You want to know that your people are performing at their optimal level. You want to know that you’re doing everything that you can to help them grow so they can be the best they can be. This is the only way that your organization is going to get where you want it to be.

One of the things that I know leaders struggle with is how to lead to the individual’s needs. So I want to talk about the Performance Mastery Matrix. This idea is that we have people on our team that live in different levels of functionality.

There are people who are absolutely amazing at what they do. They are motivated to do everything they can to keep growing and improving. Those are the people who probably don’t need much guidance. But when you have somebody who’s firing on all cylinders, you want to keep them engaged. You want to make sure that you’re giving them roles and responsibilities that keep them wanting to do more and growing in a way that challenges them. If not, they are going to feel stagnant and maybe start to look somewhere else.

On the other end of the spectrum, you probably have people on your team who are not firing on all cylinders. Not only do they not have mastery of their skills, but they are also not very motivated. When you have people that you know are not doing what you need them to do in either of those areas, the hard thing is those people shouldn’t be on your team. You need to help them find something else that will truly give them the opportunity to grow more fully into their potential.

That leaves two other quadrants in our Performance Mastery Matrix.

One quadrant is where you have somebody who has the skills. They’ve achieved a level of mastery that you can see that they know what they’re doing, but they are not showing up in their fullness. Maybe they are lacking motivation. For those people, you need to find out what they need to be motivated and in what areas. I think we assume that it’s just because they don’t have the drive, but sometimes motivation or a lack of it comes from confidence in other areas. Aside from the skills that you want your people to master to be able to do what you want them to do, there are also outside variables — perhaps technology, communication, language skills. Is there training that needs to take place in order for them to feel like they understand all the aspects of the job? if you are only offering training in our products or service area, you may be missing the boat in other areas where they need some additional training that would help them be motivated.

But then there are also people in that same quadrant who already have all of the skills they want and need. They have mastered what they need to know but remain unmotivated. Those people need the kind of coaching where someone can climb inside their head and heart and help them create a vision that they can get excited about and then hold them accountable to that vision.

And then the final quadrant. Somebody who is super motivated but maybe is lacking skills in certain areas. Those are the people that you want to be able to train. They are there; they are showing up; but how do you help them to be their best? That calls for coaching with role-playing. That calls for ride-alongs — seeing them in real-time action getting the kind of feedback about what’s working well, about what’s not working well, and what areas need support. Everybody has blind spots, and that’s why being with them in action is the only way that you’re going to understand what it is they truly need so that we can lead to that individual.