Top Two

Category: Newsletters



One of my staff people is driving me NUTS!  She makes a million mistakes and every time I think we’ve gotten past an issue, it pops up again.


Jeff, PA



Make a list of all the errors and mistakes that this person has been making. My guess is that this list will be rather long. In fact, too long. Research indicates that people can only focus on making one or two changes at a time.


Therefore, once you have completed the list, review it for:

  • Which problems are most pervasive?
  • Which mistakes may be causing other mistakes?
  • Which errors are most costly?
  • Which items are causing you the most aggravation?

Now, select the top two items from your list. Not three or four; just two. If you try to go faster, you will overwhelm this person and chances are good she will get worse rather than better. So try to be patient during the process.


Work with her to determine what is holding her back. Ask questions like:

  • What do you see as the biggest reason this keeps happening?
  • What is your biggest barrier to doing this correctly?
  • What change can you commit to making?
  • Do you need further training?
  • How will you keep this from happening again?

Specifically, you want to address why she’s making the mistake, why she’s having trouble getting it right, and how she can make sure it never happens again.


As you have this discussion, make sure expectations are clearly defined, including specific actions, indicators of success, and deadlines. Both of you should agree on these items and have a written copy to refer back to.


By the way, it’s okay to mention to her that there are other issues. Just let her know that at this time, her job is to concentrate on fixing these two issues. When she is successful, if the other issues still exist, go through this process again with the next top two challenges.


Good luck and have a great day!