Sandler Training - September 2018



When I was a child, I took piano lessons from an instructor named Judy Cook. She was three years older than me and inspired me in so many ways (mostly because I had a crush on her). I went to my lessons with no real desire to learn the piano — I was just captivated by this woman. When I look back on that situation now, I can’t help but think of how my mentality affected our coach-client relationship. For her, teaching me had to be a struggle because I was missing one key component that all great coaches need from their clients: I had great respect for her, but I had zero passion for the piano.

things right . At Sandler Training, when we coach our clients, we focus on four main areas:

1. Skill development

2. Staff development

3. Structure

4. Strategy


Each area plays a pivotal role in how we impact the lives of those we coach, but to have the desired effect, you have to approach each in the right way. If you’re going to coach someone, they have to want to be taught. A client who dreads showing up to their coaching sessions is already lost. You have to make it fun for them, and from that fun comes motivation.


Coaching is one of the most challenging responsibilities someone can ever take on. You have to be creative yet educate accurately at the same time. You have to be encouraging, but also honest. To help your clients improve, you have to help them think and act differently. At the same time, you have to show them how to do

So many coaches pursue the soul-sucking venture of trying to externally motivate a client. They consistently have to pour their heart out to make a little progress with someone who doesn’t want to grow. These coaches will often blame themselves for not being good enough or failing to relate to their constituents, when in reality,


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the people they’re coaching don’t have any internal drive. Just as I didn’t want to learn the piano, many clients don’t want to work on their weaknesses.


I remember a great movie that came out a while back called “Coach Carter.” Samuel L. Jackson played a basketball coach who wasn’t your typical rah-rah-rah yes man. He challenged his players and held them accountable to the standards he set forth. Coaching is just as much about accountability as it is education. You can teach all the life-altering concepts in the world, but if your “players” aren’t pushed outside their comfort zones, they’ll never get better. If there’s no holding those you coach to a standard of excellence, then there’s no growth. I know what you’re thinking: “I have to make it fun, but also hold them to a standard? Aren’t those opposing ideas?” In short, yes they are. But that’s why a coach has to be multifaceted. You have to know when to motivate and when to make it fun — or sometimes, how to do both simultaneously. Coaches have information to pass on, but to impart that knowledge, they have to make a connection. But how do you make that connection? You have to foster internal motivation and help it spread like wildfire. Everyone cultivates that DICHOTOMY

motivation differently, but a good coach also needs accountability, encouragement, and fun.


Helping your constituents develop knowledge and understanding is a significant pillar of being a great coach. But knowledge is only half the battle. You can have a fundamental understanding of multiple concepts, but wisdom is knowing which knowledge to act on. Without the ability to make proper decisions, knowledge is about as useful as a Christmas tree in August. Next month, we’ll discuss “learned helplessness” and what makes a successful coach. In the meantime, if you have more questions on how our methods help businesses achieve their goals, reach out to us today. –Jim Stephens


When “Batman Begins” came out in 2005, it shattered the notion of what a superhero movie could be. The caped crusader’s tale is told with viciously dark undertones to provide a completely unique take on what a hero is. For all of its cinematic breakthroughs, there is one line of dialogue that addresses something many of us struggle with in our professional lives.

of who he is to the one person he wants to know his actual identity, Bruce attempts to backtrack. “All of this, it’s not me. Inside, I am more.” Rachel responds with, “It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.” But does it? At Sandler Training, we disagree with this notion. Who you are is different than what you do for

As our work relationships grow, we tend to see our coworkers as the roles they play rather than the people they are. In some cases, each part of what they do in their job represents their qualities as an individual, but that delineation couldn’t be further from the truth. If we define our coworkers by their actions, we limit the value they can provide in our lives. It’s almost as if our relationships are reduced to trackable data measured by KPIs. We abide by our own platinum version of the golden rule here at Sandler: Treat others the way they would treat themselves if they were you. If you want to learn more about how to change your relationships with coworkers, reach out to us today. Our team specializes in creating effective internal communication strategies that foster meaningful connections and keep morale high.

