2.3.3 Whose monkey is this anyway?


2.3.3 Whose monkey is this anyway?

Topic Progress:

The things that tend to fall into QIII are usually other people’s ‘tensions’ – those things that are either distracting them from their work or getting in the way of their work.  They are the things they bring to you because they are important and urgent to them but they feel powerless or unwilling to do anything about them so want you to fix it.   These can be the monkey’s in the monkey game. And the rules are simple – when they leave, who ever has the monkey on their back – looses!!!

Because this is about reducing the QIII through developing and empowering others to deal with their own issues more autonomously with confidence, your role is the coach them to work out their own solutions.

A good Quadrant I exercise is establishing an effective and predictable process and forum for them to raise their tensions and issues, and to take responsibility for resolving them or working with their peers to collaborate on a solution.  We discuss catchups later in the module, but any routine team meetings is the best place for individuals to raise tensions – the things that get in their way of achieving the purpose of their roles.

In these meetings, or even when staff bring a tension to you, you can ask:

  • What is the tension?
  • What do you need to fix it?
  • How can I help you achieve that?


  • Of the work that keeps coming up in QIII, what can you do to encourage your team to resolve these so they don’t come up again?
  • How might you coach and mentor them if they really have no idea how to resolve their issue?
  • Down load and read the article by James Carbary, These 7 Questions Will Change The Way You Lead Forever”


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