Is Empathetic Encouragement Different than Motivation?

Is Empathetic Encouragement Different than Motivation?

Weekly someone asks me, “Beth, how do I motivate my team?” My standard answer is, “Hire motivated people.” Dan Pink, a dedicated research guru, does a great job spelling out the internal and external ways people are motivated. The big ah-ha for me is in noticing the external motivators like reward or punishment are temporal and in the absence of either, the motivation is gone unless the individual is self-motivated.

Nonetheless, I see myself as a “relentless encourager.” I don’t think that is exactly the same as motivation. In my spiritual journey, I believe my spiritual gift is the gift of exhortation. I took a moment this morning to look up the word exhort and LOVED the definition. Here’s my interpretation…

To strongly and empathetically urge someone to do something.
To persuade someone to be or do their best.


Admittedly, a career in sales and leadership probably work out okay when you have an internal drive to persuade others. We are all trying to encourage others today (I hope). Everyone needs “empathetic encouragement” in today’s environment and in the days to come.

I challenge and encourage you to check in with a team member, a friend, and or a family member and see what’s important to them. Do they feel like they have purpose right now? Could you help them see what their purpose might be? Is there something they could own and call their own?  If so, could you empathetic encourage them to go get whatever that is? Can you help someone else master something they want to get good at?

What is motivating you right now? I’m personally stunned at how my own motivation in recent weeks ebbs and flows. What I know, though, is when I can be a source of encouragement to others, my heart sings.

Please post in the comment section of the blog, what your source of motivation is. What is your gift? Are you sharing It with others?

Love you,

Beth Standlee

What Makes a Great Manager?

What Makes a Great Manager?

Vivian has been a member of the TrainerTainment team since 2016. Her graphics expertise makes us look good! Viv is also a wonderful coach and trainer. Her coaching strength lies in the fact that she is completely client-centered. When working with a sales team, for instance, she’s the kind of coach that jumps in and helps research leads in a specific community. She’s kind and always inspires others in a very positive way. I know you’ll see what I mean as you walk through her blog and learn what she believes makes a good manager. – Beth Standlee
Coaching and Training have taught me that being a great manager encompasses quite a lot. I recently discussed with someone who was just promoted what made a manager great. We both came away learning not only what a great manager is, but how important it is to listen to team members.

Each person brings a unique management style. It’s important for managers to lead effectively, without the drama, so everyone can listen and do what they are asked to do. Listening and being respectful to your team is critical.

Here are the top 10 things we thought were most important.

  1. Setting Goals. Set goals on a yearly basis. This will keep you and your team on track and provide measurable results and data to use for the coming years. Make sure you make them SMARTER (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Relevant, Enthusiastic, Risky) Goals
  2. Identify Distractors. Try to identify anything that could potentially distract team members from the goal at hand and help remove those things that are obstacles in their growth. Distractors could be personal or business-related but finding what is holding them back and removing those obstacles will allow teams to flourish. It could be too much administrative work, unrealistic expectations in the sales team, wearing too many hats… focus on what the main goals are.
  3. Give Frequent Feedback and Praise. Don’t wait for an annual review to give feedback and praise. Frequent feedback helps your team grow and develop strong skills. Let them know they are doing a great job or what needs improvement.
  4. Leverage Skills and Knowledge. Know your strengths and weaknesses as well as your team’s. Make sure everyone is doing the right job & is sitting in the right seat.
  5. It’s Okay to Not Know an Answer. When you don’t have an answer to a question, it’s best to acknowledge it and find the answer. Saying things like, “That’s a great question. Let me get back to you on that,” is a great response. The team will be better off knowing that, although you may not have an answer to everything, you can find an answer. Be timely with those answers.
  6. Clear Communication. Be straightforward and clear with your directions. Sometimes we think something is easy or everyone should know how to do it and sometimes they don’t know. They will appreciate clear, direct instructions and it will save you a lot of time in the long run. Clarity creates the ability to have accountability.
  7. Have Empathy and Lots of Patience. To be an effective manager, you need empathy and patience. Empathy allows you to better understand and relate to each team member. Patience allows you to give people the room to perform.
  8. Pay Attention. Pay attention to your team members, even if they aren’t speaking directly to you. Keep up with the dates they put on the team calendar, look at their schedules, and take note of their work. Acknowledge their personal circumstances. Give praise when praise is due.
  9. Empowering Your Team. When you empower your team, you help grow leaders within your business. If you’re constantly micromanaging, they’ll never develop the experience to tackle problems on their own. If you empower them to go beyond their role, they’ll face challenges that will further sharpen their skills and allow them to grow.
  10. Get in the Trenches. Constantly refine your processes. In order to better understand your team and customers, it is helpful to answer the phones and get right into the mix with your sales and operations teams. Getting to know their obstacles and learning more about customers helps you make better decisions and identify areas for improvement.

