Monday, September 26, 2016

How to Stay Positive in Negative Situations

By Sheryl Baumeister, Trigard Human Resources

Are you tired? Boy, I am!  With all the negativity about who to vote into the White House, standing up or taking a knee during the National Anthem, copy and paste if you love Jesus, “Like” and “Share” to win!

It’s exhausting!  By the end of the day, we find ourselves emotionally drained by all of the negativity around us.  All these negative comments and situations can make us feel frustrated, angry or even tempted to take on a negative attitude.  Instead of doing that, let’s try to rise above it by using a few simple tactics.

1. Focus on you 
Regardless of what others do or say, we can control our own attitude.  Ask yourself why are you reacting this way?

2. Reverse your reaction
When someone is acting in a negative way – yelling, pouting, arguing, being passive aggressive, negative body language – try acting the opposite way.  When you choose a more positive reaction, you’ll feel more positive.

3. Don’t take it personally 
More often than not, another’s negativity isn’t about you.  Maybe the person has had a really bad day and is dealing with a lot of stress you are unaware of.  It’s difficult to know what’s going on in someone else’s head.

4. Stay in the moment
When you focus on what is happening now (not what has happened or could happen), it’s more difficult to feel negative.  Don’t let your negative thoughts and feelings take control.

5. Practice gratitude
When dealing with someone who is being negative, remind yourself of the positive experiences you’ve shared and be thankful for those.

If you are dealing with a completely negative person or situation, be grateful for the opportunity you’ve been given to strengthen your own inner positivity.  It’s an opportunity to practice positive thinking.

Staying positive around negative people is always challenging, but making use of these tactics will make even the most negative interaction easier to face.  Regardless of the situation, it’s up to you to choose a positive attitude.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

Friday, September 16, 2016

9/11 Memorial

By Donna Darby-Walthall, Trigard Burial Vaults Chief Financial Officer

We recently passed the 15th anniversary of September 11 – the day when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers in New York City and changed thousands of lives forever. I still have a hard time imagining that other human beings could so intentionally take the lives of many people.

Being an owner of Trigard Burial Vaults, where we wholeheartedly believe in and support memorialization, I am glad to know that a place of remembrance has been created. The 9/11 Memorial honors the people who were lost that very dark day. It offers an opportunity to bring people together, in much of the same way we saw the world come together immediately following the attacks. The Memorial Museum is another way to pay tribute to and remember each victim. It includes a tribute full of pictures, recordings and love notes of all victims. (Take a virtual tour of the museum.)

I have read that men and women who work and volunteer at the Memorial have gotten to personally know the victims through the stories of love and support of the remaining family members.

I truly believe we live in the greatest country in the world and we will not be taken down by terrorists. May we always remember the people who just went to work like any other day and how tragically that work day ended for them. God bless them, their families and you.

Another Look Back
Read Linda Darby's reflection on 9/11 as it relates to Have the Talk of a Lifetime.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

Monday, September 12, 2016

Why it's important to make time to give back

By Rich Darby
Trigard Chief Operating Officer

Do you give back? In this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, try-to-get-ahead-of-the-next-guy world, giving of your time and energy seems impossible, doesn’t it? It is so easy to say, “I can’t because I don’t have time.” If you are this person you may want to rethink your thinking. I have one suggestion for you… MAKE TIME.

You’ll discover that giving your time and talents can be a wonderful stress reliever in your day-to-day whirlwind. There is nothing more satisfying than working for a cause. Whether it’s coaching your child’s sports team, volunteering at church or becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister, giving back will be more satisfying than your paying job. 

Do you wonder why that is? I think I have figured it out. I truly believe the satisfaction comes from the fact that giving back is something we CHOOSE to do. Our job is something we MUST do. Now don’t get me wrong; I love going to work. It energizes me, satisfies me, challenges me and rewards me. But giving back completes me. 

When my time comes and I am nothing but a memory, I want my legacy to be that I made a difference in someone’s life. I don’t want my legacy to be about how many businesses we owned or how many awards I have won. I want my legacy to be that Rich Darby walked this earth and that this was his contribution to the world – the sweat equity involved in giving back. 

Our family has always been taught to give back. It started with my grandparents and parents. It continues with me and my siblings. Now, our children are getting involved in our community and giving back.

We own and operate more than 10 different businesses. Wouldn’t it be easy to say we don’t have time? Well here is the real answer:
  • My oldest sister Karen is co-chair of a local business networking group in Sun City West, AZ.
  • Next, my sister Donna volunteers at Camp Healing Heart, a camp for grieving children.
  • My sister Linda is co-chair of the Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign, a national cause to help the funeral industry as a whole.
  • I am president of Operation Honor Guard, an organization that raises money and supports honor guards nationwide.
  • My brother Scott is involved in a choir in Phoenix, AZ that travels and brings joy to many lives by his singing talent.
Are you reading this and struggling with the question, “Do I really have time to give back?” Again, I will reiterate that you need to make time. It will be the most rewarding and fulfilling part of your day. Thanks for reading! 

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

Monday, August 29, 2016

Little things can make a big difference

By Erin Brodbeck, LCSW, CT, Director of Grief Services, Center for Loss & Healing

With all of the tragic events that seem to be happening in the world today, I have been thinking about grief from a larger perspective. What does grief look like on such a large scale? What can we do as an individual to help support one another, not only as citizens of the United States, but as citizens of the world? These are hard and overwhelming questions that don’t really have any straightforward answers.

