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!

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!

The TTT Recruiting Experience

The TTT Recruiting Experience

A study conducted in 2018 by the Society for Human Resource Management states that the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129 with approximately 42 days to fill a position. A similar study conducted by Glassdoor found that the average a company in the United States spends to hire a new employee is $4,000 with approximately 52 days to fill a position.


The cost of hiring can quickly increase, especially when a company has a high staff turnover. Often, companies hire quickly and run the risk of hiring someone who lacks certain skills or job experience, just to have somebody in the position – granted, with the best intent to provide training down the road or hoping that the new employee will take the initiative to learn and get up to speed to make up for the lack of skills. Unfortunately, employment based on these hiring methods don’t last very long and both the company and the employee find out soon that they are not the right fit for the position or for each other, which leaves the company with the dilemma to hire again for the position. This situation, besides the high cost of hiring, can quickly get frustrating for the employer and their team.


The good news is that there is a solution and companies with hiring challenges can get easy help from experts. Client Recruiting is one of TrainerTainment’s services. A recruiting specialist works closely with the client to customize a job ad for the position to attract best-suited candidates. The recruiting specialist monitors all incoming job applications and follows a thorough screening and interview protocol which includes sophisticated online testing tools to determine the best fitting candidates for the position. Only the top-rated candidates get forwarded to the client for review.

Contact Us

Let TrainerTainment do the heavy lifting for you! Learn more about how you and your company can benefit from this service. Download our FREE White Paper on the TrainerTainment Client Recruiting Experience.

Hire With Intention, Not Desperation

Hire With Intention, Not Desperation

I think we can all agree that one of the hardest parts of running a business is finding – and keeping – the right people. When you can’t rely on your team, every bit of a day’s work can be challenging. This is especially true for any business reliant on hourly employees. As a Trainer & Coach, I hear the same thing all the time from business owners and managers – “kids these days are lazy” or “unemployment is low, and all the good people are taken”. Sure, there’s some truth to all of this. However, what if I told you there is a way to find and keep good team members and close the revolving door of employees that disappoint?

Unicorns DO Exist!

Let me ask you this… when was the last time you noticed great customer service? And I don’t mean employees just going through the motions of customer service. I mean a staff that seems to genuinely enjoy their job. I noticed it recently at a local pizza restaurant. In fact, it wasn’t the first time. Every time I visit, whether to eat in or carry out, every employee is friendly, courteous, SMILING and genuinely seems to like being there. But the interesting part of it all is that they are teenagers! And even MORE interesting? I’ve never seen one of them on their phone or chatting amongst themselves and ignoring customers. These kids are engaged and ready to get the job done.

So how does this pizzeria do it? They hire with INTENTION, not desperation. It’s easy to fill a spot with just anybody. But if just “any body” (and I mean that literally) will do, then you are setting yourself up for that revolving door of employment fails.

It’s Really Not About Them

It’s time to change the myth of hiring that suggests there are no good team members. If you’ve been following this blog series for the past few weeks, then hopefully your eyes have been opened to company culture and its components. This entry is about the people and why you probably aren’t finding the right ‘fit’ for your business. It all boils down to YOUR culture. If you’ve defined it – the vision/mission and the core values – then the heavy lifting is done. You know who you are as a business, where you want to be, and the kind of people who can get you there. You have the blueprint for asking the right questions during an interview. The right answers to these questions will give you a person that is ready and willing to work and thrive in YOUR environment. Quit settling for people who don’t fit your culture. It’s miserable!

Make it About Your Core

Getting to this point, this “aha” moment of hiring and training, does not happen overnight. Hopefully the last few blog entries have inspired you to really think about your company’s culture and why it’s essential to define it.

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