Team Work and Alignment

Team Work and Alignment with Cindy Dinh

Episode Highlights:

  • [0:43] A brief guest intro
  • [0:58] Cindy’s career prior to direct selling
  • [1:24] How Cindy got started with direct selling
  • [2:45] Overcoming being the introvert
  • [3:31] What would life look like if she wasn’t in direct selling
  • [4:49] What is teamwork and why it’s important
  • [7:16] Getting to know Cindy’s team
  • [8:29] Periscope and other ways to communicate
  • [9:48] How can you create team synergy?
  • [12:47] Top tips for building a successful team
  • [14:03] Handling team conflicts
  • [15:18] The secret to leader retention
  • [16:25] Fallback – how to identify, resolve and avoid this in your team
  • [18:25] How the training works
  • [21:09] Cindy’s favourite book
  • [22:08] Cindy’s inspiration
Quote from Team Work and Alignment with Cindy Dinh



[0:43] Jen: So today we’re very lucky to have Cindy Dinh with us. Cindy is from a global party planning company in the beauty industry and we’re going to be talking about teamwork. So, welcome to the show, Cindy.

[0:54] Cindy: Thank you.

[0:55] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?

Read Full Transcript

[0:58] Cindy: Well, prior to direct selling, I was in government in a variety of different departments through federal and state government and had been since I was 17. I Currently live in a gorgeous seaside town in South Australia with a very supportive husband and two children. I’ve got a son who’s 12 and a daughter who’s 8.

[1:17] Jen: Wow, being in government, that’s a far stretch from where you are now.

[1:21] Cindy: Completely different, yes [Laughs] [1:24] Jen: Why did you get involved in direct selling then?

[1:27] Cindy: I was on the maternity leave back in 2005 with our first child and so we’re very, very desperate not to have to return to work. I just couldn’t imagine going back to that 9-5 and not being there to see my child grow up. But as most people do, we have a mortgage to pay. Unless I could figure out some way to work from home and create an earning that equates to around the same as what I was making at work, then I would have to have returned.  So, I was reading a parenting magazine and there was an article in there on direct selling and I became very intrigued, but I am an extreme introvert and I did not think the direct selling industry would be one, that would be appropriate for me as I’m so very shy. But the idea of it all, it wouldn’t leave me.

After five months of still flipping through that magazine article and sort of gathering information, I finally took the plunge. And then I was able not to return to my full time role which is fantastic.

[2:36] Jen: So how did you find that you’re not feeling very confident about doing this? I mean, you seem to be very confident now.

[2:45] Cindy: I swear, I just got pitty parties in the beginning. I was so shy, so nervous for at least the first six months, bright red in the face, I could barely get my name out, but I was determined to make it work and determined to put the work in and just – I guess just break down those walls that I felt was holding me back.

It has been the best decision for my personal development and growth for me to join the direct selling industry because you practice your public speaking in a very safe environment and gradually work up. So you might be at a party presentation with five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten people, the next thing you know you’re presenting at conferences in front of hundreds of people. So it’s been the absolute best decision for me personally.

[3:31] Jen: Good on you. That sounds so great. If you weren’t in direct selling then, what do you think you would be doing and what would your life look like?

[3:39] Cindy: Well, for start, we won’t be living where we are now. Where we live is about an hour and half from Adelaide. My husband does commute to and from each day. So he leaves at [6:30], he gets home at [6:30] so if I wasn’t in the direct selling industry, I too would be back in a role in the city which means that we would not be living where we are now because there will be nowhere to drop the children off, take them up, get them to sports and things. So we are very blessed to be where we are living and it really is all thanks to the direct selling industry.

I would not have the life that we live now. I also think I probably wouldn’t be as relaxed as I am now. I can’t think of the amount of stress it would create trying to find child care for 12 weeks of the year if I was back in a full time role. Obviously, now it can be done because many amazing super women do it, but I’m a pretty relaxed person. I think it all does come down to the flexibility of the business that we’re in.

[4:41] Jen: Look, I know you’re excited to talk with us today about Teamwork. Can I ask why you’re enthusiastic about that particular topic?

[4:49] Cindy: Teamwork to me in this business is absolutely everything. Without a team, you really don’t have much at all and I think it starts right from the very beginning like everyone has a suggestion. Some people have different ideas on what teamwork is and how it starts but to me it starts right from the beginning when you first join as a single consultant. The teamwork might be that you sort of engage or encourage your family to treat it as a family business so you become like a little team unit just at home.

