Tag Archives: leadership

What if… your performance fails “suddenly”?

TWP blogHave you ever been in a situation where your professional life seems to fall into pieces? You have been around for some time, you have been successful so far, you were even used as a role model for others, but suddenly the winds changed? Nothing goes right, whatever you try fails, and even those who supported you before now turn their backs on you.

Well, if you haven’t, congratulations! I hope your life continues without this experience. However, in case you have been in a similar situation, like I have, or even worse, in case you are in this difficult situation right now – here are a few ideas for how to get yourself out of this dip of misery.

  1. Get yourself out of the center of attention – sometimes the best move is to take a few days off if you can.
  2. Think about what led to the situation: What could you have done differently? Could you or should you have done more of certain activities? What other influencing factors do you recognize?
  3. Gather hard facts (e.g., data, reports, stats) about your performance.
  4. Obtain observational feedback from colleagues who know you and who can assess the particularities of your work environment.
  5. Once you’ve done # 2, 3, and 4, work on your personal list of what you would like to achieve professionally: What is important to you? What fills you with joy? Where have you been most successful before?
  6. Think outside the box – what would be best for you? Stay with your current employer or move on? If you should move on, what comes next? If you want to stay, think of other ways to improve your performance; the protocol What? How Much? By When? can be a useful guide.

The most important message though is: Do not doubt your abilities and capabilities! They are still in you, and you’ve proved yourself many times before – you simply need to re-discover them again! Good luck and all the best in your future career path!

Claudia Irmer is Senior Results Consultant at Cohen Brown Management Group and an expert in behavioral embedding. Claudia covers continental Europe and Russia.

Emotional Intelligence Gives Strength to Leadership

EI 2
Working for an emotionally unintelligent manager, or organisation, is akin to working in hell.

If you’re not sure what emotionally unintelligent means, ask yourself this question:

Do you start your meetings looking displeased before asking: ‘John [or Stacy], how are you, yes YOU, going to hit your targets this week?’

Is this you? Don’t raise your hand.

It’s a misperception that being a good leader means being a serious leader and that enjoying what you do and being kind to others means you’re too soft. Business standards and expectations for results are not in question here…just our attitudes and emotional understanding of our employees and colleagues.

Perhaps, like my company’s CEO, you’re one of the lucky few who recognises the human in yourself and others, and therefore starts that same meeting with a joke and a smile: ‘I want to know, John/Stacy, how may I support you this week in achieving your goals?’

This difference in approach makes all the difference in the world. Who wouldn’t prefer to work for an emotionally clued-in Manager versus the robot manager, going through the motions of the day…ticking the boxes.

But do know, that good managers are not born with emotional intelligence (EI). EI is a learned behaviour, just like any skill acquired in life. And, although humour plays a big part in EI, no one expects their boss to be a professional comedian. It just comes down to putting some enjoyment in what you do.

‘EI competencies are not innate talents, but learned abilities, each of which has a unique contribution to making leaders more resonant and therefore, more effective.’

I believe that people pick up on our self-limiting beliefs; so if you’re a manager who’s looking to help others achieve their maximum potential, why limit yourself? Enhance your EI skills and everyone will take note.

Your thoughts?

Neda Bayat is Global Business Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. and Breakthrough PerformanceTech, LLC.

Collaboration Can Ensure You Never Move Forward

Well, there is a way to move your organization forward and there is a way NOT to move your organization forward …. it’s called COLLABORATION.

teamwork, leadership, leaders, goals

Why would collaboration be a blocker?  Because without a structured process, it’s a great way to invite objections and ensure that all voices, even the resistors get their way, not the way of the organization, but their way.

 Why not maintain the status quo anyway?  We understand that with all the changes taking place for people, processes and technology, it’s a challenge just to keep the status quo.  Unfortunately for the steady-as-it-goes-crowd, top performers are not thinking about how to maintain the status quo, they are thinking about how to smash new goals, introduce breakthrough products and processes and push forward.

The Leadership Unpopularity Law from Cohen Brown is, “You don’t have to be disliked to be a great leader, but you cannot be afraid to be disliked.”  Well, that is a game changer for some leaders as they may be afraid to be disliked and they think that means keeping the status quo.  But what if the status quo really isn’t working for the team?  What if the team really wants improvements and it’s just the leader who is afraid of the change or afraid to lead the change?

