Baby Slapping | How to Have Difficult Conversations – Ask Clay Anything

Show Notes

Tearing a band-aid off can be painful, removing stitches can be rough and giving a speech in front of your peers can be dreadful, but having a difficult and candid conversation with an employee can feel overwhelming. Listen in as Clay Clark breaks the how to give your employees a candid compliment, constructive criticism and compliment sandwich.

  1. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “When you do hard things, life gets easier.” – Lee Cockerell
  2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “If you are going to be honest, you had better be funny.” – Lee Cockerell
  3. The Move:
    1. Compliment = You are a great America
    2. Criticisms = This needs to improve. Do you know what I’m talking about?
    3. Compliment = You are doing a very good job at making your sales calls and the whole team likes working with you.
  • Everyone I work around I want to become.
  • I admire my bosses.
  • Constantly challenged to improve.
  • Learned how to become confident.
  • Decoration and ambiance.
  • People without the growth mindset would hate working here.
  • Love my boss.
  • Have fun and feel amazing.
  • He’s a goofball that cares.
  • Setting Expectations
  • Positive Environment
  • Engaged Growth
  • Putting the employees in a position to grow
  • Decor
  • Love my bosses – compliment sandwich
  • Have fun
  • Goober
  • Opportunity

BOOK – The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)



Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Two men, 13 multimillion dollar businesses, eight kids, one business coach radio show. It’s the thrive time business coach radio show. Get ready to enter the thrive time show, right

nation. Welcome back to the business coach conversation and welcome into the top five on the itunes podcast charts. If you’re out there and you have just discovered our show for the first time we’ve been doing this thing and this is my seventh year recording educational audio and video for people like you and this is a year seven and seven years later. Our overnight success has happened and now we’re in the top five on the itunes podcast charts because you have taken the time to consume each and every one of our podcasts and because you have taken the time to subscribe to the itunes podcast and to leave us an objective review. So if you’ve already left us an objective review on Itunes, I want to give you some free stuff. Now. If you don’t have an itunes account and you listen to our show by going to thrive time and just streaming it there.

Either way, I want to give you some free stuff, so here’s what we’re gonna do. If you will, go to itunes and you will click the subscribe button and then leave us an objective review, or if you’ve already done it and you just email us [email protected], I will give you two free tickets to our next in person two day 15, our thrive time show business workshop, and we have just great reviews. A lot of video reviews. Over 600 video reviews from real thrivers like you about their experiences at the workshop where we cover branding marketing. We cover sales, we cover accounting, we cover time management, we cover personal schedule management, managing employees, recruiting, every aspect of growing a business we covered there at the workshop, so if you will subscribe on Itunes, leave us an objective review. We can give you tickets or if you can subscribe on stitcher and you can leave us a review. They’re on Stitcher, you can do it, and some of you who found our google map at thrive 15 and the city has jinx and you can just type in thrive one five space in the word jinx. And you just review their andK , s, k e n k s and you can find 20,000 square foot office there and you can leave us an objective review on our google map. But we’re talking today about the art of having difficult conversations. I call this baby slept.

Oh yeah. Now why would you call babies laughing? It’s because a lot of times there’s conversations that you have to have somebody that are really, really weird and if you don’t have them, things get more weird. So I’m going to give the listeners an example of this. We had a guy in our office about two years ago who smelled really, really bad, really bad, like he smelled awful, awful. And it was one of our companies and in, in, you know, there’s ladies who work in the same office as him. And so I, um, I’m either a missing a, my filter. A lot of kids are missing the filter. A little kid. You’ll notice a kid, I’ll look at you and go, why are you so big? It’s wrong with your face. What’s wrong with your face? I mean, people will. Kids will just say kind of stuff.

