ve included lots of up-to-the-minute updates. You can read some of them, in these blogs.

Click here to see the updates in my fifth edition of Up and Running in 30 Days.

Below is an excerpt from the newest edition of the book. I’ve included the important principle of accountability, to help you help your agents follow through and see real results fast.

Why the Best Business Plans Don’t Work

Youa��ve heard it before. Business people make fancy, multi-page, even excellent business plans, and then fail. Why? Because making the plan doesna��t ensure success. Doing the plan does. (You wouldna��t expect that if you studied the life of Mozart you could automatically play a Mozart sonata, would you?)

*Big Idea: No success is realized without action.

If action brings about success, then why dona��t people get into action?

Because ita��s human nature not to! So what is the missing ingredient you need, besides a great start-up plan and action-oriented training so you have the skills to implement the plan? You need someone to be accountable to. Study after study shows that we attain our goals when we are accountable, regularly, short-term, to someone. Thata��s because we human beings tend to work on time frames and schedules. (Do you really get your taxes done by April 15 because you love doing them?) Those studies prove we work best on deadlines. We work best when we have a heavy workload. We work best when we have high expectations of ourselves, and we have someonea��our coacha��who shares those high expectations. (I know all this from being a pianist from age four, and having the privilege of being taught by exceptional piano coaches.)

* Big Idea: People succeed not because they have a plan. They succeed because they get into action and are accountable to the plan.

Keeping the priorities straight without a coach is very difficult to do.

I know what youa��re going to tell me. Youa��re goal-oriented. Youa��re a self-starter. You dona��t need a coach. Thata��s what most new agents say, and over 50 percent of them fail their first year in the business! Unless you have already attained high performance in music, sports, and the like, how would you realize that you cana��t achieve those high levels of performance without a coach?

* Big Idea: The habits you form your first month in the business greatly influence your career successa��forever.

Most agents have never been in a field that requires such a high degree of self-direction and the mastery of many skills to succeed. So they dona��t know how easy it will be to get priorities all backwards! They also dona��t realize how difficult it is to change a bad habit. If you want to be a great pianist, youa��d find a great teacher, wouldna��t you? So, look at starting your real estate career just like you would look at becoming a great pianist or golfer. You need someone to be accountable to. You need a trained, committed coach, so you have deadlines, expectations, someone to help you keep those priorities straight, and someone cheer leading and believing in you.

* Big Idea: No one succeeds alone.

Owners, managers, coaches and trainers: How have you built in accountability for your programs? Do you teach a class and hope the agents take action, or do you follow up with an accountability session to check results?

Up and Running_5e largerDo You Provide Your Agents with a Proven Start-Up Plan with Accountability Built In?

Up and Running in 30 DaysA� has lots of up-to-the-minute updates. Plus, a proven, prioritized business start-up plan with inspiration, motivation, accountability, and action items built in. You can coach to the start-up plan, and see great results fast from your agents.

Check it out!

 

training up stepsIs that person who you want to coach–or wants to be coached–really coach able? In my earlier post, I discussed attributes that a potential client must have to be ‘coach able’. Here are two more attributes. Why are these important? So you don’t get into a coaching relationship that is doomed to fail.

At the end of this blog, grab my Coach Ability Evaluator. Use it with potential coaching ‘clients’.

Consideration and Attribute of Potential Client: A�Do You Recognize Mentors or Coaches Who Partnered in your Success?

It is amazing to me how many real estate professionals say they a�?work alonea��. They say they have nothing to do with anyone in their office, and impact no one. (Really? Our actions impact no one? That must mean wea��re pretty insignificanta��) While real estate success is certainly due to onea��s efforts, to think that we are virtual a�?islandsa�� of knowledge and action is not only ludicrousa��ita��s dangerous. Before you fall for that a�?I alone am responsible for my successa��, I have a question:

Who in your life mentored you, coached you, parented you, advised you, encouraged youa��and set you straight when you needed it? How many people can you name? This can be positive or negative, too. We learn as much or more from a bad experience as a good one!

