Ever said those words?
I’ve muttered them a time or two.
Dealing with performance issues aren’t fun. Especially if you’re the type of person that prefers to share good news and bring people together.
But to be an effective manager, it’s part of the job.
The build-up to the conversation is horrid. You picture defensive behavior, hollering, screaming, and crying.
…and that’s just you in your office preparing.
As the time approaches, you attempt to calm your nerves by try to convince yourself using the standard DIY Help Gurus:
“Picture them in the nude”
“Picture having the conversation on a beach”
“Go to your HAPPY PLACE”
It doesn’t work.
They come in your office, sit down in the chair and….you freeze…or you mumble and stumble your way through the one-sided conversation until it’s over and you have no idea what just happened.
And the problem isn’t fixed, next day it continues.
Sound familiar? It sucks, doesn’t it?
Here are two changes to my approach that made all the difference:
1️⃣ Write down the top 2-3 issues that need to be improved and have the list sitting in front of you during the conversation
2️⃣ Start the conversation with your observation of their performance during the time period and ask for their thoughts
From there, the conversation could go in any direction. I’ve NEVER had a performance conversation that went as planned.
Some conversations have been easier than others, depending on the topic and personalities involved.
I’ve found also that the older I get the more direct I tend to be as well.
Focus on the outcome you want rather than sharing bad news. Be clear up front that you want them to succeed and that you’re there to help them.
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