Well, for all the meek and mild leaders, we have a way to for you to engage the team and get the change that is needed.  This is a paradigm shift of telling people what to do.  It involves getting all the ideas from the team in a brainstorm session, then letting the entire team vote on their favorites and providing their commitments to move forward.  How hard is that?  And you don’t have to worry about being unpopular, you’ll be popular with everyone because everyone had input.  It just takes breaking the status quo of leadership behaviors to try new ways to engage the team.

Collaboration can be a great way to get great ideas and smash new goals.  But use it the right way.  So protecting the status quo with getting collaboration from the team may be on your personal agenda but it won’t be on the company’s agenda and it won’t be on the hitting new goals agenda.  Engaging the team with a structured collaboration process and moving forward is about the only option companies who are serious about growing have now.

P.S. Just by reading this blog you may have changed your leadership behaviors, that wasn’t so bad was it?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Cohen Brown Management Group Named Top 2014 Sales Training Company To Watch

Los Angeles, CA — March 6, 2014

WatchList-logo2Cohen Brown Management, a global leader in sales and service training, sales and service management and leadership training, culture and behavior change has been named one of the top 2014 Sales Training Companies to watch by Training Industry.com. This top 20 list is part of TrainingIndustry.com’s mission to continually monitor the training marketplace for the best providers of training services and technologies.

This is the first time Cohen Brown has been named to the list. The top 20 companies are recognized for being strong players in the evolution of corporate sales training. Criteria for the Top Sales Training Companies watch list include:

  • Industry recognition and impact on the sales training industry
  • Innovation in the sales training market
  • Company size and growth potential
  • Breadth of service offering
  • Strength of clients served
  • Geographic reach

“It is truly a honor to be acknowledged as a Top Sales Training Companies Watch List,” said Edward G. Brown, President and Co-Chairman. “We take pride in working closely with our clients to evoke permanent behavior change that lead to long-term sustainable results.” It is imperative for leaders in organizations to embrace behavior change as it is the foundation for longevity and success.”

Cohen Brown is recognized for the following:

  • Extensive library of leader-led courseware designed to transform organizations from the top down
  • Courseware that develops a strong sales-and-service culture.
  • Courseware customized for each business unit and delivery channel.
  • Virtual delivery options for training.
  • Leader-led, management supported approach to maximize accountability.
  • Full-management process that is supported by results consulting, training, performance coaching, and comprehensive management roadmaps.

Cohen Brown’s newest program, Structured Time and Workflow Management (STWM), is providing organizations “how to” solutions to eliminate interruptions. Learn more about STWM and attend an upcoming webinar at http://www.stwm.com/webinar.

Increasing Cross-Sales at New Account Openings (NAOs) with Brand New Customers (The NAO Process) is one of our blended solutions for behavioral change that results in dramatically increased sales of products and services at the new account opening. The NAO Process is one example of our customer-centric technologies in sales and service support.

“Innovation and delivery methods are critical to the long-term success of any sales training program. Cohen Brown demonstrates a commitment to innovation and a focus on providing their clients sustained improvement in performance,” said Ken Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Training Industry, Inc.


About Cohen Brown

For more than 30 years, Cohen Brown (www.cohenbrown.com) has earned acclaim for providing organizations dramatic and profitable bottom-line results with solutions that increase and sustain key behavioral skills. Our internationally recognized training programs—which include behavioral embedding, sales leadership and management, sales, service, structured time and workflow management, motivation, effective communication, and performance coaching—have been customized and proven to be effective in a variety of industries. Our consulting services and courseware build upon existing organizational cultures and surpass the highest sales-and-service expectations.

They Dress Up for Work Now

Tatooed BankerConfidence is a funny thing; it affects people in different and unexpected ways. For a client call center, I was helping to train a group of new and young team leaders, and we were focusing on a leadership week. The structure to the week and the detail needed for driving results through behaviors was sometimes a challenge.

