Tips for Choosing the Right Intervention

Home / Tips for Choosing the Right Intervention

When do I bring in a consultant and how do I determine what I need?

We have all come to a point in our work as leaders when we have run out of ideas or strategies to solve a personnel problem. Often, it is because we as leaders have not done our own work in addressing the problem and/or we are not sure how to do it. (See our January Blog post)

Whether you use someone within your organization or an external consultant or coach, it can be helpful to find a thinking partner when you are stuck. But use the right person at the right time so that you are making the most of your resources.

Then, determine the nature of the concern.

1. Is it performance? Then it is up to you as the manager/direct supervisor to address it. If it is a long-standing, unaddressed problem or you are not sure how to present it – use a thinking partner to help you strategize. Do you have HR business partners who can help?

2. Is it an individual’s behavior? A lot of times, we think that if performance is on-track we do not have the right to address behavior. But behavior impacts the morale and productivity of your organization. This is the place a lot of managers will use a “team-building” opportunity, retreat or training for everyone and hope the individual will “get the message.” Once again, it is up to you to establish behavioral expectations for your team – ideally with input from the team. If the individual behavior is strongly disruptive, don’t wait…address it (use your HR business partner or another thinking partner as needed – see strategy # 1) If not urgent, use an internal or external facilitator to:

  • Work with the team to discuss and establish behavioral standards
  • Invite positive recognition when people demonstrate the standards
  • Address problems individually and create clear expectations and strategies for behavioral change

3. Are two individuals in conflict? Are they recruiting others into the mix? If you’ve tried to address it yourself, bring in a trained facilitator or mediator to work with the key individuals. If others have been recruited so that the work unit is factionalized, others may need to be part of the facilitation or mediation as well. Your expert should help you determine the best way to do this.

4. Do you see problems with morale, team behavior, collaboration, customer service with the overall team? First look at your own part in this concern – how can you be a better leader and manager? Bring in that thinking partner, coach or consultant to help explore what is going on. Are you ready for some honest self-reflection? Then consider bringing in a facilitator to do team development work. If you really want change, remember that one shot efforts rarely work. Identify the change you want to see and develop a plan to make it happen that includes accountability and feedback.

For more information, check out Thunderbird’s January Blog that focuses on using your time and money wisely to get the very best results possible. And remember, your role as a leader makes all the difference. When you’ve set the stage, great things can happen.