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The Four People Issues

When we don’t address people issues there are consequences for us, our team, and the organisation as a whole.

In Gino Wickman’s book “How to be a great boss” he talks about the The Four People Issues:

Right Person, Right Seat
Right Person, Wrong Seat
Wrong Person, Right Seat
Wrong Person, Wrong Seat

Right Person, Right Seat
Is the right person in the right seat really a problem ? It can be if you don’t manage who gets your attention. You are probably spending most of your time and effort focussing on the wrong person wrong seat issues. There is a tendency to commit more time to help the others when they are either the wrong person or the wrong seat or both. The right person in the right seat will provide you with better information and be better placed to identify and resolve issues. Wouldn’t you be better spending time with them than trying to turn around a wrong person in the wrong seat ?

Right Person, Wrong Seat
You may have a right person in a wrong seat. Someone who is a role model for your core values and fits your organization’s culture but is just not producing in their role. If you haven’t been able to work with them to get them to rise up to the bar your organization has set then hopefully there is a role within the organization they can fulfil but if not they will have to go.

Wrong Person, Right Seat
Sometimes you may have a member in your team who is achieving targets and is exceptionally productive. But then you hear they are getting those results in ways that are potentially damaging your reputation or aggravating other members of the team. They are putting their interests before the core values of your organisation. If you ignore this issue you let everyone know that the core values don’t matter as long as you get results. This kind of behaviour can damage long terms relationships with customers and well as internal staff. You can use the 3 strikes rules to try to modify the behaviour but if by strike 3 nothing has changed , they need to go.

Wrong Person, Wrong Seat
This is the most obvious one and hopefully is discovered as soon as is possible. If you have been well connected with your people the disconnect should become apparent in weeks not months.

On occasion you may not want to deal with things like this head on. It might have been you who made a mistake and took them on. You might be thinking underneath it they are ok and you are trying to save them. You might be thinking the wrong seat filled by the wrong person is better than not having a person in the seat at all. Either way as a boss you need to address employee issues personally and quickly. If you dont you run the risk of losing the respect of your people. They want to know that you care about them, their behaviour and their performance.

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