The "Check-In" Dashboard

by Dave Miller / Co-Founder

Ever wonder what is up with your resident or that young staff leader, or even volunteer leader on your team? You know something is not quite right, but you aren't sure how to find out... doesn't really feel like the right time to launch into another topic yet, but you need something to do with them to gauge where they are and what kind of space they are in...

If in your coaching & developmental conversation time you’ve hit a road block and when you ask “How are you this week?” you are getting a predictable blank stare or the same old “fine" then perhaps this could help.

I thought I'd share with you a quick tool that I use either with the flip chart and marker (as shown here) or sometimes even at the table with a journal or the back of a napkin. 

STEP ONE: Identify different areas of their life typically areas like emotional health, physical, spiritual, relational, professional, etc. Sometimes I trade out topics based on the individual and have them give me a couple as well.

STEP TWO: Then ask them if they are green (good) yellow (not great) or red (in trouble). Don’t over think or get in the weeds…just a blink response here is best.

STEP THREE: Then ask them what direction they are headed in that area. For example, if they are "yellow but heading up" then that tells me that if they keep doing what they're doing, it's going to be good someday in the future. If they are yellow, headed down, that tells me we better make a change. Eventually this area will become red.

 At the end of this exercise you’ll have a sort of dashboard to look at with them to assess how they are doing.
Two ways to take this further:

1. Ask them who is in the chair of influence in each of those areas. This group of people tend to act like the “management team” of their life. These are the people that are asking them about this particular area. If an area is red or yellow turning red it might be good for them to verbalize who the person is they need to talk with about this area.

2. Take the problem areas (yellow and heading down, etc.) and make a new sheet of action items. Ask them what the things are they need to do to get this better. Allow them to give you the action items they are going to do - let them know you'll pull that back out next week in your coaching session to see how they are progressing.

Developing leaders takes time (our program is two years) and it takes intentionality (we do this through one on one developmental conversations like the one described here). Do not give up in your development plans and coaching of young leaders. It’s your future growth engine of great hires!

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