How to Tell if You are Working with a Non-performer?

Are you feeling frustrated, angry and upset by someone – colleague, direct report, perhaps even a manager (!) or a supplier who is just not pulling their weight?

Despite your many attempts to talk to them, get them on board and to change their behavior and outcomes, you are plainly and simply, ‘hitting the wall!’

In fact, the only thing that is moving and overworking, is YOU!

This is a negative sum game — not only is there no change in their overall effort and performance but as a well regarded colleague put it, “If someone isn’t toeing the line, they are friction, a drag on efficiency and effectiveness.”

Not only do they NOT perform, they also they mess with your head!

Welcome to the world of working with a non-performer, which from time to time we all get lumbered with.

Signs that you are working with a non-performer

Ask yourself these questions – not in any order of importance or priority – and see how many Yes’s you get.

  1. Do you find yourself making the same request over and over again and nothing or very little gets done?
  2. Are you noticing a lack of ownership, responsibility and accountability in their behavior and talk?
  3. Do you hear excuses, blame and denial a lot of the times as to why things happened or did not happen?
  4. Are you noticing they rarely apologize for not delivering and as per discussion/agreement and for what may have gone wrong?
  5. Are you left feeling that anything you say is just talking to air/brick wall because nothing really is landing and in the end, they do what they do which is very little!
  6. Do you hear words like, “Leave it to me,” “I know what I am doing,” even “I have done this before” and yet the results are not confirmatory of these utterances?
  7. If things do get done, is it because you have finally escalated the matter to a senior or their boss?
  8. Alternatively, do they have a boss or manager who is protective of them and there is collusion between them.
  9. Have you found that when you do raise the matter with their senior or higher up, following on from the point above, they also argue back and downright support that non-performer despite your experience of their performance?
  10. Are you feeling angry, frustrated or stuck because your work and output is affected and you feel like you cannot get on with your own work?
  11. Regardless of the urgency or impact of any issue, there is no change in their response rate. Whether urgent, critical or important, the action is – well very little.
  12. Have you endured emotional, physical or financial loss as a result of their non-performance?
  13. Are you feeling unheard, unsupported, minimized, discounted and perhaps even ridiculed like somehow “YOU” are the problem!
  14. Do you find yourself feeling angry and noticing that your tolerance level is being severely tested now?
  15. You desperately want things to feel and be normal but you are realizing now that things are not going to change and it is you who has to make some structural or strategic change.

If you have answered a whole bunch of yes’s then it is time to take some serious action. Your time, energy and health and well-being are all precious commodities, which need to be better spent.

What you can do or may have tried already:

  • Had a conversation with them about what you are noticing and given them a chance to put forward their side of things
  • Listened deeply to understand what the problem dynamics and opportunities for solutions are
  • Asked them if there is anything you can do that will help you both address the issues that are of concern
  • Given some consequences if standards are still not met
  • Given them time to see if they deliver on promises made
  • You may or may not have followed through on the consequences

Final words

Non-performers can leave you thinking it is your problem. But don’t be fooled — it’s not you, it’s them!

Do you have this problem? Please comment on your experience with non-performers.

Who are you prosecuting?

Having recently shared on the tyranny of being right,  Rick’s regular newsletter, “Just One Thing”   arrived in my inbox.  The topic “Who are you prosecuting?  was on a similar theme.    So what better delight than to share his great post – with his permission, of course –  with you all?! 🙂

Sign up details to his awesome newsletter are at the bottom.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard universities. See Rick’s workshops and lectures.

Why?

Lately I’ve been thinking about a kind of “case” that’s been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other person, irritation with others who haven’t supported me, views about what should happen that hasn’t, and implicit taking-things-personally.

In other words, the usual mess.

It’s not that I have not been mistreated – actually, I have been – nor that my analysis of things is inaccurate (others agree that what I see does in fact exist). The problem is that my case is saturated with negative emotions like anger, biased toward my own viewpoint, and full of me-me-me. Every time I think of it I start getting worked up, adding to the bad effects of chronic stress. It creates awkwardness with others, since even though they support me, they’re naturally leery of getting sucked into my strong feelings or into my conflict with the other person. It makes me look bad, too cranked up about things in the past. And it primes me for overreactions when I see the person in question. Yes, I practice with this stuff arising in my mind and generally don’t act it out, but it’s still a burden.

I think my own experience of case-making – and its costs – are true in general. In couples in trouble, one or both people usually have a detailed Bill of Particulars against the other person. At larger scales, different social or political groups have scathing indictments of the other side.

How about you? Think of someone you feel wronged by: can you find a case against that person in your mind? What’s it feel like to go into that case? What does it cost you? And others?

The key – often not easy – is to be open to your feelings (e.g., hurt, anger), to see the truth of things, and to take appropriate action . . . while not getting caught up in your case about it all.

How?

Bring to awareness a case about someone – probably related to a grievance, resentment, or conflict. It could be from your present or your past, resolved or still grinding. Explore this case, including: the version of events in it, other beliefs and opinions, emotions, body sensations, and wants; notice how you see the other person, and yourself; notice what you want from others (sometimes their seeming failings are a related case). For a moment or two, in your mind or out loud, get into the case: really make it! Then notice what that’s like, to get revved up into your case.

Mentally or on paper, list some of the costs to you and others of making this particular case. Next, list the payoffs to you; in other words, what do you get out of making this case? For example, making a case typically makes us feel in the right, is energizing, and helps cover over softer vulnerable emotions like hurt or disappointment. Then ask yourself: are the payoffs worth the costs?