For instance, my daughter puts stickers on catalogues. My son, Mark wash the towels or collect up order forms. My husband helps me with the BAS and the GST. So we are a little team at home. So there is no resentment if I pop out, need to do a party or pop out to do training. They know that we’re all part of a team at home and it’s to grow the business. So start from the very basic. Anyone joining direct selling, I think it’s important to engage the people at home to be part of your individual team at home. But then as a team that you joined, when you get sponsored in, you become part of a team environment use encouragement, their support, and then obviously moving up the ranks, if you want to become a leader then you become a leader of leaders which I think is the most amazing and for me, the most exciting part of the business.

I can talk about Teamwork all day.

[6:12] Jen: You know you talk about your kids helping out and being involved, and being part of your team at home. It’s something we see, it’s so funny, it’s incredible actually watching children grow up in the homes of direct sellers because they learn these things that they otherwise wouldn’t. They’re getting involved in the admin side of the business but then also in the goal setting and those children seem to grow up to be really motivated and inspired and incredible people that – I mean I just call them direct selling babies. They just have different breed. They’re nine and they’re telling you what their goals are, months or six months, one year to five years. They’ve got it all mapped out. They know exactly how they’re going to get there so the impact that you would be having on your children having them involved in your business is just – it’s just amazing.

Talk to me about your team, how many people? What kind of people? What are the demographics? Where are they living? How old are they?

[7:16] Cindy: Okay, well we have an organisation a little under 600 consultants and that consist of eight leaders as well, all different kinds of people, varying backgrounds, located right across Australia, age from 18-70. So there’s no specific mould, if that makes sense. It’s all a huge variety.

[7:37] Jen: So, do you meet, you said that they’re located far and wide, do you physically meet with your team or do you work together sort of virtually or a combination of both?

[7:46] Cindy: It’s a combination of both. So I attend monthly face to face meetings in the city as well as quarterly regional visits. So just recently, I spent four days in Tasmania face to face and in a couple of weeks I’ll be on a road trip for a week going to regional towns, face to face again. So I think it is important for me personally. I really enjoy the face to face time. I can generally connect better face to face when you’re looking someone in the eye, holding their hand, hearing their dreams, helping them plan. For me, it’s much more powerful face to face.

[8:29] Jen: So what about some of the other ways of communicating?

[8:31] Cindy: Absolutely, I’ve really enjoyed Periscope and Facebook Live. Prior to Facebook Live it was basically all Periscope which is great because the girls can hop on and see you live. And with the introduction of Facebook Live in the last couple of months it’s all kind of moved on from there which is fantastic because the training stays on our team Facebook pages and they can go back and refer to it whenever they like.

[8:52] Jen: For those people that don’t know, could you tell us what Periscope is?

[8:56] Cindy: Sure. It’s kind of very similar to Facebook Live. It’s an app that you download on to your phone. Totally free. And you invite people to follow you or join me. So all of our team members started following and you get, you just was saying – Periscope training eight o’clock tonight. So they hop on and an alert goes on their phone and they hop on and they see you live. They’re able to type questions so they can hear you, they can see you, you can’t hear them, which is sometimes – it’s sometimes a good thing when you’re training because the training can go off track very quickly and it makes it difficult to hear sometimes especially on conference calls if there’s cluttering going on in the background. But you can type questions so that you can answer them.

[9:42] Jen: So it’s really not dissimilar to Facebook Live.

[9:44] Cindy: It’s absolutely very, very similar.

[9:48] Jen: So, how do you create team synergy then?

[9:52] Cindy: That’s a good question. I think just by ensuring each individual, no matter where they are within the organisation is completely aware that their contribution no matter how big or how small places a major part in the success of the group as a whole. I just really want them to know that they are part of the big picture.

[10:11] Jen: So how do you do that?

[10:12] Cindy: Well, through recognition. Lots of looking for individual strengths and utilising those strengths. For example, I have one team member who is phenomenal at taking photographs of product setup or taking photographs on her travels throughout the country with her kids just looks beautiful and even our company has started to follow her now on Instagram for ideas. Her photographs are amazing. So of course, I utilise them within our team. It’s recognition for her. I guess it would make her feel so special that people were loving them so much, but it’s just that making everyone feel valued no matter what they’re doing, there’s always something, you can always find something in everyone that is contributing to the team somehow. They might think it small, but it could turn out to be a very large part of what keeps the team ticking along.

[11:10] Jen: So how do you find the right people that are going to fit, they’re going to gel with your team, or is this something that you manage?

