We have all worked with an employee (perhaps you know one now) that does not seem to ever “get” a part of the job, or who continues to struggle with something longer than expected.

For example, you show this person how to create a report three times over three months, but in month 4 she asks for help again. Or he normally can handle the tasks you delegate, but every once in a while he seems flustered and avoids finishing those that require advanced planning.

What could be the cause? I don’t know! Part of people coaching is diagnostic—looking at trends and asking questions to uncover the reason behind a performance gap. And that is what you have to do to answer the question “Will training help?”

Three areas where training is less effective:

  • an underlying attitude issue (lack of commitment to job or company)
  • if someone’s personal values / beliefs don’t match organization values
  • lack of job fit (due to personality traits or competency that don’t match up)

If you uncover that the “root cause” of the performance gap is ability, then you have a situation where training can improve performance.

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