Volume 142, May 2015: Poor Performers

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

This is a monthly electronic magazine for anyone who wants to be a better leader, coach, facilitator, or simply, to tune up their people skills. It is a complimentary publication, devoted to the next evolution of Quality Thinking.

Publisher: © Key Associates, 2015 ISSN # 1545-8873

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit .” – Aristotle

Variation will always exist in performance. If someone is truly a Special Cause (behaves outside the normal system), provide feedback and ask why. Create an action plan that gives them a way to improve and take action if things aren’t working. Give them help in finding a fit, even if it’s outside your organization. What’s in a fit? A fit consists of values, work ethic, strengths, interests, and personality.

Feedback should create dis-equilibrium: the system that receives it is no longer stable and must grow or change to incorporate the new information (Margaret Wheatley). For those invested in system stability, this can be very threatening: that listener will shut down.

Again, the framing of the delivery message is key:

  • “I know you are concerned about … I thought you might be interested in what I have observed.”
  • “I have a concern with … Here’s what I think is going on.”
  • “If I knew a way that you could be more successful, would you like to hear about it?”
  • “This is what I think has happened … This is what I think needs to happen next.”
  • “When you … I feel … I know that is not your intention.  Here’s what I would recommend.”

Practice Point

Identify misfits and using inquiry, see in what ways they need help and can help. Perhaps their best fit is outside your organization – how can you help them with that?


Buy MK’s latest book!