Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
Lesson Nugget: In some cases, you have to be the leader that motivates your employees. Delegate disciplinary action of employees to managers who are working under you.
Ask Yourself: Do you have someone who keeps you accountable?
Lesson Nugget: When some of your employees angrily react to your candid feedback, some of what they say may be accurate and should be listened to.
Recommended Reading: Winning by Jack and Suzy Welch
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-So you put your own feelings aside sometimes, though? So you were saying here that when you talk to an employee and give them candid feedback, it might not be something they want to hear. It might not feel good.
But you might not even want to be candid with people sometimes. As the owner, you might not want to. You might not feel like being candid, because you want to avoid that confrontation. But you just said, it's not about how you feel sometimes.
-It is. It's not about how you feel sometimes.
-How often a day do you have to put those feelings aside? Because I know you're one of the most non-confrontational people I've ever met. I mean, you really don't want to be confrontational, but you will be, if you have to. But I know that's the last thing you want to do.
Do you have to, on a daily basis, kind of set your emotions aside and go, well, OK, here we go, and you just hop into it?
-A lot of times. But if you put great people in place-- for example, I have a great manager that works for me. And he's really good at that.
So if there's issues we need to deal with, I will bring it to him, which is the natural protocol, anyway, and say, OK, I need you to deal with this employee on this and take care of these things. And then we'll sit down and talk about it. That way, I still get to be the good guy.
And in that realm, the employees want me to be the motivator. And, again, I have 150 employees. And so, I'm different than the person who might have 10.
I've been there when we had 10 employees, when I first started the store. And so, I was the guy. I was the guy that did everything-- the disciplinary action, the checks, the plumbing. I did it all. And so, I've had my share of that.
-Now, if I'm watching this, and I am struggling to get things done and to hold my team accountable to these high quality standards, because I really am struggling having those difficult and candid conversations. I just really struggle with having those difficult, candid conversations. What advice would you give me?
-Who do you hang around with? If you are sitting down with other business owners in the same type of business that you work with or people that you respect, you will find that you're not alone in this. And sometimes that person is just holding you accountable saying, hey, have you had that discussion with so-and-so yet? That's a big motivational tool to make us get it done.
-Do you ever get hateful emails from people you have to let go?
-OK. I just got one last Tuesday, and it was awesome. And it was a deal where when we do recording things with Thrive, we have certain standards. And those standards aren't being hit sometimes.
And I know that it's difficult. It's not fun to tell somebody for the fourth time that they're not hitting that standard. But eventually, you have to decide, is their lack of quality going to define me? Or am I going to say, no, no, I'm not putting up with that anymore, and you have to move on?
I know it's tough. I know it is tough. And I know sometimes you can't lead without irritating people occasionally. So it doesn't feel good, but it has to happen, right? I mean, don't you--
-Well, I think that also, when that happens, when you have that explosive personality, or something, they're going to tell you things that you need to know, that you may not know. And maybe it's because they're-- normally, when they're exploding on you, they generally don't have it all together.
But even when you get those hateful emails-- I mean, I've gotten some over time. But you can look through and go, well this is accurate, and this is accurate.
-Yeah, that's right. You have to filter through it and say, well, this is a true statement.
-Yeah. And so, you can maybe throw 90% of it out, but you can take the 10%, and it's either things I need to change about myself, or it's things I may need to change about some leadership.
I found out-- I had a letter recently that an employee went through and just trashed every management person, including myself, and told us issues that were going on with each person. And I learned a lot about my staff that I didn't know existed. And I was able to actually use that as a tool to sit down and say, is this accurate? And so, sometimes having that explosive personality isn't a bad thing.
-OK. Well, Arthur, I appreciate you talking about this in this customer service training, because I know being candid is an issue that a lot of business owners have. It's very hard to be direct with people sometimes.
The book "Winning" is a great follow-up reading for anybody watching this. If you want to read the book "Winning" by JackWelch, "Winning" really lays out the concept of how to be candid in great detail.
But I know as the guy who's run two Chick-fil-As with a high standard of excellence and customer service training for years, you're a great resource to pull from. So thank you for letting us borrow a minute of your time, my friend.