Thursday, May 14, 2009

Breaking in a Green Pea

If you read this blog often you know about our dog Charley. She's a crazy thing and just turned 5 on May 5th. As if handling her antics wasn't enough Andy and I decided to get a new puppy--we brought home Penelope Whidmore Thompson (any Lost fans should get the reference) or "Penny" on Friday and it's been quite a treat. Dealing with her has reminded me of several valuable lessons I also have learned when training newbies. Since I've had the nice refresher course sprung on me, thought I'd post these as a refresher for us all. Golden Rules of Breaking in Green Peas 1. Patience. Penny has never had to "go outside" to do her business and she must be taught and reminded a lot...just as newbies in any sales business don't know the ropes. Many things the rest of us know intuitively they need to be taught and reminded of. Have the patience to teach them. 2. Don't Assume. If you are doing the training you have probably been in the business for some time. Don't assume they know anything about your business. Even things as simple as lingo and industry talk should be "translated" for them in the beginning. (I'm struggling relating this to a dog-but I learned this morning I shouldn't assume she knows my flip flop isn't a chew toy.) 3. Be firm, but positive. Negative reinforcement works on some dogs and some people--but why make them hate you? More can be accomplished with positive reinforcement with any species, just be sure to set firm expectations of job duties and hold to them. 4. Know when to say "No!" The last three days at our house the correct timing has been about every 5 seconds. In the business world I think this is a very important skill of a manager or trainer. Knowing when it's just not going to work out or when someone needs more time to grow. Keeping on dead weight for too long doesn't just suck time from your day but also affects the entire sales staff. Know when to let go of someone that just isn't going to work out. Penny at 7 weeks, and my husband's chin:


Ashley said...

I love Penny! And, as an ex-newbie under Steph and a current "student" if you will, I would like to say she follows these rules just as well when training a person as she does when training Ms. Penelope.

Direct Mail Diva said...

Thanks Ashley-I hope you didn't think I was comparing you and the rest of the group to dogs :) Haha!