Effective Leaders Water Where the Flowers Grow

Dennis puts off assignments and rushes to finish them at the last minute, often with errors. 

Dennis’ manager said, “I’ve spent a lot of time with Dennis.  He does well for awhile but always seems to slip back into his old habits.”

How much coaching does it take to cure Dennis’s missteps?  When should a manager realize that additional training and retraining is ineffective?

On rare occasions, low performers will blossom after many hours of coaching and mentoring; but face it, not every employee can be effectively coached.  Here is a reality check—you are more likely to hit three jackpot symbols on a slot machine than you are to change persistently, low performers into reliable, go-to team players. 

Why?  The cause of low performance is more likely a talent issue than a motivation or training issue.  Even the simplest tasks require some level of talent—knack, genetic disposition, gift—for reliable performance.  And you cannot train talent.

How do effective mentors know when to continue coaching and when to look at other options?  As the saying goes, “Water where the flowers grow.”  If employees show quick and sticking improvements, carry on.  If not, continued coaching equals frustration for both parties.

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