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New Directions

By Jim Ward

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Performance Reviews

Success is not final, failure in not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill)

Performances reviews generally fall into two categories: bad and really bad. This is one of those workplace rituals that most of us dread. Sadly, managers are often not trained in conducting formal reviews, or they simply don’t take the time to prepare for a meaningful conversation. Performance feedback is a key part of our development and learning. They can lead to your perception of being valued and being “part of the team.” Performance reviews can also lead to feelings of anger and resentment. From my experience, taking responsibility and ownership will lead to better results. What do I mean by that? Not being defensive is a start. Listen patiently and don’t make excuses or argue. During a review, you will receive some feedback about what you did or did not do/accomplish. Unless this feedback is based on inaccurate information, it is better to first listen. Try to find the win-win solution. Restating what you hear during the review is important. After your manager finishes, you may simply say , ‘What I hear you saying is…’. I would also break down the feedback you receive into three categories: Start, Stop, and Continue.  After the review, summarize the results into these three categories. Schedule a follow-up meeting with your manager and review your notes. The important thing to remember is to use the information obtained to your advantage. My personal view is that the best performance reviews are the ones given throughout the year. A good manager is someone who gives you feedback year-round. Ask for that! It may yield positive results. In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “If we stop, listen and think about what others are seeing in us, we have great opportunity.”

Until next time…

Jim

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