With this understanding, see if you can stay with the difficult feelings involved in the situation (the basis for the case) without slipping into a reproachful or righteous case about them. To do this, it could help to start by resourcing yourself by bringing to mind the felt sense of being cared about by others, and by opening to self-compassion. And try to hold those difficult feelings in a big space of awareness.

Open to a wider, more impersonal, big picture view of the situation – so it’s less about you and more about lots of swirling causes coming together in unfortunate ways. See if any kind of deeper insight about the other person, yourself, or the situation altogether comes to you.

Listen to your heart: are there any skillful actions to take? Including naming the truth of things, disengaging from tunnels with no cheese, or the action of there-is-nothing-that-can-be-done.

Watch how a case starts forming in your mind, trying to get its hooks into you. Then see if you can interrupt the process. Literally set down the case, like plopping down a heavy suitcase when you finally get home after a long trip. What a relief!

Enjoy the good feelings, the spaciousness of mind, the openness of heart, the inner freedom, and other rewards of dropping your case.

JUST ONE THING (JOT) is the free newsletter that suggests a simple practice each week for more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind. A small thing repeated routinely adds up over time to produce big results.

Just one thing that could change your life.
(© Rick Hanson, 2018)

COACHES: Have you heard about Conversational Intelligence®?

Have you heard about C-IQ yet?

C-IQ, or Conversational Intelligence®, is a revolutionary coaching methodology developed by Judith E. Glaser that allows you to leverage the power of neuroscience to create rapid, transformational shifts with your clients.

Soon, Judith will be opening the doors to her yearly LIVE 90-minute Immersion Experience on this powerful body of work — and I wanted to be sure you don’t miss out!

Judith E. Glaser is one of the most innovative and sought-after executive coaches of our time, the world’s leading authority on Conversational Intelligence®, WE-centric Leadership, and Neuro-Innovation and best-selling author of 7 business books.

Conversational Intelligence® is based on her profound knowledge of neuroscience and 40 years of research and experience in the coaching industry, working with some of the biggest and most prestigious companies in the world.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that in the past 3 years Judith E. Glaser and WBECS have turned this unique body of work into a global movement. That’s because C-IQ is not just changing lives. It’s changing businesses and company cultures and is literally transforming the way we interact as human beings.

I’d love to invite you to join this powerful NO COST LIVE workshop for yourself to discover how you too can start using neuroscience principles to revolutionize the way you communicate with your clients.

During the LIVE 90-minute no cost Immersion Experience you will discover:

  • The neurochemistry behind conversations which enables you and your clients to quickly establish an environment of trust and connection – with individuals, teams and entire organizations.
  • Profound frameworks and questions to activate the parts of the brain that trigger high engagement, trust and innovation – including specific tools and methodologies to share with your clients so they can create sustaining and healthy conversations at work and in life.
  • The Epigenetics of Conversations and how we transcribe new patterns and neuropathways in our brains through frameworks you can use right away to create a healthy culture through conversations for yourself and your clients.
  • The exact tools Judith used to take her client Clairol from being a $250 millioncompany to selling to P&G for $4.95 billion within less than a decade.
  • The Conversational Dashboard that allows you to identify conversation styles of your clients and take them from resisting and skeptical to high levels of trust and co-creation.
  • The Up- and Downregulating Framework that helps you as a coach to regulate your clients’ (and your own) own bio-reactions during even the most challenging leadership situations.
  • The 3 levels of conversations – What they are. Why they matter. And how to coach your clients to accessing the most impactful and effective communication as a leader by moving to level 3 conversations.
  • How to shift leaders with a strong point of view away from “being addicted to being right” and arguing back and forth to avoid and resolve conflict by asking Discovery and Innovation questions.
  • How to become part of a global community of coaches co-creating a movement to revolutionize the way we communicate, connect and interact as human beings.

I am convinced that this Immersion Experience will benefit your coaching practice tremendously!

For now, I’d love to invite you to take a look at the page below to find out what your fellow coaches and C-IQ Program graduates have to say about how Conversational Intelligence® has impacted their professional as well as personal lives:

Go here to get all the details and pre-register for the Live Immersion Experience .

Will you join me?

I look forward to attending the session with you.

Jasbindar Singh

Leadership Nuggets: Acknowledge the Truth


Three things cannot be long hidden – the sun, the moon and the truth! – Buddha

Have you had a time when someone – be it a colleague, direct report, supplier or friend who was not quite performing or was behaving in ways that was below par?

And yet you found yourself minimizing, negating or making excuses for their behaviour? You would not be the only one! I too have done this on many occasions, much to my own detriment.

Why?

Well – we do this for a number of “good” reasons because seeing, acknowledging and taking action on the truth, as we experience it, isn’t always comfortable.

Let me give you a work example.

Leader denial and lack of accountability

Some years back, I coached a senior executive whose direct report was very good at ‘hitting the targets’ but his modus operandi left a lot to be desired.

The feedback and “air-waves” from his team and others consistently was that the he was a bully.

Teamwork, collaboration, empathy, ‘developmental conversations’ did not figure in this person’s language.

What was present was manipulation, veiled and not so veiled threats, pressure tactics and even down right lying when it suited the direct report, which was often

Despite leading a dysfunctional team with lots of turnover and staff rotation, my coachee – his boss – would not fully acknowledge the situation.

Why was this, you may ask?

Read more »

Leadership Call: The One Truth You Cannot Afford to Ignore

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
– E.E. Cummings

Listen to your inner self!

During our busy year of meeting deadlines and juggling the demands and expectations of others and self, we can be left with little time for meaningful reflection of our lives.

After all, most of our energy is caught up in just keeping things going.
Read more »

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