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Want a Stronger Team? Help Your Underperformers!

Want a Stronger Team? Help Your Underperformers!

One of the more common subjects that always comes up in leadership development programs on our Perth leadership centre is that of underperformers. An underperformer can be a problem and even demoralise others in the workplace. Whether the underperformer is a part of a team that doesn’t hold up his end or someone who is simply given less work to do than his or her “peers,” perceived inequity can quickly turn to anger and frustration.

Often, the employee is a “good employee” in all other aspects but just doesn’t get enough done. This is a difficult situation because firing that employee may cause as much discord on the staff as letting the employee continue to underperform.

Here are a few strategies for working with underperformers.

Acknowledge the Problem

The first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge it. This keeps distrust and unrest from festering and lets everyone on the team know that you are cognizant of and care about the problem.

Find the Cause of the Problem

Sometimes, “underperformance” is actually a case of an employee being asked to do something that isn’t well-suited to their skill set. Often, expectations aren’t clear enough or priorities aren’t communicated properly. Usually, underperformance isn’t all one person’s fault. Make sure that you know what contribution you are making to the problem.

Ask Others for Feedback

Get feedback from others on the team without making it a “bashing party.” You will often find aspects of the problem that you … Continue reading

Gaining the Trust of Your Employees

The Importance of Gaining the Trust of Your Employees

A common theme in any of the leadership development programs or management courses we provide on our Perth leadership centre is trust. Trust is important on many levels. The public has to trust your product. You have to trust your employees to execute your vision. Your employees must trust each other to do their part. Most of all, though, your employees must trust management for your firm to enjoy sustained success.

Employees who trust management to be honest and ethical with them tend to work harder and sustain their focus longer. They tend to be more honest because they know that their candor won’t have negative consequences.

So, how do you gain the trust of employees? Here are a few things you can do now.


Make a personal connection with each employee. As the gap between a manager’s power and those of an employee widen, the manager has to work harder to gain trust. Connecting on a personal level over such things as sports or other shared outside interests is a great way to connect. Take a sales call or a customer service call once in awhile to bring back the perception that you are “one of the guys.”

Remember, though, to always maintain your professional relationship.


Honesty is the best way to gain trust. Be honest and transparent; if an employee senses a hidden agenda, you have to start the process of gaining trust all over again. Honesty breeds trust.

Coach, Don’t “Manage”

The most effective … Continue reading

Tips for Emerging, Driven Managers

Five Tips for Emerging, Driven Managers

We have worked with our fair share of talented emerging managers in our leadership development programs. An emerging manager brings energy to the workplace but often can be lacking in experience. Here are five ways to maximise your career path by using energy to gain experience.

Acknowledge Your Abilities

You may not have twenty years of experience, but you were promoted based on your skills and abilities. Make sure you place them at the forefront. However, you must also monitor yourself for arrogance, which can cause a lack of respect from subordinates and peers.

Respect the Experience and Knowledge of Others

Don’t pretend that you know more than everyone; it is impossible. Instead, make sure that you show respect to both subordinates and peers. Acknowledge and respect their experience and skills. Ask for help and ask for opinions from those who have experience and knowledge that you don’t yet possess.

If you respect your subordinates and let them know that you can benefit from their knowledge and experience, it will go a long way towards gaining their respect.

Be the Problem Solver

Your point of view may be different than older members of your management team. You may have a fresh outlook where theirs is bogged down due to repetition. Don’t be afraid to come up with a novel solution for a problem. Most of all, don’t wait for those with more experience to solve problems. If you have a solution, make sure to suggest it.

Know Thyself … Continue reading

Bridging the Generational Gap in Your Workplace

Bridging the Generational Gap in Your Workplace

When we present leadership development programs on our Perth campus, one of our most preferred outcomes is to foster an environment of cooperation as opposed to confrontation. Sometimes, however, we find that it is difficult because of the generational gap between those in the “baby boomer” generation and the “millennial” generation.

Luckily, by the end of our program, the problem is usually solved due to a dynamic we will tell you about later. For those who haven’t attended any of our classes or training yet, here are four steps you can take to bridge the generational gap in your workplace.

Establish Mutual Goals

Everyone in a workplace should be reminded of the reason they are working in the first place. Communicating and clarifying goals that both sides have in common can go a long way towards getting everyone on the same page, no matter when they were born.

Facts, Not Judgments

When discussing others’ performance, stick to the facts instead of making judgments or assumptions about why they may have made certain mistakes or chosen certain actions. Often, a baby boomer will look at the same set of circumstances and have different expectations for an outcome than their millennial counterparts.

Be Gentle with Criticism

Sticking to the facts can help, but it is essential not to be overly-critical of another person, especially if that person is on the opposite side of the generation gap. Nobody likes to be criticised, especially when the criticism is coming from a generation whose thought … Continue reading

Negotiating the Line between Managing and Coaching

Negotiating the Line between Managing and Coaching

When we are conducting one of our leadership development programs or management courses for a Perth business, we end up spending a lot of time helping executives and middle management find the balance between being a manager and a coach or mentor.

Statistics from the Harvard Business Review indicate that while subordinates don’t always like being managed, they want to be coached. In reviews of over 50,000 managers by over 500,000 subordinates over a period of ten years, using one of our favourite instruments, the 360 review, results have been consistent. There is a direct relationship between effective coaching and almost every positive metric in current use.

Executives who are great at developing others reap the benefits of better employee engagement and more effort from those employees. Other metrics that are positively affected by good coaching include retention rates, productivity and employees’ perception of the quality of their leadership. This produces an environment of high achievement which engenders more customer loyalty.

Traits of a Good Coach


One of our favourite outcomes is “collaboration, not confrontation.” A great coach makes suggestions instead of giving orders. This allows the protege to draw from within their own resources to solve problems.

Aiding in Discovery

Instead of telling a subordinate how to solve a problem, a great coach helps them discover the solution within themselves.

Balancing “Expert” with “Equal”

To coach effectively, one must be sure not to act like a “guru” or like they know everything. It is better … Continue reading

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