When your star performer goes off-track

Derailments don’t only happen to trains, they also happen to people.  People get off-track at work, lose interest in their job and even their personal lives.  How do you get them back on track?  Does talking to them work?  For those people who take to advice, reminding them that they are hurting themselves by not working towards their goals will work.  The focus of that conversation should be on them and not about the organization they are working for.

But for others, the power of telling or reminding may not be as effective – “If you tell me, I may doubt you, but if I say it, it must be true.”  The trick for people like that is to ask some powerful questions that will create awareness in them; awareness that they must change or risk going down the path to self-destruction or mediocrity.

Here are 7 powerful questions you can use to help them get back on track.

  1. Where are you right now with your goals?
  2. Where would you like to be?
  3. What challenges are you facing currently?
  4. Why are they holding you back?
  5. How do you plan on overcoming these challenges?
  6. What are your options?
  7. What is one thing you can do in the next 7 days to move you closer to your goals?

Try these questions with a colleague who has derailed from work goals and see how they respond.  Just a few pointers; when you are having this session with someone, make sure you choose a space that is quiet, where you will both be free from interruptions and ensure that you spend 80% of your time listening in that conversation.  Let the person do the talking.  You’ll discover how much that session will do for this person.  To top that off, the answers came from them, not you, so they’ll be so much more accountable to their own action plans.

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1 Comment for this entry

June 13th, 2013 on 11:24 am

This sounds the fundamental of coaching. Asking the correct questions and active listening.