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.
Aug
04

Team is No Longer a ‘Four-Letter Word

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In real estate, for years we said,

we don’t need to think of ourselves as a team. We’re independent contractors. We work alone.

A�That perspective has certainly changed in the last few years, and it’s a continuing trend. Why? Because the challenges are so much greater. The needs for specialists is so much greater. Both managers and agents are learning the benefitsA�a synergystic team. And, for managers, it gives them an opportunity to stop that old ‘top-down’ management style and step into participative management (see the 365 Leadership coaching program for more on this).

Who Has Supported You in your Life?

Think of a time in your life when you accomplished something noteworthy. Were you completely alone? Or wasA�someone with you? If someone was involved in your accomplishment, think of how that person was involved. Did he or she help you get that done? Taught you the skills to do that job? Encouraged you?

That exercise always elicits smiles, warm memories and enthusiasm. And no one with whom Ia��ve done that exercise has ever said that he or she accomplished something important alone.

Management tip: Try that in your real estate office. See what kind of response you get. Then hold a discussion using the points in this and my next blog.

A�No One Succeeds Alone

What about talented people? Cana��t they master skills alone? The answer isa��no. Since I have been a musician from age four, I thought about my musical experiencesa��and how much musicians can accomplish alonea��or not. I concluded as I thought about my musician friends, that, no one could succeed without outside coaching.

As I grew up, I watched innately talented musicians get a�?stuck.a�? They could take themselves only so far without some coaching. (You would call that a�?playing by ear.a�?) For example, many found they had to learn to read music to achieve their goals. Why? Ita��s impossible to learn a Beethoven sonata a�?by eara�?a��ita��s simply too long. I dona��t know anyone who taught him- or herself to read musica��alone. And thata��s just the basics. We musicians know that we cana��t hear ourselves play or sing well enough to correct all our mistakes. We need a coach with a great ear to help us refine our performances. And the need for coaching never ends, as long as we want to maintain levels of performance.

Who Is Supporting You to Master Real Estate Management?

Ita��s time to acknowledge that none of us can master real estate alone. How did we ever create the folklore that we had to work alone in our endeavors to achieve accomplishments in real estate? I cana��t think of a skill that anyone can master where the a�?practitionera�? had no teaching, coaching, mentoring or encouragement.

But by perpetuating this folklore, we have damaged the real estate industry. We did the easy, expedient and inexpensive thing: We told our sales associates that this was an a�?independent businessa�?a��that they were in business for themselves. We trashed our training programs. We forced our sales associates to seek outside coaching and consulting. What we got was a very uneven standard of performance, and we created adversarial relationships among sales associatesa��and between sales associates and managers. What we allowed were uncommon goals, more competition, less cooperationa��and we did it with a bunch of people who already are highly competitive. We threw out leadershipa��and what we got was anarchy, in some cases.

A�Leadership Steps

Start coaching your sales associates again. Help them discover that no one achieves alone. Then start building a team atmosphere. What do I mean by a�?teama�?? Not what you might think. Dona��t get up in front of your sales associates and say, a�?We will accomplish more together as a team. So now wea��re a team.a�? Thata��s ludicrous. And yet, thata��s exactly why so many teamwork concepts fail. Teamwork is not an announcement. Ita��s a processa��a process that requires skills that many managers, and sports coaches, have not mastered.

What Exactly is a ‘Team’?

A team is not a rah-rah group of people drawn together in a power play. A team isna��t a social group. A team isna��t a group of people who agree to do things the managera��s way, or whoever is the a�?bossa�? such as the dominant sales associate. A team is two or more people working on a common task, focused on mutually agreed to and mutually beneficial results.

You can think of the team acronym, “Together Everyone Accomplishes More.”

Want to get specific strategies, that you can immediately implement, to build your team with confidence, take a look at 365 Leadership. It’s a small-group coaching program ONLY for owners and managers. Each month, you’ll get a new leadership strategy to recruit, coach, train, and motivate your associates. You’ll build new structures to get out of that old ‘top down’ management that agents hate! Take a look at 365 Leadership and see what others think of the first program. Our next program starts in September.

You deserve the kind of coaching and support to take your management career to the next level!

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