“I haven’t used the process as much as I would have liked to”

A reassuring letter from Nigel Harrison for Performance Consultants reviewing their progress.

I have held several follow ups and refreshers recently when some people admit to not using the process as much as they had planned.
Most common reasons:

  • I have been busy with learning plans
  • The organisation is still demanding solutioneering
  • I did not think about it
  • I did not use the whole process
  • My clients still demand immediate solutions
  • I found it hard to quantify the gap

When we investigate further, people have usually had powerful successes but they do not recognise they were using the 7-step process
“We had a really good meeting, they came in asking for X and were delighted that we actually uncovered Y as the main cause, but I didn’t use the bits of paper”

Some of the greatest learning points for most people are:

  • The importance of contracting
  • Active listening
  • Quietening your inner voice to spend a bit more time appreciating the clients point of view
  • Agreeing a joint action plan

My reassurances usually are:

  • Don’t worry, you are using the process
  • Real meetings are more like a useful conversation
  • You don’t need to follow all seven steps or use three sheets of paper
  • Solutioneering and fast thinking is very powerful in everyday life
  • Most organisations are set up to reward “order taking”
  • We have to handle a lot of transactional L&D and HR requests just get them done effectively
  • Performance Consulting for real is not perfect. As long as you are steering solutioneering into conversations about the problems before agreeing to try solutions you are probably adding real value in your role.

Off course when we start talking, most people reflect on their significant successes, many have reached unconscious competent and incorporated the best bits of the PC process into the way they work. So it appears natural and invisible.

So keep calm and carry on…

One comment

  1. Helen Coates says:

    I confess, since learned about addressing the performance gap rather than agreeing to design a learning intervention, I have fallen into the order-taking trap twice. Both times I beat myself up about it but now I am trying to think of myself as performance development consultant, however formative my skills are, and it is helping me avoid the trap.

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