Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pink Truth - Twist things much?

Today's post should resurrect a conversation we had here over the weekend. See the comments here to get caught up to speed.

Then you can check out Pink Truth's post Mary Kay Bans Asking Questions?

Now, because we already started this conversation and because I want to invite more people to join in and weigh in, I will keep this brief... I hope.

Basically what Pink Truth (in this case the author is "sadnpink") is suggesting is that Mary Kay attempts to create an atmosphere where questions are not allowed to be asked, concerns are not allowed to be expressed, and anyone who does any of these things is relegated to the minions of "negative-nellies" who should be avoided at all costs.

However, what they often offer as evidence (as is the case here) are typically things that do nothing to prove this accusation.


"...I was supposed to look upline to those who had achieved more if I needed advice..."

This seems like REALLY good advice to me. In fact, consider how "sadnpink" herself opens this post.

"Having been trained in the field of communication, I know how crucial it is to keep lines of communication open when working a business. Even in relationships, this is a key ingredient to success."

I am confused. Isn't this keeping the lines of communication open? Isn't this encouraging exactly what she says is being discouraged?

This is crucial here, pay close attention to what I am about to say. If a Mary Kay director is smart, she will WANT to know what the struggles of her downline are. She will WANT to know the problems they are having. Because until the "lines of communication" are flowing and she knows what the problem(s) is(are) she can do nothing to help.

The problem with this usually comes in when the downline discuss amongst themselves, or with clients or with their downline the "problems" because those individuals (clients, downline, each other) may be more willing to commiserate with them rather than help light a fire under them than the people above them are.

In other words, for the sake of illustration, allow me to create a simple problem.... one that "sadnpink" used.

Problem - “No one wants to have a class”.
Solution - (again this is just for illustration, your solution may vary) You haven't called all of the leads that you have to ask people to book a class.

Now, if you - as prescribed by the aforementioned "only talk to your upline for advice" formula - call your director and say, “No one wants to have a class”. She is going to probe a little (hopefully). How many people have you called? Did you talk to them or just leave messages? Do you have leads you have not called? The solution may not be pleasant, but if she is a good director, a good leader, she will probably come up with a clear and concise plan that you will now have to follow through with and do in order to find the someone who does want to have a class.

However, if you - as Pink Truth seems to prefer - log onto an anonymous forum and complain about how no one wants to book a class, or get together a small group from your team to sit around and complain about how no one wants to book a class, or commiserate in whatever way you commiserate... A. she has no idea that you are having trouble booking classes and... B. you are no closer to arriving at the solution than you were before. In fact, if anything (because you probably slammed on how pretentious the director - the one person that can help you - is, and how she thinks she knows it all...) you have probably further cemented your resolve to not do the one thing that you need to do if you want to make your business more successful.

And this is why I think it is so important to establish the difference between a good director and a bad one.

If your director is likely to light a fire under you, challenge you to do the work that you don't want to do, or help you think of ideas that you didn't have, and the only reason you don't want to call her is because you actually don't want to do the hard work that it takes to become successful than you should quit Mary Kay, return your product for whatever money you can get, and be done with it. Mary Kay is obviously not for you.

If however your director is likely to say that “No one wants to have a class” is negative talk and don't bother me with that nonsense - click -, than you have a bad director. If you want to have a solid chance at making a go of Mary Kay, you should either bail on that director completely and sign up in a unit that has a director that will light a fire under you - or - stay with that director "on paper" and find a director that does push and challenge you that you can call when you are feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated, etc.

Nothing that I have seen thus far indicates that Mary Kay encourages the abysmal "ignore reality and pretend everything is good" that Pink Truth wants everyone to believe that they do. If you read any of the official literature, if you call the 800 numbers, you will not see this doctrine, as Pink Truth claims they preach it, anywhere.

Now again, this is not to say that there are not directors (executive, elite, national or whatever) that do preach these things. And it is certainly not to say that the perception of what is being said can really go way off the course of what someone actually was trying to communicate. Consider how often on this blog I say something, someone says, "how dare you" or the equivalent and we sort it out to realize that I did not mean anywhere near what they thought I meant. Except remove the dialogue part of that, because a lot of times, in places like Pink Truth, there is no dialogue allowed. It is either "rip on what the Mary Kay person said" or be deleted. Similarly, picture the cluster of Mary Kay team members that are talking doom and gloom and how ignorant their director is when someone pipes up, "actually, I thought what she said was right on and very helpful... it sure motivated me!" Who do you think will not be invited to the next "chat" session?