They have no filter. It’s either because a, I’m missing a filter or it’s because be I really want to fix the company and fix it quickly and I want to grow the company. So a young lady pulls me aside and she says, hey, at the bar, she says, hey, we have a little bar area at the office where it’s like, I’m, um, it’s like we, we serve coffee and that kind of thing. You can go onto if you, if you’d had been thrive 15 in the word jinx, you can find our google map and you can see pictures of it. So the point is, she says to me, Hey, I was going in the Seo room and it really smelled awful. And I said, can you define awful thinking? It might be a sewer problem or it might be, you know, something. And she says like a human hasn’t been taken a shower and a long time and this is this person’s third day at work and this is a really prized recruit. Somebody we really wanted to work here. So I went into the room and I go, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, the smell, the smell made me, it, it, it, it, it was kind of like a great big. But I’m not kidding. It was like a high school locker room is like, this smell slapped your baby.

So I walked up to the guy, said, hey, here’s the deal. I don’t have to tell you this, I’m going to tell you this. And I say, I don’t mean to slap your baby. But I said, um, because whenever you say that, I don’t mean to slap your baby. It indicates that something not positive is going to happen, right? And when you pulled, there’s probably a smirk. And when you mentally, when you mentally, uh, can picture somebody slapping your baby, that’s about as awful sometimes if some of these conversations aren’t, what’s the campaign? Because I think it happens on the campaign. They slept the baby. There’s no way, there’s no way to tell a 40 year old man that he needs to take a shower, right? Other than he needs to take a shower. So I said, hey, I don’t mean to slap your baby, but here’s the deal.

You’re a great American. I always say that. So first I gave you the compliment. That’s it. A compliment. Criticism, compliment sandwich too quick. Thanks for all good business coach stuff. So you do is you start off with a compliment, then you give the criticism, then you get the compliment. I mean this because I can have people work on my team for years as a result of doing this, and most of our listeners, not you, but your friends can’t employ people for weeks. This is the move. This is the move. This is how I do it. This is how I do a. So Marshall, let’s look at a roleplay. This, okay, let’s pretend that you’re the guy who smells not tremendous. Just kind of. Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend for real. Let’s pretend. Pretend like that’s also now becoming in the radio show right now. Listen here, I’m very serious about this.

This, this right here, I’m very, very serious. For our listeners out here, 99 percent of the business owners I’ve met cannot do this. That’s true. And that’s why people will not work for you. I don’t care whether you install glass or air conditioning or security cameras or roofs. If you cannot do this move, people will not work with you. People say, clay, how has John worked with you for almost six years? It’s this move. If you can’t do this move, it just won’t work well for you. So Marshall, here we go. So Hey Marshall, a real quick, can we talk just one on one at the bar real quick. Oh, okay. And I do just like that. I don’t do it in a public setting. I bring them to an open area where no one else can, like hear what’s going on, but they can see.

I don’t make it a big drama. I don’t text you. Hey, we need to talk. I don’t email you. Hey, we need to talk. I will not email this to you. I have your email. I do not email. Hey, we need to talk. I do not text, Hey, can we talk? Why do I not do that part? Because that person has their own thing going on and they’re going to read those or get those messages with their own emotions and I have never not going to work out well. I have never communicated with an employee via email about a criticism. Yeah, ever. Neither will I respond to an email from an employee about criticism. I won’t do it. So first off I say, Hey, can we talk real quick at the bar? Okay, great. I said, hey, we got three things I want to cover here real quick.

Marshall. One, you are a great American. I don’t think anyone could question your citizenship and if they can, they’re an enemy of mine. Okay. Which means nothing, but it’s kind of funny. Okay, second. Okay. Here’s the deal. There’s a smell in that room that you work in and I’ve got two options here. I can either believe that you are mildly retarded, like you just have no idea what’s going on. I have to believe that you’re somebody who has a functional mind and no one’s done. It couldn’t be the parents around. You could be your spouse, it could be whoever has not pointed this out to you, but you smell like the butt of job of the Hud. Oh, that’s bad. If you’ve ever smelled that. These are the actual. That was the actual statement I made to this person. I said, you smell like the butt of Jabba the hut. So do I need to like put on like a, a series of videos? Where do I need to do to make you smell better?

Well, I could probably shower. Great. Here’s the deal. If you don’t shower again, you’re fired. If you do, I’m excited about you being here now. Compliment number and I got to end with a competent and I’ll even tell you what I’m doing now. I have to end with a compliment. So I just wanna make sure you know you’re doing a great job making sales calls. Uh, everyone here, I think she’d do a great job objectively. Look at the numbers. You’re one of the best we have, but you cannot smell like the butt of Jabba the Hutt. Are we clear? Are we good? Yeah, we’re good. I’m gonna let you go ahead and go home right now and come back and smell terrific and if you have to buy showering products, if it is a budget thing, I will buy them and this business coach person, I’m not kidding. Said that’s the problem.

And I said, okay, I’m going to give you $20 right now and you go by anything that old spice will sell you and then come back here after taking a shower. And the guy said, he goes, hey, at our office, in my house, I’m having a hard time because right now the shower in our house is broken. I said, cool, take a shower at the office. I have an office shower. Do it there. I bet there’s no, there’s no ambiguity, right? I’m not going to dance around it for a week. I’m not going to have passive aggressive conversations. Jump. I’m just going to deal with it. I do it everyday, dude. Every single day I deal with this.

I just had a thought as we were going over this. The compliment sandwich, right? So this is the bread and the meat and then the bread and just like with a real sandwich, the bread part isn’t actually good for you, it just makes it a little better sometimes, right? So the complements aren’t good for you. The meet, the actual criticism is what’s good for you. So digest that when somebody serves up a compliment sandwich to you, Steve.

I like that. So what I’m gonna do is I’m going to play an audio from one of our actual employees. I’m going to play, uh, we sat down and we interviewed our employees and ask them what it’s like to work at thrive, what it’s like to work for elephant in the room. So I’m going to queue up the audio from one of our employees, but the name of Melissa, she works at Elephant in the room, the men’s grooming lounge. And I want you to hear her description of what it’s like to work with me. And then I’m gonna have Marshall breakdown why? She said why she said those things. So Marshall, as she’s sharing what it’s like to work here, I’d like for you to write down what caused her to say that we’re talking about the effects of walk, you know, she’s going to say, this is what I enjoy about working here, or this is the tough part, but I would like for you to share the cause, what caused her to feel that way. Oh, those effects. So without any further ado, here’s our exclusive interview with Melissa, the assistant manager from the elephant in the room.

My name is Melissa and I am an assistant manager for elephant in the room. I would say my experience working at the thrive time show has been beyond my expectations. Um, it’s just pumped with positivity, teamwork, great work ethic, and everyone I work around, I want to become. So it’s just been an amazing experience. Oh, I couldn’t even compare working to thrive to any other job I’ve worked before. Um, it’s just, I don’t even know how to explain it. I’ve never worked anywhere where I’ve just admired my bosses and all of the people I work with. It’s amazing. I’d say the most challenging part about working at thrive is that I constantly want to become a better person and so I’m constantly challenging myself. The biggest thing I’ve learned, I’ve learned from working from thrive is a really being confident and trusting myself and wanting to self improve.

So I’d say that, uh, I’ve, I’ve learned much self improvement from thrive. The overall culture and core of the office is just like, Hey, be happy and positive and inspired. That’s what I would say it is. From what I see, why people would not like working at thrive is if they’re not ready to quite a jump into bettering themselves in really putting in the work that it takes to get to you want to be. And from what I’ve seen, the people that really enjoy being here, people that want to do better. My favorite aspect of working at thrive is that I love my bosses. I’ve got several bosses now from being promoted and working in different areas in every single place I’ve been put in. I’ve loved my boss and that is freaking amazing. The way I would describe working at thrive to a friend is do you want to go to work and have fun and feel amazing and constantly be reminded of what you can do to have a good life. Then come to work at thrive and be happy. How to describe clay’s personality. Um, he is a goober. He is just a goober. He’s very honest. He’s humble. He actually takes the time to get to know all of his employees and you can tell he genuinely cares. And that right there is just refreshing. So really he’s just a goofball that cares. Highlights of working at thrive time. Show a, just meeting so many incredible people and opportunity.

So if we’re

talking today about having tough conversations, the art of having difficult conversations, there’s an employee who’s been on our team for about two years doing a very good job. Melissa is somebody who’s improved dramatically since working here. So Marshall, I’m going to read the effect and I would like for you to share the cause of that effect. She said that she says she wants to become like the people around her. She’s everyone I work with, I want to become what causes that environment to be created? Well, uh, she’s surrounded by people that are building her up and furthermore they are leaders within the organization and so we work in an office environment where everybody’s an elite player and everybody brings something to the team and so when you work around people that are both a source of energy and a source of wisdom in their specialized field or whatever the task is that they’re doing, then you want to become more like those people and they’ll invest into you and you’ll grow just through osmosis of being around in, in that environment she works with and for people like John Kelly puts together like a, I dunno, six years times 365.

So you had three 65 times six and he’s put together so far now 2,190 drama free days in a row. So it just, he never has drama ever. I’ve never talked to John ever about how he feels ever. There’s never been an opera time where he said, I feel like you’re doing this. Made me feel like that ever. We don’t have that conversation. He says, yes sir. No Sir. He understands that my highest desires to grow the company and to grow him and he knows that and so because he knows that he trusts what I do, it’s a good thing. But if was sitting there talking to him all day about, hey, I didn’t get promoted, and why did you make that decision? It wouldn’t go well. Okay, so she talks about admiring her boss’s. She also says Marshall does. She loves it because she feels constantly challenged to improve.

What causes that Marshall? Well, we’re very intentional about the growth of the employees within the office and so there’s a book that I talk about during the group interview. It’s called the innovator’s dilemma. It’s by Professor Clayton Christianson. It’s a Harvard case study and he talks about the three things that create value for the business, one of which are the business coach resources and the employees, right? That means that if you invest into your employees, you invest into the human capital of the business is going to affect the overall value of the business and that’s something that we do up in the office. We’re intentional about growing the people that make up the business because that is one of your most valuable assets and resources. She also talked about how she loves the ambiance and Decor Marshall Talk. Describe it for the people that don’t know about it and obviously chop.

Anybody can go to thrive. Fifteen jenks type and thrive 15 and then the phrase jinx that the city Jinx j e n k s and you can find the images of the office. You can see the ambiance, but Marshall, how intentional are we about that? Well, the on beyonce and the decor up in the office, I would say it has a lot of Patina or a lot of swag, which just basically means that everything that is in our head, we’ve put up onto the walls and we surrounded ourselves with so a ton of pinion wood. We’re always burning pinion wood up in the office. Framed success stories. Success Stories, we uh, quotes up on the walls, polarizing things up on the wall, so we had a guest of a client last Thursday that came in and she goes, wait a minute, does that say, you know, work 80 to 100 hours a week every week.

Oh my gosh, I got to do something different in my business. And so we put these polarizing quotes up on the wall so that when people come in, they know exactly what we’re all about and we were our core values out on our sleeves, through the decor and ambiance in the office. I would just encourage you out there, if you have employees and you cannot do this compliment, sandwich, move, practice it, role play at Dr Z. and I’ve talked to us on previous shows. Take time to learn this system. Chop. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t do this. Yeah, and if you’re a business, you’re doing a million dollars in revenue. We talk about it on the shell, but every single day you’re going to have some type of employee trauma or issues. And so you’ve got to get good at having these difficult conversations. Practice the moves.

