An old business coach used to tell me I was literally smarter when on stage than off, due to the endorphins that were at work. I suppose the same is true for when I’m speaking on the radio, because wow did I come up with what I thought was a simple and succinct way to literally Make Difficult People Disappear in your office. I’ve shared lists of 5-10 steps in webinars and previous blog posts and of course, the book has ten chapters, but many won’t take the time to learn ten different steps, so here’s three that will feed the need of all my favorite ‘get it done’ fans! Ready?
First, Assess the Roles and Responsibilities
Disregard, in this step, who’s IN the roles and just look at the jobs themselves. What is it you want someone in this job to do and how do you want them to do it. Typically these are referred to as job descriptions, so if you don’t have them, create them and think about the ideal criteria you would want for a top performer in each role. By the way, the same can be applied to roles not at work. What are the ideal characteristics you’d like to have a in a doctor? What about a mate? What about a best friend?
Second, Examine Who the People are Currently in Those Roles
This is deeper than merely identifying their names if your organization is large. Find out who they really are. What are their natural gifts, skills, talents, strengths, natural reactions to stress and so on. If you don’t have enough of a feel for who they are, use a profile tool. Make Difficult People Disappear talks about the CORE Profile® and it’s one we use frequently with great success. Use a tool of this type to not only give YOU the information about who they are, the people in the roles you’ve assessed, but give THEM the information about who they are. Believe it or not, most don’t know and this new found awareness is profound.
Third, Bridge the Gap
Or as they say in the UK, Mind the Gap. You see, the larger the gap between the ideal criteria for a top performer in any role and the natural skills and talents of the person currently IN that role, the greater the difficulty. Or said differently, the wider the gap between who they really are and their interest in doing what you want them to do, the more difficult they’ll be. Simple. If you’ve got a lot of really difficult people in your organization, then you’ve got a lot of folks who are stressed out trying to bridge the gap between what they do really well naturally and what you’ve asked them to do regularly.
Close the gaps and the difficulty disappears. Do nothing and you’ll see the same difficulty likely get worse over time as their energy for bridging the gap continues to decline. Money, rewards, promotions, and incentives are all quick fixes and primarily band aids for performance problems. They give a boost much like the drink Red Bull, but the impending crash is a certainty. So the only question now is do you really want the difficult people to go away and performance to improve or do you simply want to keep buying band aids? At Contagious Companies, I’ve always found it important that we don’t sell band aids or quick shots in the arms, but as I joked with a team member the other day, I would say we provide productivity pills and more importantly long lasting performance results. In other words, we cure poor performance and leadership. Hehe … Contagious, get it? If not, call me and I’ll explain. 🙂