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Mary Kay’s big training secret

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

As a young girl, Mary Kay Cosmetics founder Mary Kay Ash had to care for her father after a bout with tuberculosis. One day, he said to her, “Mary, I would like potato soup for dinner.”

In a panic, Ash phoned her mother — who held down a full-time job — for instructions. “Honey,” Ash’s mother assured the 7-year-old, “you can do this! Now, take out the big saucepan you used last night … .”

She went on to give Ash step-bystep instructions. But, between each step, she repeated the words: “Honey, you can do this!”

After starting Mary Kay Cosmetics years later, Ash used that two-part formula — encourage and explain — to train a sales staff of 350,000 beauty consultants who generate as much as $1 billion in annual sales.

—Adapted from Miracles Happen: The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc., Mary Kay Ash, Harper.

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