staff problem grid

Here’s one of my favorite diagrams to use when you’re having a problem with someone who is in a specific ministry role– whether it’s a staff role or a volunteer role.

When something just doesn’t seem to be working, start by asking, “Does this person understand their job or don’t they?” Clarify for them what they’re supposed to be doing. From there, ask whether they are willing to do that job or not. If the person is a volunteer, it’s their prerogative not to work in that particular role. If they’re staff, no amount of training will help if the real issue is willingness or motivation.

Finally, if the person understands their job and are willing to do it, you need to ask whether or not they have the needed skills. If they lack certain skills, sometimes training is precisely what’s needed. Other times it’s more a matter of a giftedness or personality mismatch. For example, if you’ve placed someone in a role requiring visionizing and visioncasting but the person is more of an implementer, that’s just not a good fit. If they’re a volunteer they can simply find a better ministry outlet. If they’re in a staff position and they don’t have the skills and those skills are not developable, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault for hiring them for a position for which they are not suited.