The I’m Busy Dance

You walk into the office and all you hear is the ‘tap tap tap ’ of keyboards and when you ask about pipelines, even the tapping goes quiet.

Then you start to hear the excuses, it’s the market or I’m having a quiet patch. I’m just so busy – and you think….DOING WHAT?

Where do you Go From There?

How do you effectively and fairly deal with this situation, have your consultant take responsibility for their results and get them back on the court and billing?

Let’s Take a Look

If a consultant isn’t billing, it is down to 1 of the following 3 reasons.

Motivation, Skills/Resources or Misunderstood Expectations

Your First Step is to Work out Which of These 3 Reasons is the Offender

It’s probably a bit of a mixed bag, but one will stand out over the others.  Often when people aren’t performing, we are just observing the effect not the cause which is all too often assumed.

Ask the Consultant These Questions

How would you rate your current results?

Whatever their answer is, you have a place to explore further.  If they are happy with their poor results, there is clearly a misunderstanding around expectations.

If they say something like “I know my results aren’t good, but I just don’t know what to do”, you have a skill issue.

And any dismissive or downbeat response is more like motivation.

Once you Know the General Cause of the Problem you Dig Deeper

What do they understand to be your expectations?

What are their expectations of themselves?

Then Ask

What do you believe is responsible for your current results? (results you have now agreed aren’t good enough)

They will Fall into 2 Categories

Not My Fault (“Market, no candidates, database and tech isn’t good enough, I need more admin support…”)

My Fault (“I am having trouble breaking into clients, I can’t seem to get candidates across the line…”)

If they fall into the “Not My Fault” bucket – You need to help them understand the only way they can be in control of their results and reach what is acceptable is by taking responsibility for them. So say something to this effect, “Sure, I get it can be a tough market and there are certain things outside your control. However, there are people in your area with the same experience doing far more, so there is opportunity for you to bill more.  Can you see that?” You are aiming to get them to see it isn’t all these other things (or if it is you have a very different problem!) …but it won’t be.

“Unless you can get them to take responsibility for their results you can’t help them.”

Dig into a specific recent example where you know the result could have been better. This will help them see what they could have done differently to secure a better result; so they get to see really, it is down to them.  And then you have a situation you can work with.

If they acknowledge their results are down to them you are ready to get to work at probing to get to the root cause and getting THEM to come up with a solution that you can then support them on and review and improve as you go. Make sure it is a measurable solution with clear outcomes.

Give your consultants the opportunity to take responsibility for their own results and take the leading role in creating a solution; in doing so you’ll find that they are more motivated to achieve them and have more clarity as to how they can improve.

Thanks for Reading!




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