From the Ask Tom mailbag:
How can I tell? You talked about the four states of mental processing. When I look at a person, meet a person, talk to a person, how can I tell? How can I tell if they have Stratum I, II, III or IV capability?
The short answer is, you can’t tell. The longer answer is, it’s not your place to determine capability. Leave that to a higher authority.
Look, you are a manager. You are not an amateur psychologist.
Can you spot positive behavior from your team members? Can you spot negative behavior? Why does it only take nanoseconds for you to tell the difference? Because you are a manager, that’s what managers do. Play to your strengths as a manager.
- Is it within your authority as a manager to determine what tasks need to be completed?
- Is it within your authority as a manager to determine a reasonable amount of time for each task?
- Is it within your authority as a manager to evaluate the effectiveness of the person you have assigned to each task?
That is your playing field. It is within your authority to evaluate the effectiveness of your team members related to the task. There are a handful of factors that contribute to or detract from effectiveness – skills, circumstances, interest, habits. Stay on this playing field, that’s what you are good at.
The question of a person’s maximum capability is not your issue. Your issue, as a manager, is ONLY what is capability related to the task. It’s all about the work.