Five ways to have highly effective performance conversations
- May 21, 2022
- Posted by:
- Category: Blog
Why do performance conversations meander and often end on an inconclusive note? Why are the decisions taken not followed up on?
The answer lies in our communication and preparation, rather, our understanding of what constitutes communication and lack of preparation. Here are 5 important tips to make your performance conversations more effective.
1. Listen before you speak
Performance conversations are meant not only to give feedback but also to receive it. While much time is spent on imparting information, little attention is paid to hearing from across the table. We simply don’t listen enough!
Most managers use performance conversations as a one-way platform to give feedback. Not realising that giving feedback is just half the task done. Such platforms are meant to listen and take feedback as well. Little wonder that such interactions leave team members disillusioned and wondering whether their feedback matters to the organisation or not. Many a time, a patient hearing can be as effective as the solution itself.
2. Get your facts in order
We often overlook the fact that for any performance conversation to be meaningful, it must be built on facts, logic and reason; all of which require preparation. Managers walk into performance conversations with little or no preparation. Data is meaningless unless analysed and presented as information.
Preparation is vital. It ensures that a meeting concludes meaningfully, and all participants go away with absolute clarity about the decisions taken. More importantly, it shows that you care for your team members and value everyone’s time, including your own.
3. Look ahead, not in the rear-view mirror
Preparation enables decision-making. While performance conversations must dwell on the past, these must not end up as post-mortems alone. Use the opportunity to discuss employee aspirations, learning opportunities and areas of improvement.
Remember, the past is history but the future is an opportunity waiting to be tapped.
4. Be positive
Often, the manner of putting across a point carries a greater impact than the point itself. Build confidence, recognise the contribution and ensure your tone is always positive. Positivity attracts, negativity repels.
5. Be Courteous
A few other acts of courtesy go a long way in creating a healthy work environment and identifies you as a person with a positive approach. No matter what, don’t blame others for failure. Introspect and accept where you have gone wrong. A blame game has the potential to boomerang miserably.
Few Other Tips
Address people by their name in your communication. Being impersonal is uncivil. Likewise, hard copies of communication are best handed over in person rather than being left behind on the receiver’s desk in their absence. Avoid getting into arguments if your communication receives an adverse response.
Communication is a powerful and highly nuanced tool. A slight change of tone or phrase can send across a wrong signal. Used with discretion and subtlety, it can work wonders for the individual and the organisation.
Fourth Quadrant offers consulting, coaching, training, digital learning and outsourcing solutions that enable people development, enhance process effectiveness and upgrade organisational skills. With 12 years in the industry, it has served over 240 client organisations across 20 nationalities. To know more about our customised solutions, write to us at [email protected]