by Michael Holland    

Take a strategic leadership approach to coaching and mentoring your employees.  Determine one or two key performance areas for each employee.  Choose performance areas which will provide the employee an opportunity to grow, explore or enhance talents.  With each key area, determine how you will plant and water a seed to help the employee to increase her performance.

Begin the seeding with a planting discussion or action to provide the employee with your leadership wisdom.   Over the next several weeks, seek learning moments that will opportunistically provide an opening to touch upon the key area.  Take advantage of the opportunity and provide just-in-time, situational coaching.  This means either stroke the ego for a positive behavior, “watering” the seedling for eventual sprouting, or perform some gentle weeding to allow the desired behavior to grow.

Seeds need nutrients and take a long time to grow as does a human to adjust personal behavior patterns.  Be patient and be a good farmer; your crop of high performers should arrive.