Skill Will Matrix

Skill-Will Matrix: A Situational Leader’s Tool

The skill-will matrix is a tool that can be used by managers to assess an individual’s performance. It also provides guidance on how to tailor the management style.

The Skill-Will Matrix

High performers(High Will, High skill): Empower/Delegate

High performers are typically role models who others can look up to. Empower them & delegate more responsibilities. Do not micromanage them. They should also mentor and train other team members.

Contributors(High Will, Low skill): Guide

Contributors have high willingness to do things but might need more training, mentoring and tools to improve their skills. They can typically be empowered for some tasks where they possess skill but for the others they need hand-holding.

Potential detractors(Low Will, High skill): Motivate

Potential detractors have the skills to do a great job, but for whatever reason lack the will to put in their best effort. They need additional motivation to improve their will, otherwise, they can often bring down team morale.

Low performers(Low Will, Low skill): Direct

Low performers are typically lack skill and will and have a negative attitude towards their role and often the organization. They need to quickly improve their will and/or skill; otherwise, they should typically exit the organization. Low performers need to be highly directed on many of their tasks until their will or skill improves. This is the one case where micromanagement will be necessary.

Skill/Will Levels & Potential Actions

Skill Will Potential Actions
Low Performers Low Low – Micromanage
– Create Performance & Training Plan
– Reduce Accountability
– Let the employee exit
Potential Detractors Low High – Hard Coaching
– Motivate & Create Incentives
– Create Performance Plan
– Change Roles/Projects
Contributors High Low – Training & Development Plan
– Mentor & Coach
– Selective Empowerment
High Potentials High High – Full Empowerment
– Delegate More Responsibility
– Leadership Opportunities
– Promote

You can now bucket your team members into these four quadrants & individualize your management/coaching style.

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