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Jimmy DeGroot: It didn’t Start with You February 29, 2024 (0 comments)


Green Bay, WI--In my work with jewelers, I find it very intriguing how some owners end up leading a group of people when in fact they are not equipped to do so. Others are glaringly successful and after a lot of research I’ve learned that in many cases we just need to look at their childhood.

I’m no psychologist for sure, but if you just can’t seem to find the right staff or manage them properly when you have the right people, here are a few little thoughts for introspection.

In marriage counseling, participants are often asked about their childhood. How was a marriage relationship modeled to you between birth and the age of nine? We’re your parents supportive and encouraging? Did they display affection in front of the kids? Did they have great conversations at the dinner table?  Did they have regular date nights? Obviously, you can see that there can be very good, so-so and very bad memories or modeling of what a marriage looks like.

Even though you’re not married to your staff, looking back at how relationships were modeled to you can be a helpful indicator of your relationship with your people. In my case, I had a very healthy modeling of love and relationship in my household, but my father would very often come home for dinner and then take off for diaconate schooling afterward. So, the model for me was, Dad did his duty and had a bit of family time for dinner every night but then it was off to school. This meant very little or no time to throw the football in the backyard or go for bike rides. This manifested in me an attitude of “supply my people with what they need then go off and get your work done.” I had to be aware of this and learn and practice how to spend time with my team coaching and supporting. 

Another little exercise we can do is ask the question; How was work modeled to me between birth and nine years old? How did my parents handle their work-life balance? We can learn a tremendous amount about ourselves if we look at our formative years when our brains learned by observation. What good and bad habits have I picked up in those years. When we can finally realize the effect of those models in our lives, we can then begin to both recognize and work with those negative areas in our lives and our stores.

James (Jimmy) DeGroot is a professional jewelry sales and operations trainer from the jeweler’s side of the counter. Having been in management and the jewelry business for over 20 years, Jimmy offers weekly training to jewelers nationwide via the Train Retail website. Jimmy is an AGS titleholder and specializes in training relevant and timely methods for jewelry teams. He can do a full training on making Bridal Presentations the best they can be, among many other regular training options. Contact Jimmy at or call 920-492-1191.

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