A Talent Development Quick Win

What can you do right away to improve your talent development process?

“Help your leaders so they don’t screw up performance reviews,” advises CCL’s Roland Smith. “Teach them how to hold talent conversations with employees.”

Individual leaders are in the best position to influence and develop talent — or shut it down. By having talent conversations, managers can give employees good reasons to be engaged, work effectively and build their skills.

Importantly, a talent conversation is not done to someone but with someone. It is about building a relationship that allows managers to influence employees toward improved performance, development and positive outcomes.

Talent conversations can happen at any time, but one of the most critical moments for getting them right is during your organization’s regular performance review process.

The first step is for the manager to clarify what type of talent conversation he or she will have with each employee:

  1. The Top Talent Conversation. The message: future investment. Individuals who clearly meet or exceed expectations and deliver superior results are top talent. These are the individuals who are seen as the future leaders in the organization.
  2. The Solid Performer Conversation. The message: maintaining or building value. Solid performers are typically individual contributors who are valued by the organization, but could take on more responsibility.
  3. The Potential Performer Conversation. The message: short-term success. Potential performers are individuals who may not have had enough time in their role to show significant results, but are expected to bring a lot to the role they are in.
  4. The Underperformer Conversation. The message: improve performance. Underperformers are people who are not meeting expectations. The talent conversation should remain focused on the here and now, rather than future options, new tasks or additional responsibilities.

The conversation itself should have a structure, too. It helps for the manager to follow six steps:

  1. Clarify the goal. What is the purpose of the conversation? What exactly does each of us want to accomplish?
  2. Explore the issues. Assess strengths, vulnerabilities, development needs and performance enhancement. Identify motivation and career aspirations.
  3. Identify the options. Generate ideas and opportunities for learning and improvement.
  4. Set expectations. What do we want to do first? Next? What are the obstacles?
  5. Motivate. Are the goals meaningful? What support is needed? How can I help and what other sources are needed?
  6. Identify the plan. How will we know you are on target? How will we track outcomes?

Finally, be sure managers know that whatever other formal talent management or leadership development systems are in place, the talent conversation is where development becomes real. It is the time to build commitment to the organization and engagement in the work. It’s where you have the opportunity to accelerate development and results.

When talent conversations are done right, they are one of the simplest, most effective ways to develop others.

For details of how to prepare managers to hold talent conversations, read “Talent Conversations: What They Are, Why They’re Crucial and How to Do Them Right” by CCL’s Roland Smith and Michael Campbell. Or register for a CCL On-Demand Webinar with the authors.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
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