Bruce Wayne has just finished swimming in a $10,000 suit with two supermodels in a hotel lobby he bought with a blank check. As he walks out to his two- seater car with three

a living, and it’s critical for your success to separate the two. Regardless of whether you’re a father, mother, owner, or employee, your actions don’t define your self- worth. This is evident in our work as professionals and how we see our coworkers.

passengers, he runs into Rachel Dawes. Caught trying to perpetuate a facade


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Susan Graham is an industry leader in the field of elder law. She has been a lawyer in our area since 1977 and is an expert on every facet of estate planning. Few attorneys practicing law have as much knowledge, experience, and wisdom as Susan does. When she opens up this discussion of embracing the inevitable, she begins with a creative tactic. “When I’m public speaking, I start off with a paper bag over my head and tell everyone this is their approach to aging and dying,” Susan says. If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. Anyone who works in the field of law for 41 years is clearly driven by more than just a sense of duty. Susan is one of the most passionate and dedicated attorneys you’ll ever meet. She decided to focus on estate planning after a decade of practicing civil law. “After 10 years, I began dumping areas I didn’t want. I [focus on] estate planning because it’s constructive and you can help people ahead of time to make life less difficult.” Susan says. Forward thinking and extensive knowledge make Susan indispensable in the field of elder law, but there’s something else that makes her successful: Her skills make a difference to people because they come from a genuine place of caring. FUELED BY A HEART TO SERVE

No one wants to think about death — it’s about as appealing as going into the crawl space to check for standing water. But if you don’t inspect the crawl space, you leave your family and your future vulnerable to all sorts of problems. If you don’t take time to develop a plan for your estate, you might be doing the same thing.

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“It’s rewarding to help people. If life is difficult, there are still techniques we can use to help.” That desire to help is only exceeded by her ability to strategize — a key skill in someone who specializes in estate planning. “I like planning the best,” she says. While few things in this world are certain, Susan says there’s one thing you can take to the bank: “I can guarantee everyone is going to die.” It may not be the most comforting revelation, but it’s a reality you need to embrace because your death doesn’t just affect you. Your family will need support and a plan. Susan takes on the role of strategist and works to mitigate external stressors after a death in the family. Only she does it well before someone dies. The thought of embracing our own death is uncomfortable, but it’s just as stressful for the people who care about us. Friends and family have to navigate a minefield of emotional barriers as they learn to cope with the difficulties of loss. The burdens they carry during this time can create a ripple effect through life, affecting even the simplest of daily activities. Crippling emotions can rule the day, leaving a sense of hopelessness and lack of direction. While loved ones struggle with their own grief, the last thing they want to worry about is what might be going on with their loved one’s estate. This is why it’s pivotal to draft a bulletproof line of succession that details explicitly which assets go where.

A foolproof estate plan will make the process easier for those you care about, and it will be significantly cheaper. “The failure to plan is so much more expensive,” Susan says. If you don’t plan properly, the running tab of what’s required becomes expensive and time-consuming. “Anywhere between $5,000–$10,000 is not uncommon. One case I was involved in was over $100,000 in attorney fees.” A good lawyer can take a very complicated process and make it simple to understand. One of the most critical areas Susan focuses her attention on is educating her clients to avoid probate. But what is probate? “Probate is when someone dies and the assets are in their name,” Susan explains. Seems like a pretty straightforward concept, right? Issues arise when questions are raised as to who has the power to distribute assets. If you die without a clear line of succession — or even if there’s

a question about ownership of a possession — those holdings need to be allocated properly. “When someone dies, someone needs to step up. Probate does that.” Susan explains. But Susan will be the first to tell you that probate is a disaster. “Court and law have expenses. Proceedings are cumbersome. They take time and money,” she says. So much of an estate plan is focused on someone who is aging, but this thought process excludes one of the trickiest areas for an attorney. If someone becomes physically or mentally disabled to the point of incapacitation, their assets go through a similar process as if they had passed. The necessity of having an estate plan already in place becomes even more significant when you consider that one accident can change everything. PROTECT YOURSELF AT ANY AGE


If you don’t decide where your assets should go, someone else

will, and that’s not a decision you want to leave to chance. “The wrong people end up in charge. It creates family conflict and just a total mess,” warns Susan. “If you plan ahead, you can protect assets and reduce conflict.”


