Friday, 19 February 2016

An approach for balanced and constructive performance review

Dear Reader,

For many of you this might be annual performance review time. As a boss, it can be quite a challenge to give a critical feedback to your team members.

In a recent workshop with leadership team of a company, we shared a concept of “their- there”. We picked this concept from a book I have earlier shared in my mail:

Real Influence - Persuade without push and gain without giving in: By Mark Goulston & John Ullman.

Here is the concept in brief:

Imagine that you’re at one end of a shopping mall - say, the northeast corner, over by Starbucks. Next, imagine that a friend of yours is at the opposite end of the mall, next to the toy store. And imagine that you’re telling that person how to get to where you are.

Now, picture yourself saying, “To get to where I am, start in the northeast corner by Starbucks.” That doesn’t make any sense, does it? Because that’s where you are, not where the other person is.

You’re coming from your own here and expecting the other person to start there, too. And that’s not going to happen. So to engage people fully, it’s critical to do something very different. Once you’ve find out where another person is coming from, your goal is to approach things from that person’s perspective. When you do this, it becomes exponentially easier for the person to connect with you.

Few days after the workshop we received the following message from one participant – Sachin R:

“This time while having performance feedback discussions with my Team I used ‘Their there’ approach. I wrote "Their There" on the top of the sheet followed by 5 questions:

1.     What went well for you last year & why?
2.     What didn't go well for you and why?
3.     What support you got from us/me to help you achieve your objectives?
4.     What support you didn't get from us/me ?
5.     What support your require from us/me for your growth and development?

I asked these questions to all my team members with complete "Their There" mindset. And surprisingly, their responses had most of the feedback which I wanted to give them.

It worked for me. I'm sure will work for you too. 😊😊”

Here is another message from Amit J from same team:

“Have just finished performance assessment conversation with three of my team members in a contribuing ‘Their There’ way..

I have known the three for a long time and not only was there a major difference in the response but one of them actually said that he noticed a big difference in how this conversation has happened today vis-a-vis in the past.. And I asked him if he thought it was more helpful and he responded in the affirmative saying not only helpful but very constructive ..”

In my opinion this approach and above 5 questions are very relevant for anyone conducting any type of review, annual or otherwise.

May this mail inspire you to experiment with this approach and make your reviews more balanced & constructive 

Warm regards,