small changes to how work is done Create Learning Team Building and Leadership

Sitting with a Manufacturing Operations Manager, Shift Supervisor, Human Resources Director and three other people to discuss developing a ‘Talent Pool Development Program.’

Weaknesses in people

While developing goals and objectives for progress, the HR Director asked, “Shouldn’t we also identify the weaknesses of those who did not complete the program, that way we can identify people with similar weaknesses and eliminate them from the process?”

Fair question…

Effectiveness of Process

My response “Perhaps we can identify what about the process was effective last time, how the people were chosen and the set-up of the mentoring process. Plus interview the mentors and the people who were successful and ask what about this process was effective for them? How they found value? And if the process was a little better what would have been done differently? Then use that information to strengthen the system to drive the desired behaviors and outcomes we are all looking for.

Different information can be found with either response.

What can you do with the information?
Weaknesses in People
Effectiveness in the Process
  • Problem Focused
  • People feel a need to find errors, that may prove inconsequential to their work.
  • Knowing how people are weak leaves us viewing people as weak.
  • Identify weakness leaves us with little information to act on.
  • Everyone has weaknesses and gaps, if we choose to look for and actively investigate them, people will only reinforce their weaknesses.
  • Once these weaknesses are reinforced, co-workers & managers tend to see the flaws as more pronounced and then treat people accordingly.
  • Solution / Progress Focused
    People find ‘what works’ in the process & can do more of what works.
  • Focusing on the process of the development allows for discussions about the Process and belief that people want to do their best work. It is our job to create the environment for that to happen.
  • Determining ‘what worked’ lets us know what to do more of and think about doing more of “what worked.”
  • Asking for signs or clues of what makes this a little better, shines a light on the path to create continuous improvement.
  • Everyone has strengths and talents, if we choose to look for and actively investigate them, people will reinforce their strengths.
  • Once these strengths are reinforced, co-workers & managers tend to see advantages and more pronounced and treat people accordingly.

Process and Results for team building and leadership development

What do you think?

Is there a need to identify weaknesses and gaps in people? If so, when is that most useful to achieve the results you are looking for? How might you better respond to the question asked by the HR Director?