With my team members, I was showing exactly what I wanted done and doing the hands-on training to a level that it was taking away from my time. Then I realized that I’ve hired intelligent people; I should let them be intelligent and give them a little bit of information so that they can actually go find the answer themselves. They’ll learn more when they pick up the phone and make a call than they will by me playing teacher. So I’m starting to not struggle with that and trying to get better at that. When you over-explain, you demean someone’s intelligence.
I actually am catching myself when I over-explain something, and I will end up apologizing in a way that makes the staff member laugh, thank goodness, and not look at me like, You know I have a brain. ‘I do get that look every once in a while and I’m like, “You know what? I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry. And you know what you’re doing; have at it.”
They appreciate my taking that back because I want that relationship with them. That they can come to me and say, “I need this from you” instead of being someone that says, “I’m frustrated with this over-explaining.” I don’t want them getting mad at me and walking out the door because they’re frustrated. I want them to be able to talk to me and say, “Hey, I don’t like it when you do this,” because I see these people more than I see my family. So it is in a sense a tighter relationship, and we need each other in a different way. But we do need each other, and the more I realized that they’re family, the better it works.
Terri E. Krueger is a six-year MDRT member from Syracuse, New York. Hear more about advisors’ struggles and what they do to improve in the March episode of the MDRT Podcast: