Coaching, Performance Management
You spent precious time, energy and dollars recruiting your company’s new hire. But six months have passed and this individual is not meeting expectations. You’re stumped.
Examining behavior within the context of other behaviors can bolster the potential success of an individual. For example, two sales reps may demonstrate a strong competitive drive. However, the first rep may also have strong Rapport Building skills while the second is weaker in that area. It’s very likely the second rep is seen as overly aggressive while the first rep may be seen as forceful yet helpful and cooperative.
In this series of blogs, we will detail other common behavioral combinations like competitive drive and rapport building and explain how to address them. The first combination we will review is analytical thinking and decisiveness. Thoughtful and analytical thinkers tend to explore all options in comprehensive detail before committing to a concrete choice. You are likely to hear this person described as methodical, thorough and detail-oriented. Colleagues expect that he or she makes well-thought out decisions.
Behavior Combination: Analytical Thinking combined with Decisiveness
However, more thinking is not always the best type of thinking. This individual may also be described as overly cautious, hesitant and unwilling to make unpopular decisions. He or she has a strong desire to make the best decision possible. This person also prefers to spend considerable time thinking through issues and considering the alternatives, opposed to making the final call. For instance, he or she typically needs 100 percent of the information, when perhaps just 60 percent would suffice. This style can be problematic in situations where decisions need to be made quickly or there is not a lot of time to seek input or additional data. In fact, a recent article in Inc. titled “The 7 Traits of Highly Effective Leaders” says that strong leaders aren’t afraid to be decisive.1 They make tough calls when necessary and don’t hesitate to make informed decisions.
When coaching this person, ask “what does your gut tell you?” This question may encourage him or her to move more quickly to resolution. Also, allow this individual the freedom to make mistakes and encourage him or her to take chances so that the fear of making the “wrong” decision vanishes. Do not penalize the person when he or she tries something and it doesn’t work out. Instead, celebrate efficiency and uncover why the decision wasn’t the best so that lessons are learned.
In addition, advise the individual to keep a running list of situations when he or she has hesitated to make a decision because of a desire to gather additional information or feedback. Examine how this need hindered the execution process and discuss how the decision could have been made sooner. From there, instruct the individual to target an upcoming situation that will require an immediate response. Encourage this person to reach out to a peer to ensure accountability for making an efficient decision. Furthermore, suggest that the individual identifies decisions that he or she has procrastinated making and establish a firm deadline for making decisions on these items.
Ask yourself if any of your employees could benefit from these techniques.