As this client has a casual work environment, filled with tattoos, earrings, jeans, t‑shirts, sunglasses, and spiky hair, we didn’t have any plans to change appearance, just behaviors. The four individuals who I was working with were hip, young, team leaders in the call center who had recently been promoted from reps.

We wanted to demonstrate that a written weekly leadership plan could drive the right behaviors and the right results, so basically they were our pilot group within this large center.

When piloting a new initiative, we like to take people with positive attitudes who will give the ideas and concepts a real go. So we started with weekly teleconferences to define the right activities in their plans and commit them to paper. Getting a great plan that delivered results took about four months, as we incorporated a completely new structure with meetings, coaching sessions, daily briefings and debriefings, objections clinics, etc., to meet current business objectives.

After we got into the plans and their results improved, team morale improved as well, and, most importantly, their confidence in their new roles increased. With that came a remarkable and voluntary transformation, their appearance. When I returned for a visit six months later, they all greeted me in dress trousers, dress shirts—no sunglasses, no ripped jeans, and no t-shirts.

I asked if they had dressed up just for me, and, boy, was I wrong. “No,” they responded, “We dress up every day because we feel we have now earned the right to be team leaders and we want to look the part.”

I never suspected that writing down a weekly leadership plan would have such impact on someone in the workplace, but it really helped “dress up” these team leaders and their performance.

Your thoughts?

Johanna Lubahn is Managing Director of Call Center Services for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

The POWER of Delegating

There is an unhealthy tree in my yard that I have been babying for the last two years. It finally bit the dust this spring. I decided to purchase a chainsaw and put it down myself. Off I went to my local home improvement store and back home to begin reading the instructions for my new equipment. Lots of cautions—“be totally covered”, “wear steel-toe shoes”—what had I gotten myself into? I filled it with oil and gas then tried to start it, but it wouldn’t even let out a putter! Way too much power for me! Into the store I went with this monster, and when the associate asked what was wrong with it, I replied “the user.” She smiled. Luckily, she allowed me to return it.

How does this relate to you as a coach? Delegation. You have to know when it is time to let someone else help you. Delegation is a great time-management tool. Another benefit of delegation is cross-training, which will increase results through specialization. What you will see is increased teamwork as others become capable of completing tasks. Delegation can also have an impact on the motivation of the team. Their skill levels increase, there is less frustration, and motivation increases.

You have to make delegation emotion-free. This means you have to let go of the control. That can be a big obstacle for many of us.

Let me offer you some tips for delegation.

  1. Pre-delegation Analysis
    • What will you delegate and why?
    • To whom (individual or team)?
    • When?
    • Duration of the delegation? (Permanent or time-limited as a “favor”?)
  1. Delegation
    • Clarify expectations
      • Provide specific instructions
    • Motivate with positive reinforcement
    • Train and coach
      • Share Proven Best Practices
      • Retrain when necessary
  1. Post-delegation Follow-up
    • Track results
    • Inspect what you expect
    • Build in sufficient lead time to check on progress

However, as we say at Cohen Brown, you can “delegate, but never abdicate.”

Let me know your thoughts.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

The Magic Wand Principle

My 22-year-old son will receive a Master of Public Administration degree next month. Like many people his age, he has taken a job unrelated to his education with a reputable (transportation) company. He wears a tie and dress shirt to work every day. The Human Resources director has told him that he can wear a casual shirt, but he continues to sport the tie. So I asked him why. First, he likes to dress up. Second, he is dressing for who he wants to be.

I will repeat that, dressing for “who he wants to be.” That is a very insightful philosophy that can be transferred to any aspect of life. Let’s take that concept and focus on the team that you manage. At Cohen Brown, we call this the Magic Wand principle. If you could wave the magic wand:

  • The team is excited and motivated to create an environment that supports the vision of your organization and knows the role they play to make the vision a reality.
  • Exemplary service behaviors are exhibited at every client/member interaction.
  • Every client/member walks away with the products and services that will enhance their financial lives or improve a financial aspect of their business.

Take a minute right now to wave the magic wand and list the three most critical behaviors your team can exhibit with outstanding excellence. Now, list the coaching techniques you can implement TODAY to support your team to become all they want and can be for their clients/members.

Let me know of any magical experiences this week!

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.