If you truly cana��t name anyone, you dona��t believe that others can help you a�?break through your ceiling of achievementa��. Could that mean YOU dona��t believe you can break througha��..or that you have great fear of a�?being flexiblea��?

Consideration and Attribute of Potential Client: How Accountable Are You Willing to Be?

This is actually the a�?biggiea��. If youa��re not willing to be accountable to your own actionsa��and to your coacha��DONa�?T start a coaching relationship! I know many of you think accountability is a dirty word. Ita��s true that some coaches (sports, music, etc.) have accentuated the down side of accountabilitya��being punitive, negative, criticala��(There are a lot of inept coaches out there.) No wonder people dona��t want to be accountable if they think they will be punished for any wrong action (or inaction). But, thata��s not what Ia��m talking about.A� Ia��m talking about a situation where you make a promise and keep it. In doing the promised action, you are guaranteed to get praisea��and results.

The Natural Reticence to Answer to Anyone

I launched an online training/coaching/accountability results-based program called Up and Running in Real Estate. I essentially put the principles and processes from my best-selling book Up and Running in 30 Days online. But, ita��s now 8 weeks of planned actionsa��my business start- up plan step by step. I built in the parameters I have learned assure the greatest success:

  • A coaching component
  • Lots of encouragement
  • Processes and systems that are a�?self-teachinga��
  • Guess what many participants do with the program? They do some of the work (they love the multiple choice tests) but dona��t do the business-producing work. By their actions, they are not accountable to themselves or to their coaches. So, of course, they arena��t getting the resultsa��and they cana��t get appreciation and recognitiona��two big drivers to continue the motivation. How unfortunate!

My question to you: What times in your life have you been accountable to actions and to someone elsea��and enjoyed the experience? Are you running away from accountability because you havena��t experienced the a�?upa�� side?

A�So, are you coach able? Is your potential client coach able?

Armed with the answers to the questions in this blog, you can assess whether you will benefit from a coach. And, managers and coaches, you can help your potential client figure out whether she is a good candidate for coaching.

The Coach Ability Evaluator

I have been coached by the a�?best in the business, first as a musician and then as a real estate professional. Ia��ve learned what works. Because of my performance background, the coaching methods we use at Carla Cross Coaching are much different than most. From all these experiences, Ia��ve discovered who is coach able and who is not. Find out more here.

Click here to grab my Coach Ability Evaluator.

LM CoverWhy not see if Leadership coaching is for you? You’ll get practical strategies to be more profitable and Carla will help you translate everything you do in the Leadership coaching program to working with your agents. Click here to arrange a Complimentary Consultation.

 

 

coaching teaching skillsHow badly do you really want your training to pay off? I just got done reviewing a training program to see if the attributes for effectiveness were there. Most of them weren’t. And, frankly, I think they weren’t there because no one cared enough to assure they WERE there. Why? Because it’s regarded as just too much trouble! That’s the sad truth. But, why do we bother to train if we can’t expect a measurable outcome? What if I could absolutely guarantee you, that, if you put these 4 principles in place, you will see results in your training, turn out productive agents, and have a great recruiting tool. How much would that be worth to you? (I don’t mean how much would you pay for this, but how much effort would you be willing to put into it?)

Here are the four principles/attributes that need to be in place:

1. Expectations/Accountability

How will you hold agents accountable to work to be done in the program? What are the ‘rules’? When do you explain the rules? Do you have a commitment letter?

2. Work during the course

Do you have the agents completing work during the course? Lead generation, packaging, presentations, etc. If not, how do you know they can do what you taught?

3. Measurable results

Are you having the agents measure their results? If not, how are you going to use the program to recruit? How will you know the program worked?

4. Fixed curriculum and highly trained instructors

Do you have a written curriculum with course objectives? If not, are you just wandering around in a wasteland of information?

