Dr Mats tip of the day - 050 - Seek new pathways when counselling staff on poor performance.

Ok one or your staff members has been under-performing - are you going to sit and counsel or just ignore and hope the problem goes away ? This problem arises whether you are a CEO of a large corporate, a new small business owner or a department manager - all too often those with less influence and leadership skills may just hide and look the other way.


If you are going to counsel the first things to consider are - what is your purpose for addressing the matter? - is it merely to point out they are doing something wrong ? or not doing something to your expected standards ?


Perhaps if you are counselling you should really be trying to find out what is wrong, why have you placed a person that is not up to your standards ? Most (but not all) people come to work for pay and satisfaction, hoping to return tomorrow and future days so their existence is stable and they can do the personal things most want or need. If you start counselling by firstly wondering what you or the organization have got wrong, or what can you do to improve the situation you may have a better start to the issue. Yes I have counselled people and understand it is not great for the manager nor the staff member but it will definitely be improved it you are not scolding them, but rather to genuinely improve the situation.


Possibly rather than just having a normal HR meeting in a cold office followed by a warning letter it may be worth holding back on that approach. Possibly a better approach to take the person to lunch or morning tea, ask how their personal life is going, ask what they think about the organization and the role - you may be surprised at what this conversation may reveal, it may even change your whole perspective on the issue. You could consider asking questions about yourself, your approach, your actions and beliefs before even getting into any performance gap. If you consider the problem open and shut, straight forward then you may be disappointed, but certainly refrain from getting upset - go for self- reflective instead !


Once disruption gets faster your staff may get more confused, more reluctant to stand up and be of less feedback potential - of course disruption may affect performance in many ways ! In this disruption you need to be supportive as a leader and as a manager - no point in being negative in your reactions. Re-consider your HR processes on poor performance and go for a more positive, closer relationship model as after all your most precious asset in any organization are your staff !


Consider hiring leaders now with additional skills ready for Disruption ! avoid the lost opportunities of having managers without the leadership skills required.

If you are a Leader or seeking to be one in the future - you need to read, read, read about Disruption NOW ! Those that fail to understand and adjust will fall behind.

Feel free to ask Dr Mat via a chat or email on Leadership, Management or change issues, advice, consulting or mentoring that you may seek.


These and other related topics feature in Dr Mats book titled "Leading and Managing Change in the Age of Disruption and Artificial Intelligence" - written for the modern professional, student and academic - in fact anyone wanting to be ahead on modern Leadership and Management issues.

His book is available through Amazon (kindle version or hard copy can now be purchased) - https://www.amazon.com/dp/1787563685 . This book has been strongly endorsed - so use this link to review the endorsements, or to preview Chapter 1, table of contents and the preface from Amazon (kindle version button) - consider buying this book or recommend it to professional colleagues or friends/family, students and academics. Dr Mat also writes for a number of professional and other magazines in his quest to improve knowledge on these topics.


Dr Mat is also on Twitter - @DrMat14


Consider your own specific situation and seek professional advice before acting directly in reaction to any of the tips on this website, they are intended as general advice only.



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