Coaching vs Training – What’s best for poor performance?

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Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you recognise an individual’s performance has dropped or they are carrying out the task to the wrong standard? What’s the first thing that many managers think – “How many times do I have to train this guy?” and perhaps organise some ‘refresher training’.

Taking a few moments to consider both the situation and/or the individual is important. The question you need to ask yourself is “CHDIIHLDOI?”

What does that mean in the business world?

The question to be asked is has this individual ever performed the task to the correct standard in the past? If the answer is No, then the individual needs formal training. However, if the answer is Yes – then they know how to do it; they have the knowledge and the ability, but for some reason, their performance level has fallen. How will you find out why? Through coaching. By asking open questions you can work with the individual to discover what is causing the problem – what obstacles are standing in the way. They can either be real or perceived. Maybe it is resources or lack of them – for example: time, equipment or people. Alternatively others in the team might also be performing the task incorrectly and supervisors/managers are being inconsistent and not following up on poor performance.

Whatever the outcome of the discussion, take the necessary time to deal with the performance issue. Don’t assume it will improve or go away by itself – it never does and there’s a strong possibility it will either get worse or ‘spread’ to others in the team.

So remember the acronym “CHDIIHLDOI?” or in laymen speak, “Could he do it if his life depended on it?” The answer will set you down the right path to correcting the problem…

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