CHAPTER 11Know Your Players: Transforming Talent Through Observation and Feedback

During any program I deliver, eventually, managers talk about their top performers and underperformers. I'd ask these managers, “How do you determine the root cause as to why someone is a top performer and why someone is underperforming?”

The most common response: “I look at their numbers. I look at their activity. I look at their results. I look at their business plan. I review the data and key performance indicators.”

Is this the best place to look to uncover that perfect coaching moment? How do you recognize where your direct reports need coaching and could benefit from it most?


Uncovering what you can coach someone on, from a tactical perspective, is the easy part. Managers are good at recognizing problems, needed strategies, and desired outcomes by looking at a report. However, uncovering the why (the real root core of the issue) and the who or the often very elusive and limiting thinking, assumptions, values, or outlooks that drive people's actions and behavior, takes more conscious intention, which no report can provide. We discussed how to coach through some of these topics in Chapter 10.

Therefore, there's a high probability that the solutions managers offer up either fail or are not fully developed, and as such, become a fleeting solution. ...

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