I am often asked to look at people in key positions who are not performing at the level expected. Often, management already has in mind the solution: “He needs training,” or, “She needs coaching.”
Before jumping to an alternative solution, it’s important to understand the cause of the performance issue. The key question to ask is this: Could the person do the job if he/she absolutely had to?
- If the answer is no, then you have either a training/development issue, or an inability to learn the job.
- If the answer is yes, then it is an issue of volition — the person could do it, but doesn’t want to.
Those are two very different situations, each requiring very different solutions.
Be careful about how you diagnose performance issues.