Archive for February, 2016

Building Team Trust

February 29th, 2016

 (Part 2 of 3)

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Sales Coach and National Director of the Builder Group 

A team without trust isn’t really a team and it’s not fun to be around. It’s just a group of individuals, working together, often making disappointing progress. They may not get along, battle over responsibilities, and not cooperate with one another. It doesn’t matter how capable or talented your people are, they may never reach their full potential if trust isn’t present within the team. We want more than that.   When trust is in place, each individual in the team becomes stronger, because he or she is part of an effective, cohesive group.  “We’ve got your back” mentality is the only way to go!

So how can you, as a leader, help your team build the trust that it needs to flourish?

Strategies for Building Trustdownload

Lead by Example

If you want to build trust within your team, then lead by example. This means trusting your team and being a person who is trustworthy. Never forget Trust rolls down hill and they are taking cues from you. 

Transparent communication

If you are transparent with your communication your team will observe and tend to be that way.  You need to give them permission to be safe in a transparent working environment. Many will feel unsafe speaking their mind at first but if it is honored as a safe policy and way of doing business, they will feel safe, heard and a more important part of the team. 

Team Therapy- Great Meetings!

Have great meetings, it’s important to a team:  Encourage your team and Leads to be very active and take a role in this very important step to team building.

  • The first meeting defines the purpose of the team, the mission, as well as each person’s role
  • Have many organizing team building exercises
  • Have games that break the ice and get everyone in-volved!
  • Include virtual partners to join the meeting via Blue Jeans
  • Encourage Fun with dress up days and celebration of wins at meetings
  • Have monthly competitions with prizes
  • Praise teams as a unit rather than individuals and do it publicly.

This time spent face-to-face is an important part of getting to know each other. It also creates opportunities for team members to talk, and to help one another solve problemsMake sure that you “walk the talk” here: whenever you have important or relevant information to share, do so immediately. The more you share with your team members, and thereby prove that you have no hidden agenda, the more comfortable they’ll feel trusting you and each other.

 Know Each Other Personally

One way to build trust is to encourage your team members to see their colleagues as people. This is super important with off-site colleagues. Think about creating situations that help them share personal stories, and bond on blue jeans so the team can get to know them personally. Ask about their families or interests, it doesn’t have to be long and drawn out but it has to be real.

 Don’t Place Blame

Instead, encourage everyone in your group to think about the mistake in a constructive way. What can you all do to fix what happened, and move forward together? And how can you make sure that this mistake doesn’t happen again?

 Building Trust Virtually

So, how can you build trust between people who are hundreds of miles apart?

Schedule a virtual “meet and greet” if it’s a new team, to help everyone get to know one another as individuals.  Then continue weekly online face to face meetings to help establish relationships.

Next, make sure that everyone on the team is aware of other team members’ expertise and skills, as well as the value that each individual contributes to the group.  Encourage your team members to treat each other just as they would if they were working face to face.

Keeping your promises is incredibly important in a virtual team, because your word is often all you can give. Positive follow-through builds trust quickly, and can raise the entire group’s tone and expectations.

Key Points

  1. Trust is an essential element in team productivity. Without it, you’re unlikely to get anything meaningful done.
  2. Make sure you practice and encourage transparent communication
  3. As a leader, it’s important that you set an example. Show your team members how critical trust is to you by demonstrating your trust in them, as well as in your colleagues.
  4. Next, make an effort to help everyone get to know each other on a personal level especially those off site. Encourage meetings on camera, online and conversations on values, family, or hobbies.
  5. Don’t play the blame game encourage effective solution minded processes.
  6. Nothing builds trust faster than personal relationships, feeling honored and feeling safe to trust.



My article in Mortgage Executive Magazine

February 23rd, 2016

I feel honored to write an article next to one of my mentors, Anthony Robbins.  Read my latest for mortgage sales professionals…tony robbins

Mastering Builder Business

I was doing some coaching the other day to a group and one of the students said, “I feel that Builders are too much work…they are too hard to get to, too hard to get and too hard to keep happy once you get them.”

So I am here to tell you…That is partially true!  Home Builders can be hard to find, challenging to get an appointment with and once gotten they can be difficult to keep happy.

But on the other hand, chasing a Builder and getting them is a huge win, there’s no feeling quite like it!  Here is another great upside…you don’t live month to month; you have a huge pipeline of loans that you can see as far as a year out and you always know what is coming down the line.  When you become a successful Builder Account Loan Officer and do it right, you become an enterprise.  Everyone will want you working for them.  Furthermore, there is no better feeling than a Builder awarding you with their business and trusting you to get it done.  It’s huge win.

Think about it, is anything worth getting, Easy? Do you want to get 15 loans a year from a Realtor (That’s easy!) or do you want 150 loans year from a Builder? (Challenge) And when you get four or five Builders in your pocket, you can imagine the enterprise you will create.  Nothing in this world, worth anything, comes easy. So instead of looking for easy, let’s talk about some strategy.

First I am going to make you a promise and want you to proceed with this knowing.  If you follow these steps below you will become wildly successful with Builders and have a ton of business.  With that said, you must prepare to be busy.  I always say, “Be careful what you wish for!” Preparation and planning will make you, “in it to win it”!     READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Team Trust

February 8th, 2016


Part 1 of 3 Trust

As a Sales Coach, I talk about a lot of different teachings.  This might be one of the most important things I talk about…how to play nice in the sand box and building and caring for your Team, all of your Team.

One of the first rules I learned doing high volume sales production is that you need a lot of people to achieve your goals.  They are your Team and need to be aligned and trust you to be a Leader. You can’t let them down. You bring  in the business but your job doesn’t stop there.  You must create an environment for things to get done right and on time.  That’s where your team comes in. TEAM means everyone you encounter at your company.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not saying there won’t be conflict.  But that’s when you use your skills like communication, great systems, proper expectations and reasoning.  Never use Anger or rage at another person on your Team, it’s not cool and eventually you will be moved out the door for doing it.

Here are a 12 necessary elements to keeping your team thriving and aligned. 

You’re the leader so remember you are responsible for your actions and your team, always:

  1. Be the rock they can depend on.  Speak, act and live as the best human you can be.
  2. Smile instead of Frown, do your best to spread joy. People need it and will look to you for it.
  3. Make sure the entire Team is committed to the true Mission: Happy Clients and great service.
  4. Be transparent, set the right expectations, check results and give feedback in a positive way.
  5. Create systems and processes for the team to be successful.
  6. If you’re frustrated, don’t email or call…give it a minute; breathe, you will be glad you did.
  7. Always assume everyone is doing their best, before you think otherwise.
  8. It’s easier to persuade others with polite requests, words of praise and a positive attitude.
  9. Ask for help, let the Team step up, trust them, they want to do their best for you.
  10. Yelling, rude demands, talking badly about someone and negativity are NEVER okay.
  11. Demanding rudeness destroys your relationships and thus destroys the Team and your future.
  12. Lead them with vulnerability, be accountable for failure and get right back to trying your best.

But here’s the reality; bad days, bad moods and pressure are a part of life and our business. They don’t work in your life nor the workplace, they just make everything worse.  How you manage them is everything. Don’t bring that game.  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot.  You are trying to build an enterprise, it takes skill.

Be a good human, be a rock people can depend on, create trust, love and honor with everyone in your family.  In a company it takes Sales, Operations, Management and a bond between all, to get the job done.  You are one big family, working together to be the best you can be.  Honor that and have some fun growing in a market that’s thriving.  Now go get em!

Stay tuned for Part 2…


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