Make Virtual Work Your Real Work

Make Virtual Work Your Real Work


Here’s the thing about TrainerTainment: we are a team. We are a virtual team. Everyone lives and works from their home in a different state or city. We know what it means to be a team (not just people who work together, or us and them, or leaders and staff). We have been a virtual team for almost 15 years. To that end, I’m going to share with you four tips that may help you if you’ve transitioned from the office to your home for work.

  1. TURN ON YOUR CAMERA – If you have always worked in an office, there are things you get out of that type of environment you don’t get virtually. The quick “Hi!” walking past a desk, the water cooler gossip or catch up, the morale builder from the quick “nice job on that report” when passing in the hall. When all of those “walk by” moments are gone, you must intentionally create interaction when you are a virtual workplace setting.
  2. Have face to face meetings and check-ins at least once a week (twice a week is even better). Use software such as Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Google Hang Outs, (some are at a greatly reduced price during quarantine or free depending on team size). Have Zoom lunches. Play Words With Friends with a glass of wine after work instead of happy hour. Or have a Zoom Happy Hour.
  3. CLEAR EXPECTATIONS – Make sure you are very clear about what work you are doing. If the boss hasn’t made it clear, then you take the step and ask. Don’t forget about priorities. You may need extra information and/or tools to get work done.
  4. CUT ‘EM SOME SLACK – Working from home sometimes means wearing all of your hats at the same time. If you receive an email or text that sounds short or rude, assume the BEST, not the worst. We are all in this together, so ASK what the person meant by the email or PICK UP THE PHONE and give them a call. For important information, have that Zoom call even if it is one-to-one so you can get more information through body language and expression.

Hang in there and certainly reach out to us if you need clarification or more assistance. We’d love to help!

Insure Your Investment

Insure Your Investment

I hope you have entered the new year energized and excited! Are you dreaming of big things for 2020!

Did you make big decisions at IAAPA? How will you decide to spend your hard-earned profits this year? Did you invest in new equipment? Are you convinced you’ll get a return on that investment?

I’m curious to know what would stop you from investing 1% to 2% of your total revenue for training and coaching.

Unlike an insurance policy that you hope you’ll never have to use, an investment in training will show an immediate return on the investment. You can’t unknow what you are taught. You get to use the training and coaching $$$ for maximum benefit.

So what stops you? Actually, the better question is how soon do you want to realize a return on your investment?

Our experience is within 90 days out, sales or business coaching students begin to multiply the investment 5 to 10 times.

Want to know more? Click on this Calendly link and schedule a call to learn more.

Get ready to swing for the fences in 2020!

People are Not Disposable

People are Not Disposable

Every week I hear someone say, “These kids today…”

  • Don’t need to work
  • Have zero work ethic
  • Display no common sense
  • (add any complaint here

Guess what? Our parents said the same thing about us and their parents about them and so on and on and on. I believe if we are going to change the culture of the workplace today, we must start by changing our language.

What if we said, “I love the fact that I have chosen to hire first-time workers.”? There’s a great deal of responsibility that comes with hiring first-time team members. HELLO, they’ve never had a job before. They may not even have the experience from the home of having an allowance or the responsibility of chores. So, we’re it. Whether that feels frustrating or not, it is fact.

