Put your foot down

Now I’m not really good at conflict, preferring to get results through mediation, explanation, exploitation.

No, I didn’t mean exploitation… but the other 2 I did.

But sometimes, in training, I’ve found that you just have to put your foot down because it’s the right thing to do. Take a recent group of franchisees I was working with… no, please, just take them.

A couple of weeks ago there was a group of 9 franchisees, which was a bit cheeky because there was only supposed to 6 of ’em, who were, shall we say challenging.

The challenge came from a couple of sources; some of them were just not taking the programme seriously, one of them found the course difficult and two of them were just being plain downright difficult.

The reason for this, by the way, was because things hadn’t quite gone according to plan earlier in the training programme with an essential piece of kit and they were taking it out on the poor old trainer… i.e. me! If truth be told, though, there was a huge element of ‘I know best, I’ve run me own business in the past’ from the two gentlemen in question, who didn’t really want to listen in the first place.

Anyway, that’s by the by… the bottom line was that the course was a little unruly.

If you think about it, that’s really bonkers from the point of view of the franchisees on the course. It’s not logical to think the franchisor wouldn’t deliver training that would help their business and the sales and marketing piece is at least on equal par with any other element of the course.

So, we have an unruly course, full of people who, for different reasons, are not getting the most from it and only three days to get things right. What’s to be done?

Well, in this case it was easy for me. Or at least the decision was easy… it was to put my foot down with a firm hand, which I did.

I have to say, I was masterful: ‘Look, I know it’s all a big joke and all and I get paid whether you listen to me or not. But think about it this way: if you sign 10% more customers as a result of what I tell you, you’ll have 50 customers more than if you don’t. At average fees that’s £10,000 extra to your business!’

To be fair, they listened very attentively after that and through themselves into all the exercises and video sessions we did… in fact, it turned out to be one of the best courses I’ve run.

I should be masterful more often.

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