plan. “If you get sick or die, you have a backup. The trust owns assets,” says Susan. “When you can’t function anymore, you resign, and a backup money manager takes over control.” Every item designated in the estate that is managed by the trust then comes under the control of the new signer. Sometimes that’s the eldest child, or in some actual cases, it could be the waitress from your favorite restaurant. Regardless of who it is, you avoid sending the people you care about through probate court by effectively setting up a thorough trust. If you had to guess the approximate cost for home care if someone close to you needed it, what would you say? It’s almost like guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar — you might have an idea, but getting close is more luck than anything. “If someone needs long-term residential care, home care costs are $20–$25 for hourly, $11,000–$16,000 a month for 24-hour care in the home, $4,500– $6,000 a month for institutionalized IT’S NOT ALL PART OF THE PLAN

care, and skilled nursing is $8,000– $10,000 a month.” Susan says. Staggering, right? For most of us, the wheels start turning immediately, and our first thought is, “How am I going to pay for this?” “Out of pocket, insurance, or a government program” is how Susan says most people pay for it. Medicare and Medicaid can help, but ultimately, the best place to start is by taking Susan’s advice: “Talk with a certified attorney who understands benefits.” Don’t just talk to them once, either. “I encourage people to review their estate plan every three years whether they think they need to or not. The law changes, health changes, relationships change, money changes,” Susan explains. The dynamic nature of life means plans constantly need to be updated. It’s a lot like football. In the early days, players didn’t wear helmets or pads. Over the years, players became bigger, faster, and stronger, so the league adapted the rules and added safety equipment to make sure players were safe. The NFL reviews the rules each year and takes the initiative to protect the players. The same idea applies to your estate plan. If you don’t update it on a regular basis, your inheritance could be subjected to threats you never knew existed. When developing a niche, some businesses offer a wide variety of services to their clients in an attempt to be a one-stop shop, and the law is no different. You’ll find practices that provide almost every service under the sun. But Susan is a specialist and an expert in her field. “The advantage is, this is all I do,” she explains. Susan THE IMPORTANCE OF SPECIALISTS

“It’s easy to ignore until something goes wrong. You don’t want that,” warns Susan.


“A revocable trust is like setting up a little business,” Susan says.

The best way to take control of your assets is to start by opening a dialogue with an expert like Susan. The next step is to have them set up a revocable trust to change the ownership of assets out of your name. Essentially, a revocable trust places all your holdings, property, retirement accounts, vehicles, and any other items of value into the ownership of the trust. You still manage this entity as the trustee, so while you’re alive, your assets are still under your control, but the technical ownership is in the name of the trust. If you should pass, those assets are not subjected to probate because they still have an owner.

The best part about having a trust is that you can establish your backup

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in those conversations. They have to think and respond and join in the conversation. It’s been very helpful. They feel as though they are a part of the team, and their insights are very helpful.” Susan wasn’t Sandlerized right off the bat, though; one aspect of the training was a struggle for her. When we do our public training in management, customer service, and sales, we ask for an interactive dialogue — commonly known as role-playing. “I dreaded the whole thing,” Susan admits. But it didn’t take her long to come around to the idea of role-playing. “Right now, I’m taking my dog to dog school. I started with boarding school, where I was not present, but I needed to be a participant if it was ever going to work. Sandler was the same thing. Role-playing became very valuable once I participated. It helps cement in my brain why I was doing what I was doing.” “I’ve been using Sandler’s services for five or six years, and the money I’ve spent has been returned tenfold,” says Susan. “It has allowed me to take a step back and look at my business. It’s difficult to take an extra block of time to improve my business, but it’s helped me not work so much and make more money.” We can’t think of a bigger compliment, and we’re proud to have had such a positive effect on Susan’s business. She returns the favor by offering a brief bit of advice for anyone considering Sandler. “You won’t have immediate results, but after a year, you see them financially, and the business runs smoother. I’m sorry I didn’t come across Sandler decades ago.”

knows all the ins and outs of elder law, but maintaining this breadth of knowledge requires a commitment to learning. Susan isn’t an expert simply because she’s really smart — she also commits herself to continuing education. “The law keeps shifting. Once a month, I do continuing education to stay-up- to date.” Susan feels a responsibility to keep learning, not just because she wants to be an expert, but also because she views it as an expectation. “I really like helping people. If I lack knowledge in a certain area, I could actually hurt families or make things more difficult on them. That’s where the value is to me as a specialist.” Becoming an expert in this field wasn’t just happenstance, either. Susan made a very intentional decision. “I’m certified in elder law on purpose. It made me hone my skills even more.” That’s the kind of lawyer you can be proud to have representing you.