Are your instructors trained in participative teaching methods? Are you monitoring your instructors so you know they are teaching skills, not just talking or providing war stories?

Grade yourself on each of the attributes above. What did you excel at? What do you need to improve?

How awesome could your training be if it had these 4 principles/attributes in place?

logoHere’s a Program with the Principles Written Into the Training

It’s deceptively challenging to include those 4 principles/attributes above in a training program. Yet, if they aren’t there, your training can’t be effective. Why not look at the unique UP and Running in Real Estate, written by National Realtor Educator of the Year Carla Cross. This online program is terrific for those hiring 1-4 agents a month, because the agent can start the program at any time, and work through the program, while jumping ahead to needed topics–and going back. Check it out here. Also: There’s a coaching component, so you can fully support your agent’s success.

 

coaching hand upFrom working with dozens of real estate owners and managers, and as my position as a CRB (Certified Real Estate Broker) instructor for twelve years, I’ve had an opportunity to see exactly what makes a company profitable–in the long run. So, this month, I’m sharing what I’ve found to be the critical pieces of the puzzle that lead to sustainable profits. I’ll spotlight the 4 foundations you have to have to be exceptionally profitable–no matter your economic model. Actually, I’ve come to these foundations by observing how companies fail to be profitable over a period of time without these four foundations. In each of these blogs, I’ll spotlight one foundation. The first is

Vision–do you know where you want to end up, and have you communicated it and gotten the team on board?

The second,A� is standards. Do you know what you’ll put up with–and what you won’t? Do you have production standards (the minimum someone can do and stay with you….)

If you don’t have those foundations, you aren’t leading. You’re just managing. And, in a fast market, you can get away with that. But, if market conditions aren’t sweeping your office forward, you need to step up to these 4 leadership foundations.

The Third foundation: Accountability

You can have vision and standards, plus goals–but, if you don’t hold yourself and others accountable to them, nothing changes.

You’ve heard all this before (or you’ve said it): a�?I dona��t need a coacha�?. a�?Ia��m accountable to myselfa�?. And, you should be. But, none of us are able to move forward and break through those barriers to achievement at times–without a coach to be accountable to. How do I know that? As a long-time professional musician, I know that we need someone to show us around our barriers. We need someone to help us set those goals AND move toward them.A� No great performer ever is so naA?ve to believe he can coach himself. You just can’t see what you’re missing! Look what happened to Michelle Khan, the ice skater, when she decided she could coach herself? A downward spiral, which resulted in lowered self-confidence and self-esteem. It was a long climb back for her, too.

Deadlines to Get it Done

The biggest plus of having a coach is that the coach sets deadlines with you for accountability. The second biggest plus is that the agent/client gets the positive reinforcement all motivational studies show is absolutely critical for higher goal attainment. If you want your agents to produce more, hold them accountable for that production. The third plus is that the coach offers suggestions in how to get there and reinforces what he/she knows will work. So many times, I’ve thought intuitively that a particular strategy was right. But, I gave it up because it wasn’t reinforced by a coach (or by anyone). And, it takes a long time to see your efforts work (just think about recruiting!).

Your Biggest Value to Your Agents

What do you think it is? It’s not things. It’s actually invaluable. It’s what you can do to help them develop the best career they can have. And, that is through coaching and accountability.

How do You Learn How to Coach?

Be coached by the right coach–a coach who has proven that specific leadership/action strategies will work for you. It’s important not to get just platitudes or encouragement, but to get practical actions that are proven to move a company forward.A� If you don’t have a coach now, you’re telling your agents to be accountable–but you’re not. So, consider gaining a coach this year to help you put these foundations in place.

LM CoverAre You Developing your Leadership Skills?

If you’re stuck in management and want to move to leadership, if you want to expand your office with a firm foundation for long-term profits, consider coaching. Sign up for a complimentary consultation to see if Leadership Mastery Coaching is for you.