Remember, I hate to slap your baby but, but play it with clients too. And I think he does a good job of it because I’ve been on the this play, I mean play at times, but I’m the, I, I the type of person that appreciates feedback and I want to get better. So I think the people that are like that, that want to grow and want to get better will receive it appropriately and the ones that don’t, don’t need to be there and they’ll go away, which is why we only take 160 clients. Uh, that’s, that’s a big thing. We have so many people that fill out the form, uh, over there. By the way, if you want to fill out the form today on schedule, a free 13 point assessment, you can do that. And either Marshall or I will do every single one of those assessments.

And the reason why we do it, it’s because we don’t want to allow a person who’s not coachable into our program. You’re not going to see us in the future, try to like train a bunch of coaches who then train coaches to certify other coaches. If you look at everybody in the top 10 of Itunes, and this is a at the top 20 of Itunes, do you recognize? I’m one of the few people that actually has employees. They’re really easy to have a podcast or a, you know, Internet kind of a program or a coaching program that teaches you how to lead people. But it’s easy to do that, right? But unless you actually have done it, it’s kind of weird and disingenuous. It’s sort of like having an overweight personal fitness trainer. So I would just encourage you out there to understand that if you are a member of the thrive nation, what does that mean?

That means if you’re paying $19 a month, you can access to our in person workshops. You get to come to one of those. Okay? So it’s a $250 value. You get to ask us any questions you want via email at info, at thrive time You have access to all the downloadables. There’s over $300,000 of legal templates there alone. Workflows, processes, checklists, and you get access to thousands of videos. I mean it’s, it’s all there for you. You can actually be a guest at Collin guest on the podcast. If you’re a member of the thrive nation, you have access to come out to a workshop and you can actually shadow one day if you want. Now we don’t let everyone shadow. If you have a psychological problem, I would not want to hang out with you for an extended period of time, but if you’re a coachable person, you’re a plumber, you’re a doctor, you’re a dentist, you’re a pastor, you’re an attorney.

Many people take advantage of that and some people don’t, but we’re here to. We’re here to help you, Steve. Well, and you said one thing that caught me, you said it’s a $250 value for the ticket and I think that it’s important to say that I’ve been to plenty of conferences that were $2,500 that I didn’t get a 10th of what I get out of the conference that you guys do now. I’ve been to, I think since I went to the first one I think I’ve been to about every conference and I think yeah, it’s a $250 ticket, but it’s $250,000 worth of knowledge to apply it or more true value if you. Yeah, exactly. If you actually take the time to learn it because it’s all the moves that thrive and that clay’s done for all their, you know, their multimillion dollar businesses that they’ve grown so you can really get a cheap ticket is the point.

Well, I want to make sure I’m getting this. I’m the word humble means having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance or quality. So I’m not humble about it. I mean, it is the world’s best business workshop. Uh, I’ve, I’ve attended many of them, I’ve attended to get motivated seminars. I’ve been to Robert Kiyosaki events, I’ve been to John Maxwell events. Nothing compares because we capped the attendance level too. So there’s no, like there’s thousands of people running around a high fiving each other and bouncing a beach ball and we’re not trying to sell a coaching certification program. I mean marshaling it crazy. People can actually write their questions on an actual whiteboard and we answer every single question every single time we do, every time we teach the entire 13 proven steps for growing a successful company and we take time out to answer all the questions.

Do people like it. People are blown away by that. Have the level of engagement and just being able to connect with the person that was just teaching something in between the different business coach sessions where they can come up, they can talk. It’s not, you know, these, uh, people upfront talking heads that you’re don’t have access to pack in a green room and we’ll be back here in a few minutes and then they just take off. But if you’re somebody who wants to get rich quick, just just go to like a Tai Lopez event or something, don’t, don’t come to our conference because I’m going to end up refunding you and asking you to go home. So my name is Clay Clark. I’m a business coach. That is how you give people constructive criticism. And I hate to slap your baby bottle.


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