I am working on creating development plans for my direct reports. Any suggestions on where to start??? Anyone willing to answer a couple quesitons related to this process?

1)What I am trying to do is create a plan that really focuses on behaviors vs. technical aspects of the job. I am finding this somewhat challenging as it always seems to come back to the tehcnical or we struggle to drill down on the exact behavior. Any suggesitons?

2)Does somewhere out there use these for the development of their direct reports and how have they worked? How often do you review the progress of these? Do you have them create the plan or do you create it? I am asking my direct reports to create and not going so well to begin with.

Thanks in advance

jhack's picture

Have you listened to the podcasts on coaching? There are four listed here:


bflynn's picture

If you're having trouble defining behaviors, there's something blocking you. It could be that your own focus is on the technical. Or that the behaviors really don't matter to getting the job done. Try defining the behaviors in terms of defined accomplishments rather than ways of acting. Correct "bad" behavior with feedback, not coaching. You only go to coaching if the feedback isn't be taken to heart.

AFAIK, The MT methodology doesn't have written development plans for reports because they just aren't useful. You don't need to dissect the behaviors and determine the first five to be worked on. Pick the biggest item for each person and start coaching them on it. If there's two big ones, you might be able to get someone to work on two at a time, but three at once is pushing it. Don't plan out what's next because you'll just obsess over the next thing to be worked on and it isn't going to do any good.

I hope this is helpful.


TomW's picture
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I would recommend that you start by having the directs make their own plan based on their own goals. Of course, you can veto it, but they will be much more committed if they develop it themselves instead of you developing it for them.

tlhausmann's picture
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One podcast that you may find helpful is:

MT premium content also has helpful PowerPoint slides for quick reference.

dave445's picture

Does anybody have document that they use to capture Development Plans which they have found works particularly well? Something that ties into the 'M-T way of managing'?

Where I work we've had a new form almost very year, none of which worked well for me. None were behaviour based, and they're not tied well to Annual Reviews & Next Years Goals. Some years it's left as "write a development plan" for the manager & direct to develop. I don't have a standard form I'm required to use this year, and want a better way.

I've struggled with my own for years, and want a better solution for the people I'm helping.

tlhausmann's picture
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[quote="jpdesmarais"]Does anybody have document that they use to capture Development Plans which they have found works particularly well? [/quote]

I document employee development plans/goals in the annual review. Also, I periodically check 'development' goals in advance of the weekly O3.

I most certainly check progress for the mid-year performance review.

US101's picture
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I don't know if a form is going solve your issue. Remember the 5 behaviors
1. Words you say
2. How you say them
3. Body Language
4. Facial Expression
5. Work Product

Just having written development goals is better than what most people do. If your people scoff at the idea of written development goals, tell them this story

[b]The Harvard Business School Written Goal Story[/b]

In 1979 the book a study was conducted with students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program.

In that year, the students were asked, "Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?" Only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.

10 years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The
13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the 3 percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, 10 times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

While this story is about financial goals, the same concept applies to employee or management development goals.

TomW's picture
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[quote="US101"]In 1979 the book a study was conducted with students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program.....[/quote]

I'd be curious to see the original study. Is it possible that those 3% were more motivated in the first place, and writing the goals was an effect, not a cause? (that those 3% were going to be the top performers whether they wrote the goals or not)