If you’ve ever felt like your Mega was doing it all wrong, you’re not alone.
As assistants, most of us are hardwired to learn the rules (or models in this case) and implement them. Our Megas on the other hand are hardwired to hear the rules and then do whatever they think is best. (To be fair, there are many Megas who want to follow the model as closely as possible, and they are to be commended.)
When your job as an assistant is to create and implement systems, this requires the cooperation of your Mega. And while she may understand the benefit of following your systems, her consistency in doing so may be somewhat, well, inconsistent.
How then do you train your Mega to follow your systems? Here are three easy steps you can take to get better compliance from your Mega.
1. Deliver information to your Mega in a way that makes you heard and understood.
I’ve talked about DISC profiles in the past and this is one particular way you can use the DISC to your advantage when whipping your agent into shape. If your agent is a high D personality, you’ll need to send her the information she needs in bullet format. Whether speaking to her or sending her an email, use bullets. I’m not kidding. Do it every time. Keep those bullets short and no more than five total.
This is going to force you to leave out the details that your Mega doesn’t need anyway. And if she comes back wanting more details, you can elaborate on the bullets points just a little. Because really, what your Mega wants is to either have a distraction to avoid working on something that’s painful, or to feel like she’s involved in her own business because turning the administrative side of the business over to you was painful and she’s feeling left out.
If your agent is a high I personality, use the same bullet method and include how excited you are about the information or how optimistic you are that the problem can be solved. Again, don’t let your high I Mega become involved in too many details. If you do need to discuss details, keep your meetings brief by having a list of questions prepared and do your best to stay on topic.
This is how you will gain your Mega’s trust. When you speak her language, it reinforces to her that she has the right person for the job. And when you start asking her to follow certain systems you have put in place, she will be more inclined to do so. Like when you change CRMs and you have to train your Mega how to use it.
This is going to feel like you’re being very direct. And that’s good. If your nature is to soften the blow when delivering bad news, it’s not what your Mega needs.
If you’re tired of working evenings and weekends, beating around the bush about it with a “Yeah, I was going to get some reading done last night and then that request for an amendment came in, so I handled that instead. But it’s ok,” is not going to get you what you want. Be direct by saying something like, “I need my evenings and weekends to be with my family uninterrupted, so I won’t be able to respond to requests for paperwork or information until the next business day. Can we take a moment for me to show you how you can handle those things that can’t wait for the next business day?”
Speak up about what you need to be the most successful in your role. If you need her to be a better leader, explain to her what that looks like for you. You can’t assume your Mega has had any training in how to manage people. That’s why you need to train her how to manage you.
2. Build a relationship with your Mega.
Find something you both relate to so that you can use that thing to put new ideas into perspective.
For me, I have movie quotes. My Mega’s favorite movie is Tommy Boy which I know pretty well so anytime I need to lighten the mood or make a point of some kind, I’ll spit out a movie quote. He also likes to use analogies to illustrate his point, so I’ll often do the same when I’m trying to get him to see things my way.
When you have a real relationship with your Mega, you have her trust as well. Take her out to lunch and learn everything you can about her. Ask her personal questions and be sensitive to those areas where she is struggling or enthusiastic in those areas where she is striving.
It is your responsibility to build this relationship if you want your Mega to follow your systems. Don’t wait for her to do this for you. When you take on this responsibility, you become a leader in your own right because leaders step up and take charge where it’s needed.
3. Stay patient.
For some of us, patience is built into our personalities. For others, we’re on the more impatient side. If you’re the impatient type, please take this to heart.
You’re not going to train your Mega to fall in line overnight. She’s going to mess up, she’s going to forget, she’s going to get busy and distracted and fall back into old habits.
You just need to keep going. Keep repeating yourself. Remember when your parents used to tell you to brush your teeth every night? It’s because brushing our teeth isn’t a habit we’re born with. Using a CRM the right way isn’t a habit we’re born with!
Be patient and reward good behavior. Catch your Mega doing something right and celebrate those wins with her. She really does want to make you happy and have a strong relationship with you so that the two of you can grow the business together.
When she’s not following the system, gently remind her what the system is and why it’s important. She will get it and then it will be second nature. She needs that feedback from you during the training process so she knows what’s right and what needs work without having to ask you.
In conclusion, I have to apologize for the title of this post. These three steps are not easy. If I had titled it “How to Train Your Mega in 3 Difficult, Time-Consuming Steps that Will Be Totally Worth It,” I’m not so sure you would have read the whole thing. However, we all know that anything worth doing will never be easy. And training your Mega is so worth it!