When Mary Kay (I am talking about the "official" Mary Kay that I am quasi-familiar with and the Mary Kay that I have observed in my wife's unit) says, "Don't talk negative and don't associate with people that do", this is what they are talking about. The problem is not that you have a problem. The problem becomes a problem when you declare with certainty that your problem is unresolvable and start declaring that your unresolvable problem is a Truth... a Fact... abut Mary Kay. Now you really do have a problem that can't be resolved. But for someone else, this problem is nothing more than the motivation they need to work through to the next level.

Whew... like I said, this will be a short post!!!!



  1. Hmm, well one can only speak from their own experience and I can say that mine wasn't very professional.

    I'm very communicative and had zero problems discussing my concerns and challenges, at meetings. When I did the meetings immediately shifted gears and went on to another subject. Of course I know why, now. There were guests there and of course we couldn't appear to be anything but "positive" and everything had to appear "easy".

    If I approached my director on the side and away from the others, her eyes would glaze over and the conversation would immediately end with, "Well next week you be here at 6:30 for the training part of the evening and we'll tackle that." Which, I would attend to get that very much needed training and every time all the training ever consisted of was the same 'ol fricken script training.

    I spent a lot of time calling the corporate sales help number and speaking to the "product guru" to help me fill in my lack of training. Pretty pathetic when I'm on the phone with head office every few days for a half hour at a time trying to learn about products and their application because the unit managers, although receiving commission to do so, can't and/or won't.

    I tried discussing my problems on the telephone and in writing. (See attend "training" session above.) Or worse, the email fell on deaf ears.

    I even spoke with a girl in another unit who was helpful to some degree, giving me product information, etc., which my recruit and director wouldn't/couldn't offer me. I asked my NSD to assign me to another (her) unit thinking I could do that but of course that never happened because it's not the way it works. (I was never told that I could go inactive for a year and then dump her either by my NSD or Corporate.) The fallout from my request was that I was bullied for dissing my recruit and director.

    Whatever. In the end I went straight to the top.

    All I can say is that the "help" I received from Corporate was pathetic. In other words they were very (un)helpful.

    It all left a really bad taste in my mouth because I thought, "Wow, if you're supporting all 'this' your motives are as undermining as theirs".

    So I said, "Buh-bye!" And back went my product.

  2. Like I said, I luckily did not have the "you can't talk about problems" experience. We did talk about them. I did talk to fellow consultants and wasn't told not to. I mean...if I see a consultant's classes holding, and mine aren't, I'm gonna ask her what she's doing that works. My director was not one to call names or shut people up. I'm glad of that.

    Dave, have a look at PT today: There is a letter from a director who is stepping down. She speaks very logically and uses numbers to back up what she says. She admits to what mistakes she made but also points out the flaws inherent in the system that were the last straw for her. I really can't fault anything that she has said. I basically agree with her.

  3. Imho, there is a time and a place for everything. (Personally speaking my unit members know that they can ask me any question about anything - I will do my best to give then answers or suggestions)

    However, that being said, if I am conducting a meeting and say we are training on "Marketing for the Holidays" - I would prefer not to have a consultant that has a problem interupt the training and ask/complain about her problem. Personally, she has no right to be rude to the rest of the group that may be interested in what I am training on and perhaps do not want to be interupted with a different topic. (Just me).

    As a unit member (adopted) I use to get angry if I were at a meeting and someone asked a question/complaint (that didn't apply to me or the subect being taught) and my a-director would vere off the topic she was training on and start addressing the question. I didn't come to listen to someone else's problem that didn't apply to me.

    If a unit member has an issue, she should use some common sense/courtesy and address me privately when I can assist her, it is not fair to make your problem everyone's.

    I am not saying I would not be happy to address the issue. I would meet with her one on one, either after the meeting or by phone or over tea.

    Timing, if you have a problem it probably isn't wise if you want the problem to be addressed is to approach the director while she is trying to prepare to start the meeting. Assumming that because you are having a problem doing something means that everyone is having the same problem isn't fair either.

