What is Profiling?

Excellent performers have a positive influence out of all proportion to their numbers. We say these people have “It”. “It” is the combination of thinking, attitudes, and behaviour that distinguishes an outstanding performer from an average performer.

Profiling reveals how excellent performers are different. You can use this information to increase excellent performance by making better training, selection and recruitment decisions.

How do we identify what excellent performers do?

People often do not know what these crucial factors are. They discover them by explaining their actions to an interested and skilled listener. The listening uncovers what they think is vital to succeed in their job. Both parties learn what the excellent performer does and thinks that makes for excellence. The best process is by individual interview. Common patterns emerge by analysing the collected data.

Stages of a project

  • Decide which group of staff to work with
  • Interview job holders
  • Analyse and classify data
  • Present data to clients in a feedback/planning meeting
  • Decide action and do it
  • Review progress, extract learning, modify or extend as appropriate.


The training function obtains precise information about the training needs of staff in key groups. The best people support the diagnosis. Jobholders learn how they do their jobs and how other excellent performers do theirs. Cross fertilisation leads to further improvements.

It helps you recruit people more likely to perform brilliantly when you know what excellent performers do in your organisation.

The organisation’s performance, and ultimately profitability, improves as the amount of excellent performance increases.

Quote from participants

We don’t want to discuss the profile; it is accurate. We want to decide what to do!

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick