THA 076: Improving Your Soft Skills. How To Lead and Spread a Positive Vibe.


Your Learning Curve Never Sounded So Good

The Academy Panel:

Amy Mattinat is the owner and manager of Auto Craftsmen in Montpelier, VT. Her shop is an ASE Blue Seal Shop, AAA approved and she is a member of ASA, SBN & WiAC.  Along with running her independent repair shop, she is able to combine her three passions: teaching small business owners how to run a successful business, teaching car care and safety to the general public and educating young people about the many career opportunities available in the auto care industry.

Amy was awarded the  2012 Top Female Shop Owner of the Year by the Car Care Council Women’s Board, Honored as a 2014 Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, Awarded the 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration’s Vermont Women-Owned Business of the Year, Awarded the 2016 AAA Business of the Year in Vermont and served as President of Women in Auto Care 2014 through 2016. Listen to Amy’s previous episodes HERE.

Greg Buckley is the CEO the 50 + year young Buckley Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE. He’s a member of ASA, an ATI Coach, a member of the Delaware Automotive Service Professionals, past member of the NAPA advisory board council, is vice-president of NAPA business development groups, and is involved as an advisory board member of Kukui, along with AutoVitals. Hear Greg’s previous episodes HERE.

Jeremy O’Neal  President and lead sales trainer for Advisorfix, began his career as a Service Advisor and moved into Service Management at the dealership level for VW, Audi, and Porsche. He consistently placed in the top 3% of Service Advisors across the nation. With a passion for helping others, Jeremy started coaching Service Advisors in 2007. Jeremy also owns an independent auto repair shop, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA. Jeremy’s previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • We hire for experience and fire for attitude
  • We must hire for more soft skills.
  • Leaders set the tone of the company.
  • As leaders, we must improve our soft skills. You must do a personal assessment on your soft skills and find training to help you improve them.
  • Yet the leader must be in the background and push their people forward.
  • The leader is the vessel that holds everyone together. To support your team.
  • You can get involved with your team, to a degree, to know what personal issues can and could affect their work environment.
  • #1 most important soft skill as a leader is being a great listener
    • Listen to learn not to reply.
    • Learn to listen with empathy.
    • Become an active listener. Practice it.
    • Pay attention, put your phone down, confirm and clarify what you are hearing by writing key points down. ‘What I heard you say’.
  • Greg offers a lot of autonomy to his team to get the job done.
    • Become a teacher and help with any failure points. (You must allow failure so the learning happens)
  • Soft Skills, a short list:
    • Listening
    • Enthusiasm
    • Attitude. You have 100% control.
    • Communication
    • Teamwork
    • Work ethic
    • Flexibility
    • Courtesy
    • Time Management
    • Reliability
    • Know your team
    • Have a positive mindset
    • Find positive methods for dealing with negativity and frustrations.
    • Learn how to deal with stress
    • Problem solver
  • Book ‘Extreme Ownership’ by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • Good leadership is honest and transparent always willing to make people better.
  • Be careful to help your team find solutions no matter how you feel or what is going on in your life/world. ‘Fake it till you make it’
  • You are the last man standing.
  • A success coach knows how hard life is, yet must lead positively.
  • Learn how your team deals with challenges or stress. You may need to give them their space to get through issues.
  • Technician soft skills:
    • Same skills as a service advisor
    • Communication with each other and the service advisor
    • Problem-solving, a skill that can be learned.
  • Service advisor soft skills:
    • Observe their client to understand how to speak to them
    • Communication with client and technicians
    • Is the person going to understand what you are saying?
  • Never be afraid to ask a question.
  • “People may not hear you at the rate of your speech.” ‘Jeremy O’Neal.

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This episode is brought to you by Jasper Engines & Transmissions. When a car’s engine or transmission fails, it’s not the end of the road. A remanufactured drivetrain product from Jasper Engines & Transmissions will give your car a new lease on life. JASPER has over 2000 Associates, three manufacturing facilities, two distribution centers and 45 branch offices across the country. They’re all working to produce, transport and deliver the perfect product. That’s what they do best… keep customers happy. Visit jasperengines.com

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.