When you're building a network marketing team, it's inevitable your team's going to go through challenges and struggles.
Every team has members who stumble and fall.
And they will look to you for leadership, advice, and encouragement.
But here's the thing…
How you handle the situation will determine if your team members want to continue building their business, with or without you.
So watch the video below to learn how to handle the problems that will inevitably arise as you build your organization…
Below, we're going to discuss how to work through the struggles of building a team and discuss how to develop leaders.
As a leader, you have the power to shape and mold your team members, to become leaders themselves…because that's what we want, right?
It doesn't matter what industry you're in, or what company you're with, you want to build leaders.
You're never going to build a successful network marketing business if you don't have leaders underneath you!
Even in affiliate marketing, you want leaders to continue to invest in themselves and upgrade.
Being a mom, I use a lot of analogies that have to do with being a parent, because I feel like it makes it easier for people to understand where I'm coming from.
This works the same, whether you have a niece or a nephew, or maybe it's the neighbor kid—just think of a child in your life.
Imagine that they are out riding their bike in your front yard and they crash and scrape their knee.
There are three different ways that you can handle this.
You can be…
- Or, you can adopt the “Middle way”
Let's break these down.
The first way that you can handle this is by being…
The overbearing parent
Now, back to the bike accident…
An overbearing parent will run over, coddling, saying…
“Oh my gosh, I think he's bleeding, he's going to die, he might have broken his leg! Are you better? Let's go get ice cream, let's go get a sucker, you need a Band-Aid?”
There's that parent.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that parent, but what does it create in your child?
In your child that creates a hyper-dependency on mom.
As soon as something happens, mom's going to be there or dad's going to be there.
Mom's going to take the problem away, they're going to take the struggle away.
Our team members are going to have struggles
They might send you a message saying…
“Nothing's working, I'm doing everything and nothing's working.”
You're going to get those messages.
How many times are you right there; you're Batman, you are the vigilante that comes in and protects your distributors from getting hurt.
“Oh, I'll do this for you or that or whatever.”
Okay, we've done it, right?
On the other end of the spectrum…
There are the parents, who when your child trips, falls, crashes on their bike, they're bleeding and you say…
“You're fine, stop your whining. Get up, run it off. Rub some dirt on it. Suck it up!”
What does this create in your child?
This creates a hyper-independency.
Which is the result of the second, hands-off parenting style.
They don't need mom and dad.
They're not going to let mom and dad know when they have problems because mom and dad don't care.
How many times have we done this with a distributor?
They’re being whiny, and maybe you haven't necessarily told your team member this, but the second you get off the phone you say…
“Oh my gosh, that person is so whiny! How come they're on my team, how come they can't do anything? Why are they the way that they are? How come they're on my team!?
I used “why” on purpose there.
You know how much I despise that word, but how many times do we do that?
“Suck it up buttercup! Stop bleeding and start breathing kid.”
Okay, so how many times have we done that with a distributor, and then…
Suddenly we're wondering the reason they're not talking to us
They're not letting us know what's going on in their business any more.
All of a sudden it's crickets when you try to get a hold of them.
I've been known to do that before, and I hate that I've been that person in the past, because I've done it with people I absolutely love.
“Get up you're killing the grass!”
I've done that with people I absolutely love and it's horrible leadership.
It's NOT the way a leader should handle the situation.
Now here's the middle ground…
…and this is where I challenge you to play from here on out, using the third, most-effective parenting style.
This is going to take time.
Whit and I are still developing this skillset, because I will not in a million years ever say that I've been perfect when it comes to handling certain situations with our team.
Sometimes I still find myself at one end of the spectrum and not playing in the middle ground.
So what is the middle ground?
When your child crashes their bike, how much more effective would it be if you walk up—you're not running over there, but instead you're walking calmly—you get down on their level and you say…
“That looked like it hurt, did that hurt? Are you going to be okay? Yeah, it looks like there's a little bit of blood. Guess what? Mom's fallen off her bike before too and she scrapped her leg so bad, look at the scar. Stand up. You good, you got this, right? Let's get back on that bike.”
What does this create?
This is empathy
For those of you who don't know what that word is, it's letting them know that you've been there.
You’re feeling where they're at.
As a leader you need to have empathy with every single situation that arises in your team.
The thing is, the only way that you're going to be able to have empathy is if you've been through it.
Would you say you've been through or are going through a struggle right now?
The thing is, you can be the hyper-independency parent; you can be like…
“Oh just get back on the bike, it's fine.”