    I know that if mr. mk4me happens to be in a bad mood, I know if I stay around him, I am not going to be very happy either. We as human beings can be influenced by the attitudes or moods around us. (In Mk or out of MK) - A unit meeting should be a place to get training, motivation, and to bring you up - turning it into a *itch session isn't going to be productive to anyone and I assure all, it will rapidly reduce the amount in attendance.

    ***I am NOT excusing any director for not answering a consultant's concerns, as directors we have a responsibility to be there for our unit members.***

    Even though pt always wants to dismiss the D/I/S/C personality types or any personality studies, often these personalities can help understand why some feel like they are never answered and other feel like they have provided adequate answers.

    I will write a post soon breaking down the personality types. But in a nutshell, I am a Higher S/C than D/I - if I get a question, I will answer it in detail, with analogies, etc... (I am sure many of you have figured that out with how long winded I am when I write), if my info is going to another S/C, they will appreciate it, they will take notes, clarify what I have said, and ask questions if they are not sure about something.

    A D/I will listen to me for 1 minute and shut off anything after that and then tell me what they are going to do, like they never asked me the question.

    Now, I have learned to work with the different personality types and of course any answer to a d/i better be brief and to the point.

    Now, imagine a director who is a d/i and an s/c consultant - S/C consultant has a question (4 part ?, by the way) - D/I director is going to give her a 30 second answer - oh, just book a perfect start.... in that director's mind, it was a great answer, however and s/c director is going to explore and investigate on why this consultant can't get bookings, etc... at that point, a consultant may have to say, okay, I hear you, book a perfect start, now, tell me how to book a perfect start, it might be like pulling tooth but it will be about the only way a s/c consultant is going to get an answer to a question that the D/I is giving an answer that she is going to appreciate.

    Often when I deal with a "D/I" the best way to help them is to ask them there question back and say if your team member asked you this what would you say? Laugh if you wish, but the majority of them will tell me exactly what I would have told them. But they never would have listened to me.

    I have made this offer before and I will make it again, ever have a question that a director can answer for you - I would be happy to answer it. I think Dave will post it one of these days but you ca send private questions to
    mk4me2@gmail.com and I will try and give you the best answer possible. (Advance warnings, I have a busy family, large unit, and a large customer base) so my answer may not be immediate but I will do whatever I can to be of assistance.

    flybye64, I am still sorry you had such a bad experience with your recr/dir, you are a very intelligent individual, I really do enjoy reading your posts (don't get a fat head over that compliment either) - there is a possibility you couldn't get the help you needed because you were brighter than the people you were asking.

    But the fact that you could call the Company and have Corporate people spend large amounts of time assisting you with product knowledge speaks volumes to me about the Company and their willingness to help consultants. The fact that the Company couldn't change your director or recruiter, well, they aren't really going to be able to change yours or my personality either. And your director was very wrong, if she told you she would cover it in training the following week , she should have then address the topic at the next training meeting as she told you.

    All issues of not being able to get bookings, getting appointments to hold, etc.. can be adressed and they can be address in a helpful, useful training without out turning it into a whine (& cheese) pity me party.

  4. For those of you that did not pick up on it, that was mk4me's gentle way of reminding me that I have been promising for at least a month to add her email to the site.

    She also gently did not point out that the reason for that is that I have not been able to respond to some emails that have come my way from you, my readers.

    I am telling all of you all of this, because I really must apologize. Especially to those two or three of you that never got a response from me. I am not sure if you are still reading here, wouldn't blame you if you weren't, but if you are, try sending your question to mk4me. She will, hopefully, be more able to respond in a timely manner. If not... please continue to hold... you're call (email) is important to us and it will be answered in the order it was received... that is, of course, if I can find it.

    mk4me, thank you for the reminder.

    everyone else. if you don't see mk4me's email soon, please feel free to remind me.

    thanks all. and again, sorry.

  5. (and, anything that I think should be discussed with David before I send a reply, will be. :)

  6. They never discussed the personality types when I was in MK. I would like to hear about them. In MK or out of it, anything that helps in relating to other ppl is useful. (relating, not manipulating, mind you. I do not manipulate ppl. I just want to learn to connect better with ppl outside the alternative scene.)

  7. Miranda,

    The following is not directed at you by any means, but what you said gave me the inspiration so I have to quote you... just wanted to make sure, so you are not sitting there at your computer, going, "What did I do???" !!!!!

