5 Surprising Reasons for Poor Performance You Can Solve Quickly

Poor performance is exhausting and frustrating.

A manager who brings out the best in others multiplies talent and maximizes resources.

Poor performance degrades, de-energizes, and devalues.

Coddling promotes poor performance. Image of bubble wrap.

5 surprising reasons for poor performance:

#1. Disconnected management.

Day-to-day performance hinges on connection.

Who will work with greater passion? Someone who feels connected or someone who feels on the outside?

When leaders stand aloof, people disengage.

When numbers are all that matter, people are treated like tools.

Tip: Connect with people on a human level.

#2. Overcommitment.

High performers become poor performers when they overcommit.

Challenge invigorates. Overcommitment discourages high achievers.

High performers become poor performers when management makes unrealistic expectations.

Tip: Notice recurring frustrations. Honor results and character.

A person without direction is lost, even if they're busy. Image of direction arrows.

#3. Lack of focus.

A person without direction is lost, even if they’re busy.

Aspirational people hate squandering energy. Everyone wants to engage in work that matters.

Tip: Giving direction is more than responsibility. It’s a gift to high performers. Ask team members what’s important today.

#4. Fear of failure.

Managers who punish responsible failure insult aspiration and initiative.

Tip: Questions to ask after responsible failure:

  1. What are you learning?
  2. What will you do differently next time?
  3. How will you make this failure right?
  4. How can I help? (Assuming you’re prepared to be involved.)
Low expectations insult talent. Image of a sad dog.

#5. Low expectations.

No one rises to low expectations.

Coddling promotes poor performance. Coddling isn’t kindness. It’s disrespect.

Low expectations insult talent.

Tip: Questions to ask when setting high expectations:

  1. What does reaching a little higher look like?
  2. On a scale of 1:10, how big of a challenge is this for you?
  3. How might you stretch yourself?

Exceptional performance is the result of reaching beyond current attainment.

Development is often a series of small improvements rather than one giant leap.

What’s behind poor performance?

How might managers maximize performance?

12 Steps that Defeat Mediocrity

Poor Performers Underperform for These 10 Reasons–and It’s Not What You Think