Take a minute and think about the first time you did something that was brand new to you and potentially difficult. You may have been excited or scared or anxious or confident or expectant or intimidated or, or, or… In your trying, maybe you got it right the first time but maybe not. Then what? Has something been complicated enough you had to get the information more than once? Did you feel dumb or like you might be annoying someone because you need help?

Listen, I know teaching others is difficult. I’ve built a training and coaching company based on helping others every day. It’s not easy. My experience is any new or old concept must be taught again and again.

“Training is not a single event. Ongoing coaching is where the results lie.”

Turnover is high in the hospitality world. I think part of the challenge is employers are exasperated and feel like, “What else can we do?” I also feel like employees think jobs are disposable. There is a massive disconnect, in my opinion, about how we are in service to one another. I believe the leaders in this equation must take the lead.

If we took baby steps around the crises of turnover maybe these three steps could be a great place to start. I’d love to hear your ideas. What would you be willing to do to begin the chain of change?”

  • Decide what values an ideal team member must have to work on your team (and don’t settle for less!). Read Patrick Lencioni’s Ideal Team Player. Patrick lists hungry, humble, and smart as three must-have virtues for an ideal team player.
  • Understand training and coaching are ongoing. Expand your training budget and commit to implementing an ongoing coaching strategy to get results. Team members rarely leave a job. They leave the circumstance. When they aren’t getting what they need, they leave. It’s up to the leader to find out what the team member needs.
  • Commit to the fact that people aren’t disposable. I believe we all have a responsibility to help a first-time team player “grow up” in the work world and an experienced team member “go up” in their workplace. That doesn’t mean they’ll always work for you. It does mean you will have made a difference.

The topic and expense of high turnover, hiring the best people, and training are important conversations. I look forward to what can happen if we stop whining and start focusing on how to make the situation better. The Pollyanna in me is alive and well and thinks the WORLD could be a better place if we work together!

Hope you have a great week. And please take a moment to engage with me directly, below in the comment section, or on our social spaces – Facebook or LinkedIn.

World Class Performance

World Class Performance

I don’t think anyone jumps out of bed and says, “Boy, I hope I’m mediocre today!” However, I wonder how many of us rise thinking, “I believe I’m going put in a world-class performance today.” And that makes me wonder why not?

Is it enough to just get through the day? I don’t think so. Life is short. I know every single person possesses something they do at a world-class level. I have a friend who is a world-class listener, another who completely gives everyone a clean slate every day, and a husband who has the world-class superpower of adapting to whatever situation he’s in and does it with a great attitude.

What’s your something? Maybe you’re not world class yet, but you are damned good at it. The Talent Code, a must read written by Daniel Coyle, suggests that mastery comes with deep practice. You’ve been doing something a bunch of hours. Maybe you bowl or play video games. Whatever it is, you have probably been doing it since you were very young.

I can remember my grandmother saying, “Beth, you a wonderful storyteller.” I think I was about 7 when we had that conversation. Turns out that was a significant conversation in my life.

What are you doing? How could you put in a world-class performance? I barely know Stephanie Bednar, but I suspect she is a world class mom. My friend Nancy Starr, who believes in pouring rocket fuel on potential, has impacted so many CEOs and business leaders in her life. The ripple effect she has had on all the people in all the businesses is beyond world class. My bowling coach and dear friend, Susie Minshew, is a world-class coach who uses bowling as a vehicle to teach others to be world class in their lives! My children perform, each in their own way, at a level that has world class written all over it… I know that sounds like the ramblings of a proud mom, but you should meet them!

I could go on and on because I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by others whom I’m pretty sure jump out of bed each day and insist on getting the most out of the next 24 hours. I hope you’ll do that. If you lead a team, I want to know what you consider world-class leadership. What would that look like?

If you are on the sales team, how will you determine you’ve had a world class day? Name it. Give it detail and then live that day every day. If you are the party host, how can you know you’ve delivered world-class performance?

Step one is deciding what “world class” looks like. Step two is imagining that is YOU. Step three is doing whatever it takes to be world class.

Share with me where you are. What step are you on? Most world class anything needs a coach. If you aren’t where you want to be yet, give us a call!

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