stop her from growing a business. “I’ve always advertised. When I first started, I didn’t know anyone or have any clients.” It didn’t take her long to realize that advertising isn’t always a slam dunk, even after bending the rules of her industry. After she posted an ad in the paper, she “expected people to be lining up out the door. That didn’t happen.” Susan didn’t stop though. “Persistence, consistency, and getting your name out in front of people is important.” problems I was finding impossible to deal with,” Susan recalls. Providing solutions to problems like Susan’s is exactly what we do for companies at Sandler Training. Internal communication is often a struggle for growing businesses. Improper or ineffective communication can foster harsh relationships and negativity in your work culture. That’s why we’re huge on bringing everyone under one roof to set goals as a group. “Quarterly meetings and being accountable has been very valuable,” Susan says. A meeting is only as valuable as those in attendance and the information communicated, so Susan has her staff attend. “It helps because we review where we are and where we’ve been,” she says. “[Team members] participate SANDLER STEPS IN “I originally reached out because I had personnel


It’s important that someone with Susan’s expertise gets

the opportunity to demonstrate her talents to as many people as possible. That usually means having an effective marketing channel that funnels potential clients to your front door. But in the field of law, advertising is almost frowned upon. There’s a stigma that self- promotion is not professional and you’re no better than an ambulance chaser. But Susan wasn’t going to let that




As leaders, we are constantly faced with decisions and opportunities that can either make or break our company. One of the biggest decisions that we make every single day involves the way we recruit. Some might argue that you only make this decision when you hire people, but the truth is, every day someone is employed with you is a day you are making this decision. You need to constantly be looking at your team to see where you need to grow and change compared to where you are at today. Your team becomes the catalyst for change and success. Your team is what allows you to leverage your time and have a greater impact on the world. A truly great leader’s main role is to constantly recruit and maintain the best team possible. Our recommendation is to constantly be on the lookout for “A” players — people who go out of their way to make your experience better and get things done. This is the concept of “building your bench,” and it requires you to evaluate the people you work with now and the people you want to hire in the future. It is amazing that we engage with people every day who could be the change we need in our organization to take it to the next level. This is one of the blind spots that small organizations fail to acknowledge. If you don’t have a plan in place for recruiting, it will usually be put on the back burner until there is an urgent need. Once you have an urgent need, it becomes very difficult to look for the perfect fit rather than the fit that is available right now . It’s just like going shopping when you’re hungry; you always end up with a bunch of crap you shouldn’t have bought. I would challenge you to get comfortable asking individuals who impress you if they would be open to change in the future. Start building a relationship with them now — connect on Facebook or LinkedIn and get to know each other. Just because you found someone who might be a great fit doesn’t mean you need to hire them today. What it does mean is that you must build the relationship now.

We have 20 complimentary copies of this new book to send out - if you’d like one, email or call (208) 429-9275 to request your free copy!

Want to read more about this topic? Go to recruitment .

–Justin Stephens

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How Sandler Training Does Coaching


Batman Can Help You Better Understand Your Coworkers


Even Industry Leaders Need Help


Culture of Recruitment


How a Scrapbook Can Change a Life

NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: Scrapbooking is a hobby as old as paper. It’s a great way to preserve memories you’ll always be able to look back on. In recent years, physical scrapbooks have been slowly replaced by social media and digital scrapbooking, but there’s something special about having a tangible scrapbook in your hands. As with any book, the feel of paper and the sight of printed words make reading a more intimate experience. When you combine that with the sentimental items in a scrapbook, the nostalgic effect is pretty tough to beat. Handy Hands Reflections combines the power of scrapbooking with a heart to serve.


can replace the ability to go back and look through a physically crafted album.

Handy Hands Reflections wants to help families preserve memories after a loss. They also create albums for patients in hospice care to remind them of the brightest parts of their lives and the people they love. There is no replacement for a loved one’s life, but commemoration does help. Handy Hands Reflections is proud to donate all of their scrapbooks and is funded 100 percent by donations. The nonprofit organization

Founded by Jacki Kelsch, this local organization creates and donates memory albums with the intent to help families who have experienced loss. Something as precious as memory should not be tied to something as fickle as the internet. Facebook photos get lost in the abyss, YouTube videos get viewed once and are never seen again, and scrapbooking apps get forgotten. Nothing

has no paid employees and creates these albums to help those in need through a tough time. If you’d like to learn more, visit handyhandsreflections. org to see how they accomplish their mission of memory.


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