Performance Consultation

Performance Consultation

One of the biggest problems with training in the corporate world is that it is frequently used for the wrong reasons. When training is used for the wrong reasons we end up with learners who don’t want to learn anything, and content that doesn’t help people in their daily work. This leads to a massive waste of money and time, and really hurts training’s reputation.

I love training, so much so that I wrote a book about it! And I believe strongly in the value of training when it’s used for the RIGHT reasons. So I care a great deal about improving the reputation of training and ensuring more people get value out of the training they do.

My way of ensuring I run training for the right reasons and provide value for learners is by going through a thorough Performance Consultation process with all of my clients. This is a 5 step process that is easy to follow and helps us uncover all of the key actions required to drive performance. I describe this process in detail down below.

If you work in L&D or HR, you will find this process extremely valuable when working with your stakeholders. I also offer one-on-one coaching and training on how to use this Performance Consultation process and if you would like to learn more then email me at

  1. The Problem


Many managers automatically assume training is the solution to so many problems, but frequently this is not the case. When people come out of training feeling like it was a waste of time, this is normally not because the training was bad, but because training was the wrong solution.

So at the very start of a performance consultation process it is important to go back to the problem that led to the training request in the first place. This helps people let go of their assumptions that training is definitely the solution, and means we get information that helps us decide what the best solution will be.

2. The Goal


Whilst focusing on The Problem helps people get away from jumping to the wrong solution, it also reveals a lot of information about what people don’t want, which is not very helpful for designing a training solution. So once we’ve got enough clarity on the problem, it’s time to start focussing on what people actually do want.

For this section, I normally use my MAD Goals tool (which stands for Measurable, Achievable and Desirable). By clarifying the goals, we clarify exactly what the stakeholders expect to see after we implement our solutions. This sets us up to start designing our solution with the end in mind.

3. Key Actions


In order to achieve goals, people need to do things. So at this stage in the process we start asking who these people are and what they need to do.

It helps here to get very specific on what the exact actions are, why we need people to take them, how they should take them and when they should take them by. This reveals more useful information to help us design a practical solution.

4. Barriers


Now we know what we want people to do, it’s time to find out why they aren’t doing it. This is where we discover if coaching or training can help, or if we need to recommend other solutions.

For this step, I use The Behaviour Model which was designed by the Behavioural Scientist BJ Fogg at Stanford University. This model says that Behaviour happens when there is Motivation, Ability and a Prompt all at the same time. Using this, we can identify if the barriers is the lack of a prompt, the lack of ability or the lack of motivation. This now lets us see what exactly needs to happen in order to get those key people to take those key actions.

5. Solutions


Now we know what the barriers are, and what needs to happen to overcome those, we can start brainstorming and proposing solutions.

During this phase, it’s important to consider the constraints that our stakeholders are working under, such as time, budget, influence, ability, technology etc, and design a solution that works within those constraints. This step can require a lot of resourcefulness and creativity.

If you’d like a free tool to help you use this Performance Consultation process in your work then click here. If you’d like coaching or training on how to use this then email me at