Performance conversations should be a two-way conversation between an employee and their leader. Often it becomes a one-way passage of information from the leader who for a variety of reasons – nerves, inexperience or urgency – with the leader reading off a bullet list of what the team member has done, and not done.
In moving to a culture of on-going feedback it can be important to create an environment where performance conversations are part of a dialogue, rather than an anxiety promoting one-off activity.
Part of this shift involves engaging the team members in their own assessment of how their performance is going. This can entail
Having them review their goals on a regular basis
Having them identify the key activities on a regular basis, connecting them with the goals
Having them self-assess what’s working, and what’s not.
With this pre-planning in mind, art of making this shift is having a variety of questions to stimulate the conversation. Here are a range you might want to use:
Looking at your goals this period (quarter/year/month) what progress have you made OR what achievements have you had?
- What’s been working well?
- What hasn’t been working well with each of these goals?
- What do you need to be more successful (this may lead to a discussion around resourcing – other people and support, or physical resources needed, or other resourcing)
- What’s the one change you want to make around your goals and actions in the next quarter, to accelerate your results (or ramp up your impact)?
- What will help you be more successful with your work?
- What key learning have you had around your work/career since we last met?
- What else is important to note?
Using some (and probably not all) of these questions, can hep to stimulate a two-way conversation. Don’t forget that the conversation is also an opportunity for you as a leader to get feedback on how things are going, so be sure to ask them what change could be made as well.
Enjoy the conversation!
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