Do line managers spot the right Talent in talent reviews?

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 14:14 PM

When you identify talent, you're deciding who are offered accelerated promotion opportunities or development programmes. But what if you’re identifying the wrong people?

In Talent Review meetings and conversations, line managers typically use a performance-potential matrix, often called a ‘9-box grid’, to review each member of their team. But the tricky part is to articulate what is meant by ‘potential’, and often it’s left to the manager’s gut feel whether or not someone is deemed to be ‘talent’.  Such 'gut feel' is open and vulnerable to any psychological bias that the manager might have - whether this is conscious or unconscious bias.

We've explored this in our article published on

In this article, Debbie Hance, Head of Business Psychology, suggests looking at:

  • how 360 degree feedback ratings can be used to help to provide a picture of a person's potential - seen by the manager and also by the team members.
  • identifying the specific competencies or behaviours that you’d like to see in your future leaders - such as strategic agility, emotional intelligence, commercial awareness, interpersonal skills and the ability to influence - as this may impact who is seen as potential.
  • being specific about exactly what people in senior roles will need to do over the next three years; then, for each specific competency, think about who would have a valid opinion on that.
  • being smarter in how you use and interpret data.
  • being aware of blindspots and bias - and the impact this can have on talent decisions.

Read the full article below and then do get in touch to see how we can support you. 

Read the article  Are line managers holding back your talent?

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