Can Your New Team Members Be Coached?

In hiring new team members, one of the things you need to look for is: can they be coached?

Coaching will bring out the best in your team.  Your investment in this time will bring you rewards you cannot imagine.

Some of the first lessons I coach are about time and focus.

  • You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. (If you are not spending time with people that want to be successful, you will be carrying an anchor.)
  • 15 minutes early is on time, on time is late and late is unacceptable. (This reminds team members that time is valuable: yours and mine. Additionally, it always take a few minutes to get your head in the game and transition from what you were last doing.)
  • First seek to understand then be understood. (Ask questions.  If you are the only one talking you are not learning or gaining clarity.)
  • Carry a journal with you at all times. You never know when someone is going to say something that is valuable.  Write it down. Take notes.
  • Give more than expected and someday you will receive more than you deserve. (People recognized when you are doing more than required, even when no one says anything.)

This is a start. While it might seem like most of these should already be understood, you will be surprised how many people need to hear this.

Set up a coaching schedule in your office.  Concentrate on the strengths that your team member already has and work to maximize them.  The rewards will be astonishing.

For more information, contact me at, kim@creating-a-buzz.com

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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A Potential Candidate was Found. What Next?

Part VI – Continuing in my series of how my systems changed and how my process developed…

Finally!  We found a potential candidate, but in order to find out if we really have a good understanding of the candidate, we ask for references:

  • 2 previous employers
  • 2 previous clients
  • 2 previous team members

Finding Job CandidatesWe ask that they contact the references before they submit the names to us to let them know we will be calling.  When we call, we explain we want the candidate to thrive in the position we have here and just want to make sure that will be the case.

The first question we ask is: tell us 3-4 adjectives that describe the candidate.  This really gives us an idea of the impression this person left at their last position.  In my experience, we found that the adjectives were very much in line with hungry, humble and smart when it is the right person.

By asking for two references in each category it increases our chances of talking to at least one.

Then, lastly, we ask for a background check and we do a social media check.

After all this is said and done, we will make an offer.

As a small business, it is imperative that we continue to find great team members.  However, as an entrepreneur, we never truly have a process for hiring.  The key is to have clarity about what you need.  Having a job description and qualities that create a successful team member will significantly cut down on the time you will need to spend looking, interviewing and hiring.

Please let me know if you need assistance with creating your process.  You may contact me via Email: kim@creating-a-buzz.com or by Phone: (727) 919-1429

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Team Interview

Part IV – Team Members…Developing Systems to Find the Best!

The next step in the process is the team interview.  We totally dispensed with the phone interview, as someone had seen the person in action.  They had reached out for the opportunity, not because they had to but because they wanted to.

Using Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Ideal Team Member,” we developed questions to identify the three characteristics he described: Hungry, Humble and Smart.

After each interview, the team would debrief to see if the candidate met the criteria.  If Creating a Buzzthere was a category that we felt unsure of, the next interview would really focus on those questions that would help us determine the fit. If they were not a fit, we would send an email thanking them for their time.

The next interview would be held in an offsite location.  I chose a busy restaurant, early in the morning to see how the person handled the pressure of an interview in a chaotic location. We would again ask questions using the three topics but really focused on an area that the team was not clear on.

As part of this offsite interview, I would also share my job description.  It is the only job description I have, even though I have 4 different positions in my office. (See My Job Description)

Going through this process significantly reduced the amount of time we spent to find our next candidate.  It also helped us with clarity around what we were really looking for.

Referrals> interview questions with specific focus on traits> on and off site interviews> References.

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Finding Inspiration

Part II – Team Members…Developing Systems to Find the Best!

Continuing in my series of how my systems changed and how my process developed, I asked myself, “where would I find inspiration”?  Well, as usual it came from a few sources.

INC Magazine gave me a greater understanding of what Millennials need and look for in a career.

*Patrick Lencioni ‘s book “The Ideal Team Member” reminded me of what I used to do to find candidates and helped me go back and improve that process. (I have a few team members that have been with me for greater than 10 years.)

*Some comments made from other small business people regarding their hiring process.

I put this all together and totally scraped my old process.

Here is what I developed:Kimberly Brust

First, I looked at the team members that I currently had and that had been with me for so long.  There was a commonality among them.  They were at some point a single mother with a desire to take care of their children to the best of their ability.  They wanted an opportunity to work and learn and ultimately make more money as they went along.

They were able to talk to people.  Their personalities were warm and caring.  They could talk to people and quickly make a connection.  This trait made clients feel that someone cared about them and that they were important.

Finally, as my team were all learners, they could be humble when they did not know the answer and ask for help.  In a business where we sell close to 100 different products, it is important to be able to ask for help, as no one can be an expert in all areas.

Reading Patrick Lencioni’s book reminded me of these traits.  He calls them Hungry, Humble and Smart.

Getting back to basics.   This was step one!

I started by using his interview questions and developing some of my own. I finally had a guide to find the type of person I knew I needed.

So where did I find inspiration?  Gaining clarity. Clarity in what you need and are looking for is key to success.

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