What if you could spend an hour each month getting personalized advice from a leading shop expert?

Get advice tailored to your specific situation from a leading industry expert (yup that's me!) and a community of shop owners like you. 

For free.

Now you can.  

The second Thursday of every month at 7pm Eastern, I host a free online Shop Owner Round Table The next one is coming right up!

Reserve my spot!

Auto Repair Shop Owners Create a Culture of Inclusion with 4 Words


Culture of Inclusion with 4 Words by Rick White, President 180BIZ

 Today's topic is four words. I grew up in this industry in what I call the age of compliance. This is where you didn't ask questions. You were told to do something, and you did it. But today this is the age of commitment. This is where you're not going to force people to do things. You must help people understand why they want to do it with you. That's really the whole thing today. So, I want to talk about two sets of forwards that are going to help you do that.

The first set of four words is “What do you think?” Asking your team about their thoughts is going to go such a long way in growing the culture and environment that you really want by getting your team members involved in the decision-making process. They're not going to believe you in the beginning. They're not going to open up in the beginning. They're not going to talk. You must put some ideas out there and then ask them to poke some holes in your ideas by asking them what they think.

This is what I want you to do. Number one, isolate the incident. You're going to talk to them about your business issue, not your strategy, not what you think is going to fix it. What you're going to do is isolate your issue. Say, “This is the issue we're having. What do you think?” Once you get them thinking, don't take what they say at face value or at that level. Ask them, “Tell me more.” So, when someone gives you an idea back, even if it sounds ludicrous, ask them to tell you more about it.

  • Tell me more.
  • How do you see that playing out?
  • What do you think we need to have to make that happen?
  • What do you think some of the byproducts of that would be?
  • What would be any repercussions of doing that?
  • What are the upsides and downsides?

This is not an inquisition or an interrogation. This is a meeting of the minds.  In order for you to have this kind of conversation, it must be safe. If someone opens their mouth and gives you a thought and you roll your eyes, that is not a safe environment. You will never get anyone to open up if you do that. The way you create a safe space is to suspend judgment, be curious, get rid of the furious and stay curious and remove skepticism. Ask questions and the best question is, “What do you think?” Get them involved. They may see something you do not see.

Let me be clear about this…  I do not believe that business is a democracy. Your staff may give you their perspective, but they do not see the whole picture. You need their input but understand that this is a benevolent dictatorship. What does that mean? It means you're going to bring all their information in and you're going to stay open and humble to it. Your way is not the only way, you know that. I recently read this thing about an old Buddhist. If there's a mountain and you want to go up that mountain, there are a million different ways to go up that mountain. And the only one that isn't going up that mountain is the one that's running around the bottom of the mountain, telling everybody they're going the wrong way.

I want you to see what's going on. I want you to stay humble. I want you to stay open. You may be amazed at what's going on. You know what amazes me is most of the time when we're arguing or fighting with somebody it's not over the objective. Everybody who has the same objective, we're fighting over strategy. So, when you've taken in their information and you've made a decision, you need to give them an answer. If they give you an idea, you give them back one of three answers. Yes, not now, or no.

if it's a yes, tell them when it's going to happen and what has to happen to make it happen. If it’s not now, tell them why their idea has to wait and what has to happen before. But tell them that you love the idea. This way you are including them, pulling them in. The last answer is no. Tell them you aren’t going with their idea and explain why. Identify the repercussions that are preventing you from doing it. you're, you're including them. You're pulling them in. And then the last answer is no. And what you've got to do is tell them why, tell them that you're not going with their idea and explain to them what you loved about the idea but the repercussions that are preventing you from doing it.

So, isolate your issue, ask for help, give them one of three answers. That's how you get the culture that you want. That's how you create a safe environment is by asking for their thoughts.

I told you there were 2 four-word phrases that are going to really build the culture and the team that you want. The first is, “What do you think?” And the second is, “I need your help.” Those are powerful words. Eat a little humble pie and don’t think you must do everything yourself. The reality is you can't. It takes a village. The days of thinking you need to do it all are over. You're not supposed to know all the answers.

I'm going to ask you as a personal favor to me. If this video is helping you today, if it’s lighting you up, I'm going to ask you to give your friends the gift of sharing this. I want to make a huge impact in this world. I want to change the lives of so many people, and I can only do it with your help.

Stay safe, God bless, and go make some money.

Want to learn more about transforming your business?

Join my mailing list to get advice you can use to improve your shop, the day it lands in your inbox.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.