| |

5 questions to help struggling team members

You’ve got an underperforming team member, and it’s been bugging you for a while.

Maybe you’ve addressed it with her, and perhaps you’ve just been hinting around, but it’s gotten to the point where you need to do something about it. If you don’t, it’s hard to see how they are a part of your team long-term.

But what do you do? What do you say?

Stay on their side of the table

The last thing you want is for this conversation to get adversarial. If they get defensive, or you start dictating solutions, that will not work. So above all, think about working together with her to resolve the problem.

Here are 5 questions you can use to help you to do that:

  1. I’m noticing this problem. Do you agree that it’s a problem? 
  2. Do you want the problem resolved? (Is it a problem for you, or just for me?)
  3. Do you see that you have a role in the ongoing problem? (If they are a victim, and this is “happening to them,” you are pushing a rope!)
  4. What would you suggest as potential resolutions to the problem?
  5. Are you confident that you can follow these suggestions and resolve the problem?

If at any point they answer “no” to one of these questions, that’s a sign that you should think about moving toward termination. If they say “yes” to each, you’re on your way toward an agreement with them that could resolve the issue.

If this is helpful, Roy Rapoport has written up an excellent overview (with examples) of how he’s used this framework successfully. Dig in!

Are there other frameworks that have been helpful to you? I’d love to hear about them!

Questions about how to implement this? Hit reply! I want to hear those too.

Take our Business Growth Assessment

Learn what stage growth your business is in and get specific recommendations for how to move forward.