I’ve had the privilege of working exclusively with grievers for three years now and I have learned that it is the little things that matter. We can do so much with just one little act of compassion and love. It makes more of a difference than we probably will ever know.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “It won’t really matter. It’s just a little note.” or “I just said I’m sorry. It is not like they haven’t heard that 100 times already.” But it truly does matter. Taking the time to show empathy and support to someone is one of the best things that we can do for each other.

So the next time you are sitting down with a family, try to think of one little thing that you can do for them, even if you think it’s insignificant, and they will think the world of that one simple act of kindness.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

Monday, August 22, 2016

“Your company is only as good as your leadership”

By Linda Darby, Chief Executive Officer

Our management team just attended The Global Leadership Summit which was offered through Willow Creek Church in the Chicago Area. This is the second year our team has been able to participate in this Summit. 

This program always exceeds my expectations! I just loved to be able to take our management team to an event of this caliber. The Summit was simulcasted to different churches (and most recently to our local prison) in the United States and Globally as well. The tag they used when promoting the program this year was “Everyone Wins When a Leader Gets Better.” Stop to think about what that means for a minute…. ok, your minute is up for you Millennials! 

Pastor Bill Hybels’ opening statement was “Your company is only as good as your leadership.” 
That, my friends, is a powerful statement.  I can promise you this series of speakers challenged me and our team of leaders to truly look at ourselves and what we do when leading our company together.  Our hearts' desire is to be the best partner to our clients, employees, vendors and community. (Read more about our mission statement.)

This summit truly gave us the opportunity to “fill our cup.” What are you doing in your organization to grow your leadership team? 

I will close the article with one lasting impact statement John C. Maxwell shared with us, “Intentionally add value to people every day.” That, my friends will make a difference in our families, our businesses and our world. 

Want to learn more? Check out these resources from this year's Summit and free videos from last year's Summit

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

Monday, August 15, 2016

Don't be that annoying salesperson who I ignore

By Stuart McDaniels, Materials Manager

As a buyer for Trigard, I deal with many outside vendors. Thinking back through my purchasing career, I have probably sat across the desk from hundreds of people. It seems like I have experienced just about every kind of selling tactic, style, opening and closing imaginable. (Although I am sure there are a few sales ploys that I haven’t been exposed to yet. It seems new techniques are being developed all the time.)

Recently, I realized something interesting though. No matter what method a salesperson uses to sell to me, when it comes to large purchases, I really only respond to one technique− relationship selling.

A true story
There is a company that contacts me often. They want to sell me freight services. This company is a rather large company and is owned by another, even larger company. It seems that their sales strategy is to telemarket and email random companies, hoping someone will call them back. Often, I hear from them twice a week. Sometimes it’s an email. Sometimes a voicemail. Sometimes both! Usually it’s a different person each time, but occasionally I have the same person contacting me for a couple weeks straight. Invariably someone new will call and I will never hear from the previous person again.

The interesting thing is that I never return their calls. Never ever. They may have great service or may be able to save us money, but the sad truth is that they will never have a chance to tell me about it due to their tactics.

Unfortunately, this company does not understand how annoying it is to see their email or listen to their voice message for the eighth time this month. I don’t want annoying phone calls and emails, one after the other, all saying the same copy and paste message.

I don’t need a widget; I need a partner. I want a relationship.  
I want someone to appreciate and solve my problems, to know me and the company I work for. I want someone who understands that I need more than annoying calls and emails. When a supplier has driven you to the point that you don’t even like talking to them, you have to question their tactics. In a relationship, both parties have to like each other. It just doesn’t work otherwise.

Relationship Selling
Lately, I’ve been involved on the sales side of things and exposed to a great book about smarter sales. It’s called SPIN Selling. I really took to the book’s message. It teaches the difference between a small sale and a large one and demonstrates how each requires a different approach. Once you’ve read and understand the concept, it really is instinctual. It’s something you already knew but never thought about… or to put it into other words, you know it to be true.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned the approaches I like and the approaches I don’t like, and frankly what works and what doesn’t. I can say that relationship selling has shown to be the most effective for large and repeat sales. I encourage you to continue to educate yourself dutifully and push yourself to learn to do what doesn’t come easy.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Need sales help? Gamble on yourself!

By Jeff Miller, Trigard Vice President of Business Development

I’m a betting man. I’ll show you.

I bet you’re busy. I bet that the simple act of running your business consumes most – if not all – of your time. I bet you’d like to grow your business, but it’s hard finding time to make sales calls. I bet you’d like to have a dedicated sales team, but can’t find the time or budget to build one. So, did I win the bets?

Let’s make one more bet… I bet I know the perfect sales person for your company. You!

Yes, I know for business owners like you, who work directly in the day-to-day operation of the business, it seems impossible to find time to dedicate to sales. However, you may be surprised.

Give it one day. 
As a starting point, dedicate one day each month to the sales growth of your business. After all, there is no one better than you to pitch to prospective customers. Who better to follow up with current clients? You’ll love the response you will receive when you show up at their place of business. Use these meetings to discuss the marketplace and share your thoughts with owners and managers.  It will prove to be very productive.

Still not convinced that you can break away for a day? With some simple planning, your routine operations will run without you for a day or two each month. This occasional absence also gives others in your company the opportunity to step up. It will help make better team players.

You are probably the most reliable, experienced and trusted sales person you know, so consider hiring yourself for this very important role. I think I’m making a safe bet when I say, “You will do a great job. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience and love the long-term results!”

Feel free to call me at 800-637-1992 to discuss this approach and share your thoughts about filling the all-important salesperson role.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at