    You said (about wanting to learn about personality types):

    "In MK or out of it, anything that helps in relating to other ppl is useful. (relating, not manipulating, mind you. I do not manipulate ppl. I just want to learn to connect better with ppl outside the alternative scene.)"

    Particularly, I like, "...relating, not manipulating..."

    I like that because I think it illuminates wonderfully the problem in Mary Kay, and why I am so against the spin Pink Truth puts on everything.

    Understanding peoples personalities is not, in and of itself, evil. Nor is it, again in and of itself, "good". It is just information.

    What someone does with that information can be either "good" or "bad". If someone uses is to help another person achieve greater things, it is good. If they use it to manipulate them with no concern for their well being, it is bad.

    Now of course, the outcome (which can't be known beforehand) will have a great bearing on which one of these was the perceived intention. The best intentioned person could still really frustrate a misunderstood 'recruit' (or whatever) and leave them feeling manipulated, even though their intentions were good. While a greedy, soulless manipulator may unwittingly turn out to be "just the motivation" that poor sap needed to achieve great things and they will attribute their success to them with great admiration. Go figure, right?

    But, in light of this, if it is hard enough to uncover and lay bare the intentions of one person who you directly interact with day to day (take your spouse for instance... how many times do you misinterpret their intentions... and hopefully you are quite assured already that they genuinely love you!) how can Pink Truth make claims about the intentions of "all" or "a vast majority" or, really, even "a few" of the people in Mary Kay.

    Answer: You can't.

    I have said it before, and I will say it again, I am not saying that Mary Kay people are not anything that Pink Truth says they are. I can't know it any more than they can. I am just saying that there is no way for them to know many of the things they claim to know. And, that being the case, they should not claim that those things are the Truth. They are not.

    Thus, I agree with the assertion that "Pink Truth Lies".

  8. Hm....my recruiter came across as honest, even if sometimes misguided. My director usually did, but not always. I said to her once "I worry that I may convince ppl to spend money they can't afford to spend," and she said to me "It's just business." That did not sit well with me at all.

    I do sometimes catch my partner twisting words and being manipulative with me. Sure, without a doubt he loves me, but he also is a headstrong guy who wants his own way all the time. I have to call him out when I catch him doing that. I tell him that he can convince me with logic if his argument is sound, but that playing little word games will get him nothing but increased resistance.

    Tracy has some issues. We all know that for a fact. I do think however that most of the other ppl on PT are speaking what they truly believe. They may not be right about everything, which most humans are not...but I'm fairly good at spotting what's honest vs. dishonest. Like that letter from the director who stepped down. I believe she has honestly related her own experience.

    Once you have knowledge, it's all about what you do with it.

  9. mk4me, I'm presuming your post was directed at me.

    Just for clarity, here is what I was referring to:

    Meeting in progress, the director is going on and on about how to generate leads for x-mas. She goes on about how "excellent" it is to drop off goodie bags to houses and/or hold an open house. This isn't the first time. It's at least the third time. I raise my hand and and I tell her that I put together 65 goodie bags (i.e., with a section 2 sample, my card and a first time purchase gift certificate) and not one person responded to my "ad". Not only that, I also handed out loot bags to the mom's of my child's friends when they came to pick them up from his bday party (my kid's bday is 24 Dec). Still notta. Did she have any other ideas for me. (As I had a CRAPLOAD of holiday box sets she front loaded me with and NO customer base to buy it and as she refused to acknowledge my email, and/or talk about it on the phone, when the !*!*$( was I suppose to "talk about it"????)

    I did NOT approach her whilst setting up. However, if I cannot approach my director (anytime) during a meeting ... as in before, during or even afterwards, ... then guess what?? Be prepared, diva!

    A meeting is suppose to be dynamic and an exchange isn't it?... if not, then it's a bogus use of time. I'm not there to make her look good, i.e., give her her numbers to make her look successful and feel important. And I sure as heck am NOT going to bring a face in order to be recruited and subjected to the likes of THAT! I'm there because it's suppose to be an effective use of my time. In business by myself, but not by myself, remember? That's what Monday night meetings are for, remember? Training? Right? If you need help, go to Monday night meetings! That's when you learn what you need to know to be successful in Mary Kay!


    You may have whiners in your unit you like to knock down into submissive quiet. But you know what? Then you are not holding a "meeting". You are either holding a recruiting session or an information session (communication flows ONE way).

