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Development Zones

A Worry conversation happens when you’re seeing neither effort nor results. Things aren’t working, and you don’t know why. It’s not yet time to involve HR, but things are heading in that direction.


The goal of a Worry conversation is to compassionately but clearly express concern and try to get to the root of the problem so you can help solve for it: “I’m concerned; what’s going on?” While Worry conversations are rare, they are crucial.

You might discover that your employee is dealing with personal problems you knew nothing about, and you can help connect them with resources to support them. You might discover that they’ve hit a blocker they don’t know how to get around and they don’t know how to ask for help. You might discover that they’ve got too much on their plate and they’ve hit paralysis. You might discover that the role is a bad fit for them.

Different causes will call for different responses, but by having an explicit and compassionate Worry conversation, you’re signaling that you’ve noticed what’s happening, that it matters, and that you care. Those three things together make it more likely that the situation will be able to improve.



You’re not seeing either effort or results; what’s going on?