Or you can have that empathy and say…
“Man, that sucks, I've been there. I'm going through it right now with you.”
How about we get back on the bike together?
Empathy is how a true leader develops leaders in their team
By saying, “Let's ride this together,” you’re saying…
“You're not in this alone.”
You're not taking the problem away.
You're letting them go through that problem and the crash or the mistake.
You're not trying to do it for them, nor are you saying, just come on, you can do this, just jump back on.
You're playing the middle ground.
Understanding where they're at, saying…
“Look, I know, I've been there, here's what I did, too.”
You're relating to that individual.
This is where you need to be guys.
We haven’t always been there.
Whit and I are still learning this.
We didn't understand it before and we sometimes thought…
“We're going through our own troubles. How come you're bringing your troubles to me?”
We're still people that are growing.
We're obviously not going to do everything the right way when it comes to helping others and having empathy.
Sometimes we still take problems away from people that we should let them go through.
One of the biggest things is…
When you take a problem away from a distributor and don’t let them walk through the experience…
…then they're not going to be relatable to other people when they start to have team members that go through the same thing.
They're not going to be able to lead them and say…
“Yep, this is what I did. Been there, done that.”
If you're taking the problem away from them, you’re not helping them become leaders.
It's easy for me to do that.
It's easy for me to try to bubble wrap my kids.
Sometimes I want to bubble wrap my new teammate, because you know they're going to be going through this journey.
It's an uphill battle to get to where you want to be, no matter where that is.
John C. Maxwell says in The 15 Laws of Growth…
Everything worthwhile is uphill.
There are always going to be obstacles, you're going to stumble, you're going to fall, you're going to scrape your knees, but if you can be that leader who says…
“It's okay. Now let's put your foot on this rock, let's do this together.”
You're going to develop a leader that has empathy for their team
…so that they know how to develop leaders as well.
They're also resourceful, so they don't feel like…
“Oh man, I need Whit and Cari all the time.”
But they will ask us questions.
We're not taking that away to where we say…
“Oh, just get up and do it.”
Where they don't feel like they can ask us questions.
But they know that we won't take their problem away but we'll work with them together.
It's a very, very powerful thing.
Sadly, this is something that we've recently really figured out and that we haven't always done.
We're in the process of trying to correct that and become better leaders to our team.
That’s the beauty of working with people that understand that other people are human beings.
Things are going to happen.
It's not always going to be done the right way
But learn to be the middle grounder and think…
“I'm not going to over-react. I'm going to develop strong leaders.”
If you want strong duplication in your team, this is something that has to be there.
The cool thing is, hopefully you guys are a little bit earlier in your journey than we are.
You can start to apply this right now instead of four years down the road.
You are not telling, you are encouraging, you are sharing your experience, showing them what you did when you went through it.
You are being relatable
It's really easy to be very aware of this right now because we're talking about the topic but this is the challenge from us.
Be aware of this when you don't have something like this going on, when suddenly you're in the situation.
Whit is a peacemaker; he’s always looking at things like the peacemaker of everything.
So when it comes down to, a lot of times when he’s suddenly on the spot, he says…
“Information goes out of my head and I have to wait for a minute so I don’t overreact and jump in to try and fix everything.”
He has to get that back into his head.
A lot of the time it's just strict emotion.
This is a huge thing if you can start to really be aware of this.
That's the challenge from us to you: be aware of this right now.
As you start to talk with people…
You will get messages of frustration
You're going to get them, we get them all the time.
Being able to handle those people requires saying…
“This is where we were and this is what we did.”
Encouraging them, not taking it away, but walking them through the process to keep them strong.
It's super, super powerful when you start to do this.
We've noticed a change, not only in ourselves, but also in our business when we start to do this.
We’re creating even stronger relationships and leaders inside of our team
It's working really, really well.
A child or distributor will take their lumps, but if they learn from it they'll keep trying, because ultimately they want your approval.
Again, it's just you being aware of it and not forgetting about this one simple principle.
I think a lot of us can easily forget when the situation is there because you're emotional.
Maybe somebody's trying to call you out and say…
“I did everything you told me and yada, yada, yada.”
Emotion loads first, and sometimes we don't see that and so we react on emotion instead of information.
Our challenge for you is to be the middle-grounder, okay?
That's how you build a strong team culture and create leaders.
Would you like more tips on growing a team and building your business?
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Whit & Cari Higham
Elite Marketing Pro
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Latest posts by Whit and Cari Higham (see all)
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- Three Mindset Gaps that Will Keep You Stuck and Sabotage Your Success - September 5, 2018