    {But the fact that you could call the Company and have Corporate people spend large amounts of time assisting you with product knowledge speaks volumes to me about the Company and their willingness to help consultants.}

    I called maybe four times in the beginning and then I was told to read what was in my starter kit, speak to my director or find a recruit close to me who could help.

    The product guru was as helpful as she could be. But every time she spoke to me she always wanted to know to whom I reported as.... I wasn't suppose to be calling "her" for training. That's what Monday meetings were for!

    Argh. I can't talk about this. The director I reported to was a wack job. From what I heard in the summertime, her management style has affected her business. Hmmm, wonder why.

  10. flybye64, no the first part of the post was just generic, the part where I address you and compliment you was addressed to you.

    as for this part of your post:

    {{You may have whiners in your unit you like to knock down into submissive quiet. But you know what? Then you are not holding a "meeting". You are either holding a recruiting session or an information session (communication flows ONE way).}}

    well, I haven't had to knock down anyone into submissiveness, when I training I train, if there is a question that may be affecting others, I address it, if it is going to take us of track, I assure whoever it is we will pick it up at a later time and if it is a concern for everyone we address it at another meeting. Addressing the needs and concerns of my unit members happens to be what I consider the major part of my job.

    I guess I am lucky, we tend to have a very relaxed but professional meeting and we all treat each other with respect. I try never to monopolize the meeting and enjoy some interaction.
    As far as my meeting being for recruiting, hmmm.... I do facials before the meeting and then the guests leave, when I do a meeting unless it is a special announced guest event, I do not have guests at my meeting. I prefer training consultants without having to entertain guests.

    Guess I run things a tad different than your former director. :)

    But, wow, you ripped into me pretty good, sorry I ticked you off. :)

  11. mk4me, I understand that you had excellent training and in turn you choose to impart the same business sense on your area. To be otherwise would only serve to undermine your success (and everybody else's you bring on board.)

    I'm not just speaking about "one" director. (Unfortunately for me that director I reported to was/is lower than a snake's belly.) Corporate also had a hand in "this". So, from where I stand, that speaks directly to the culture and very soul of the company.

    We can only talk about our own personal experiences and mine was that given all they (MKC) knew, they had a choice to "handle it". They chose instead to pitch a tent in her field. Fine. As far as I'm concerned, that means they endorse her style which in turn only serves to perpetuate that kind of behavior.

    To me it doesn't make sense, but that was my reality and other's as well. (Not only did I cash in so did the other girls I befriended, for the same reasons minus the corporate part.)

    That director just keeps churning through her base. I don't understand how there are that many tissues in the box, but from what I hear, apparently there are!

    Desperate times, I guess.

  12. where i live, our monday night meetings are run by several directors. So there is training in one part of the building for consultants, facials in another part for guest. The last hour is used for company info and recognition. It works out this way and consulants can talk about thier business and get advice without boring the guest. Recruiting info is presented after the facials and training are done. This way everyone can get their needs met in the time frame allowed. If a consulant needs to vent about a problem it can be done in the training part away from the guest who did not come to hear that in the first place. It works out great. Each director conducts a different part of the meeting.
    I guess my experience is just different I guess. I have never had a question go unanswered or been brushed off by my director.

  13. Quote from flybye64:
    "That director just keeps churning through her base. I don't understand how there are that many tissues in the box" prefaced with the "I don't understand".
    -Neither do I. I have seen directors and units that churn and burn, I don't get it either. Why would one always want to be "scavaging" as oppossed to "developing". But just as I have seen some conduct their units in this fashion, I have seen others conduct their units as I have choosen to conduct mine.

    The reason I outlined my meetings is that there might be someone reading that may read that and think !! Wow, what a great idea. If this site is to be "balanced" if we are going to protest something that we feel is not right, we (imho) should always make suggestions on how to do it differently or how to avoid the pitfalls.

    Without a different idea or suggestions, one may never change something that may benefit them simply because they don't know what to change.


For Further Reading...

This Week On Pink Truth - Click Here
Pros and Cons of Mary Kay - Read or Contribute or Both!
First Post - Why I Started This Blog
The Article I Wrote For ScamTypes.com (here) (there)
If this is your first visit please leave a comment here. I would love to hear from you!
If you want to email me: balancedmarykay@gmail.com
But you are probably better emailing mk4me: mk4me2@gmail.com