The Clever Counsellor Teaches KPIs

The Clever Counsellor Teaches KPIs

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Sally calls into the counselor’s radio show, concerned about the level of commitment from her future fiancé. She tells the counselor things are good but then opens up on how the relationship is not looking like what she had assumed it would be.

As Sally shares more and more of the issues that are weighing on her, she becomes increasingly frustrated and angry. When the counsellor and radio host asks whether Sally has considered it might be time to move on, Sally is reluctant because she still has hope for a turnaround.The counselor takes a deep and audible breath and begins: “Alright Sally. Let me feed back to you what you have just told me by playing a game. Let’s pretend that you have asked me to set you up with my cousin Scott.”

“I agree and when you ask me for more details about Scott, I begin telling you that he rarely shows up on time, won’t really like any of your friends, your family or your recreational pursuits. And in regards to your spiritual and religious beliefs, he will be really dedicated at first. But in reality, he thinks religion is just a big con job so you can forget about worshiping as a couple.”

“He will want you to cook meals for him, do his laundry and lend him money when he is short for boys night out which is every Friday, like it or not. Other than that, he’s a great guy. So it’s all set up Sally, can I give him your number?”

Sally’s denial about her relationship has just been uncovered by the clever counselor. No woman in her right mind would agree to dating Scott if she had that kind of information up front! Even though Sally is actually in that situation currently, she won’t break it off because she believes some day it will get better or she is afraid of being alone or of what her friends and family will think.

KPIs Can Improve Fit

When I heard this story it really impacted me because of what I often hear when I begin an assignment with new clients. In our Strategic Planning sessions, CEOs and their senior management teams will often tell me how they are struggling to find answers to their employee performance problems. They often blame it on a ‘poor fit’ or a bad hiring choice and when the employees are surveyed later in the process, we often hear “I’m not sure this place is for me – what’s expected seems to change everyday.”

What is often missing is a simple and effective framework for having real conversations early in the hiring process or at some point in the first few months of the hire. They are specific, tangible, sometimes verbal, often visual (white boarding, iPading) and focus Key Performance Indicators. This does not need to be complicated, is never confrontational and you can start by answering 7 simple questions together.

1. How much? 

2. By whom? 

3. For whom? 

4. By when? 

5. To what standard? 

6. Communicated in what format and how often?

7. Coached with what framework and reviewed how often?

These conversations can take place via Skype, white-boarding in a private meeting room or by going for a walk and talk. Here are some additional, simple tips that will help you build a stronger performance based relationship and iron out any misconceptions regarding employment fit.


  • Visually map out and complete the 7 questions listed in above.
  • Make it clear you expect a lot, but will train and reward accordingly.
  • Train, supervise, coach and monitor. And make sure your managers have or obtain the training they need to become skilled in this critical area. Repeat weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. 
  • Improve your hiring practices by making sure this is communicated clearly right up front. If there are still problems after all your efforts, you might in fact have a bad fit, so time to part company.


  • Don’t be intimidated by the process. You’ll be all the better for being part of an organization that has high standards. 
  • Understand that this will benefit you for the rest of your career.
  • Do your best to be part of the solution.
  • If after all your efforts you do in fact have a bad fit then move on.

Try this simple guideline and you’ll be amazed with the results! Good luck, don’t forget to leave a comment and have a good week.


PS. If you want to know if such a process will work to get better results, Clear Moves helped a client identify and capture over $1/2 million in new revenue. If you’re curious to know how, call me at +1 778.317.8064 or email and we can at least talk about the possibilities for you and your company.