[11:16] Cindy: If I were just try to build my team with what I consider to be the right people, I would end up for the very small team. I really do feel about you need to be completely open minded when it comes to sponsoring and offering the opportunity to join as well as the opportunity to become a leader to each and every individual you need to offer it.

There is a – I think a pocket of truth that’s saying, “Like attracts like” So, my leadership group just happens to be made up predominantly of ladies that are either in the corporate world or who used to be, but it does not mean that they’re the only demographic that I offer leadership in the business to. Each and every person has the same right to the opportunities in the business. You can’t exclude anyone because sometimes you can be totally surprised who pops up as your next leader. So, be completely open minded. I don’t have a specific right people that I look for.

[12:14] Jen: So is there something that you identify in people that you feel are ready to go to that next level and how do you work with them?

[12:21] Cindy: It’s a big compliment to hear that someone is suggesting that leadership could be the next step for you so you just have to open, honest conversation with them. I think you’d made a fabulous leader. Have you ever considered going in that direction? Sometimes they’re quite shocked. Other times they put their hand up straight away. So it’s just a matter of asking.

[12:47] Jen: So what are your top tips then for building a successful team?

[12:49] Cindy: I think, if you think of your business like a big company or corporation so there’s always – there’s an IT department, there’s a marketing department, HR department, social club, treasurer, and you have to have that same kind of mindset with your direct selling business. I think like I mentioned before, people stay if they feel valued and recognised. So I observe their strengths and then I use those strengths within our team. So I mentioned the team member whose fantastic at photographs. We have another one who is amazing at Facebook Live Training. She engages the crowd beautifully and people really look forward to her Wednesday night training. So that’s her niche. That’s her thing. Another one is fantastic at Excel and being a treasurer and any kind of tracking that we need to do. Another one is fantastic at producing flyers. So everyone has their own strength and to just find that strength and draw on it and use it, and that’s what building a successful – you can’t build a multi-million-dollar business on your own. So constant recognition, genuine thanks goes a very long way.

[13:56] Jen: Do you ever experience conflicts within your team?

[13:59] Cindy: Very, very rarely.

[14:03] Jen: How do you handle issues or conflicts within your team then, when it rarely happens?

[14:08] Cindy: I almost can’t even remember a significant incidence of conflict, but if something did major pop up, I would really like the opportunity to meet with whomever the conflict is occurring with and talking calmly through whatever’s going on. I’m a really good listener and sometimes that’s what people need. They just need someone to hear them.

[14:30] Jen: So how do you work with your team altogether to grow your businesses?

[14:34] Cindy: Just identify, value their strengths, trust them to deliver. Know what each individual wants to achieve and work with them to reach their goals. Some teams within our group have a fantastic team culture and run fast to reach a team goal for the month, whereas others prefer to work more individually. So whatever suits your style, I think.

[14:56] Jen: Okay, so what is the retention of leaders in your team like?

[14:59] Cindy: I am so proud to say we have an amazing retention rate for our leaders. So great, in fact that I was asked to present another workshop a couple of months ago on how and why our leaders stay.

[15:15] Jen: So you’re going to give us some insights into that?

[15:18] Cindy: Certainly. So it is something I’m very proud of and I do think it’s just about creating a team environment that is fun, open, and honest. No matter where you are in the career planning, everyone is equal. Everyone has equal say and equal value, no matter four times up, it doesn’t matter. Everyone’s on the same level.

Foster community of friendship and sharing, that’s a really big one. Share everything you’ve got. Share every idea. The more you share, the more will come back. Offer a variety of methods of training. So I mentioned Periscope, Facebook, face to face training, also, even conference calls because everyone learns differently. So you need to be putting out training that will appeal to all senses.

Know your team well and what each individual’s wanting from their business and do everything you can to help them achieve it. Recognise everyone for something, so not just the top sellers, not just the top performing teams. You’ll be able to find something if you look closely enough, you can celebrate within each team, each leader, each consultant.

[16:25] Jen: So what would you say is the main reason why someone might fall back in your team?

[16:30] Cindy: Maybe, I don’t know [laughs] [16:35] Jen: It could be change in circumstances or ..

[16:40] Cindy:It could be on circumstances perhaps save yet something’s changed yet, change in their lives and they can’t put the time in that they used to.

[16:47] Jen: So how would you work with someone that perhaps was falling back for those reasons?

[16:52] Cindy: I would really like that opportunity like I mentioned, to meet face to face with them and get a feel for the reason they started in this business. Is that reason still there? Is that drive still there deep down and we evaluate their emotional why. We talk about emotional why in the direct selling industry and it can change. It does change. So if it has changed, find that new one. You never let anyone go, you know what I mean? If they feel like they’re falling back, be there. Help them back up again and just get them back on track.

[17:24] Jen: So do you work together with your teams? Do you have strategies to work together to help those that might be falling back and increase retention?

[17:32] Cindy: We do have a wonderful initiative within our company for aspiring leaders. And so if anyone has fallen back into the leadership or back into my central team, I will totally recommend them getting on that program and work with them to ensure that they are hoping onto the webinars, they are hoping on the conference calls and yes, just to help them get back on track. Like it’s not like they might feel embarrassed if they roll back in to a team, but there’s nothing to be embarrassed about because you’re just going to come out again, stronger and more knowledgeable than before. So sometimes it happens so you just dust yourself off and it’s going to be better the second time around.

[18:14] Jen: So what about training? You mentioned you do a bit of Zoom, and webinar, what do you think works best? What’s your preference and how often are you doing training as well?

[18:25] Cindy: Well, my preference is face to face. So that would be quarterly regional areas, monthly at our team meetings, weekly on Facebook Live. I think trainings is one of the most important aspects in the business that the more you train, the better. I like to invest 30% of my time in training. Whether it is in coaching call, whether that be Facebook Live or face to face. We’re so lucky now with the advances in technology that no matter where a consultant is, you can offer some kind of training to them.

[18:57] Jen: So can you give me a little insight into your training? What kind of things are you training?

[19:01] Cindy: Oh, anything and everything. I think variety is the key. I mean, we’ve got I guess the bookings, host coachings, sponsoring, the things that don’t change, the things that’s a solid path where you have to train up but now you can be training, say, Facebook parties. You could be training your product setup. You could be training how to do a Coffee and Chat. There’s so many different things you can train on. It’s endless. You can have a different topic every week if you wanted to but always stick to the basics as well. And throw in a few little ones that they might not have seen before. So if we do like a full day workshop, I like to throw in a couple of training sessions that I’ve just created, they’ve never seen before. That keeps people coming back because there’s a lot of ladies in our team that have been around, 9-10 years, they come to every training. If we don’t mix it up a little bit, they’re not going to come again.

[19:58] Jen: Yes, sure. So, you basically saying that you train those basics like bookings and host coachings, sponsoring, that sort of things and then you pull in the little bits and pieces along the way like the Facebook parties and stuff. In those basic trainings, is products part of that as well? Do you often do product training? I’m just thinking of someone new coming in to your business, do you go through sort of a getting started business basics type training with them and is that something that is already done and in place almost like a recording or is that something you do on as needs basis when someone comes in?

[20:37] Cindy: We’re very fortunate that our company does have an e-learning site where the consultants can get a lot of their product training, as well as face to face training run by the company on all of our products. However, we do have a leader within our organisation that is exceptional at product demonstration. So Facebook Live every now and again, she’ll pop on and do them some training via Facebook Live. So that’s exploring on someone else’s strength.

[21:09] Jen: Going back to what you said before. So a few quick questions to close, can you share with us your favourite book?

[21:17] Cindy: My favourite book at the moment is Brian Tracy’s “No Excuses”. I’ve downloaded it on audio book and I listen to it daily. It’s probably the third time I’ve listened to it in the last few weeks that’s why I always use something different. But it really does keep me on track.

[21:34] Jen: So, red or white?

[21:36] Cindy: White with bubbles.

[21:38] Jen: Oh… And what about a mentor, someone that you look up to.

[21:42] Cindy: A mentor within this business for me personally is another leader from a completely different organisation who just happen to teach me valuable lesson within my first year of joining the business.

[21:55] Jen: Wow, from another organisation. That’s so great that you can help each other. So what can’t you live without?

[22:05] Cindy: That would be my family.

[22:08] Jen: I second that. And you’re inspired by?

[22:10] Cindy: I’m inspired by my husband. He helps me a lot in this business. It really is a family business but he keeps me on track, he keeps me motivated and he kicks my butt when it needs kicking.

[22:24] Jen: Good on him. And on top of that he’s leaving at [6:30] and returning home at [6:30] so hats off to him. And your favourite quote about teamwork.

[22:33] Cindy: Lead from the back and let others believe they are in front. Nelson Mandela.

[22:39] Jen: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much, Cindy, for being with us today and for sharing your incredible journey and your insights on teamwork. Thank you so much.

[22:48] Cindy: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.

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