4 Steps to Discussing Under-Performance

TELL™ Them What’s Gone Wrong

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

For many, December is synonymous with Christmas. For others, Hanukkah is the highlight of the last month of the year. But, in the office, for millions around the world, December is the month of performance evaluations. For this reason, I am dedicating this last article of 2015 to discussing the dreaded issue of under-performance.

While many team leaders forget to say ‘thank you’, what many really struggle with is appropriately addressing under-performance. If you’ve just gone "hmmm" then you know what I mean: how uncomfortable the prospect of such a conversation makes you. Well, let me suggest to you that you are not alone: those folks who under-perform typically know that they are not doing well and they too feel dreadful. So how about putting an end to both your and their misery and finding the words to finally tell them what’s gone wrong?

So let me offer the TELL™ model, a 4-step process to assist you with preparing for and then having that delicate conversation around under-performance which does not end – just – in tears.

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Top 5 Tips to Motivate and Retain Talent

A Template for a Constructive Performance Assessment

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In this last offering of 2013, I am returning to the topic of performance assessment as many of you will be presently engaged in performance appraisals, whether as recipients or as managers. Frequently in the two capacities. Let me say this upfront: when it comes to the management of their performance, there is now ample evidence that staff members have shifted from being passive recipients to active agents. Indeed, it’s not just Gen Y – employees everywhere and of every generation expect more: more involvement, more accountability and more recognition. staff expectations

Indeed, a recent Gallup poll of over 1 million employees showed that the number one reason people quit their jobs is dissatisfaction with their immediate manager. Have you heard the saying "People leave managers not companies"? Well, we now have ample statistics to back up this statement. And so, for managers, enforcing performance standards in a command and control sort of way no longer works. Managers are now expected to provide ongoing feedback, including positive comments, and for their negative messages to be put forth in a constructive and balanced fashion with a view to guide and inspire, rather than to scold and then provide ready-made solutions.
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The Top 3 Tips to Showcase your Value

The Art of "Ethical Bragging"

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In this third and last article on feedback, let me shift my perspective from the manager’s and how to give helpful feedback to the recipient and how to receive feedback constructively as well as make sure that your accomplishments are properly appreciated and therefore rewarded. In order to ensure your achievements are known and valued, practice the art of "ethical bragging": put yourself forward without arrogance. Here’s how:

Tip #1: be specific too

For those among you who saw my article back in September on performing a self-assessment of your performance, you may recall that I encouraged you to first make a list all the tasks you had completed and then, in a second step, to review each by asking yourself "so what". The purpose of the "so what" question is to bring to light the benefits for your employer of what you accomplished.

(For more on performance self-assessment, click here).

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The Top 3 Mistakes Managers Make When Giving Feedback

The Pitfalls of Giving Feedback

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

In this second article on feedback, I will dwell on a few core aspects of a successful performance appraisal discussion by mentioning what are in my view the top 3 mistakes feedback providers make. There are sadly more than 3 but getting those right will go a long way!

Mistake #1: sugar-coating negative feedback (or the ‘Oreo Cookie’ problem)

In the preceding article, I mentioned the importance of setting the scene. One way to get off to a good start is by making a positive comment even if the rest of the feedback is going to be negative. This is because even the poorest performer has some capability, a talent to celebrate. It shows the feedback recipient that the feedback provider is able to see performance from a multiplicity of angles. Otherwise the recipient could think that the provider is just out to get them and simply ignore the feedback.

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8 Steps to Giving Really Constructive Feedback

A Feedback Conversation Unpacked

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We are in the home stretch, ladies and gentlemen, with only 6 weeks left to Christmas. At the firms I worked at, by now, the annual performance appraisal process was in full gear so in my last three articles for 2011, I will focus on giving and receiving feedback.

In this first article, I will run through 8 key components of a successful feedback discussion. It isn’t just for managers. It’s for anyone for who find themselves on the receiving end of a feedback talk: if it’s not going well, these 8 steps will allow you to steer the conversation into a more constructive direction. And if you find you can’t steer, at least you will have the insight to understand what’s going on and react constructively.

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14 Weeks to Christmas!

A 3-Step Performance Self-Assessment Formula

(click below to view the video or read on if you’d prefer!)

I hope that you had the opportunity of a longer break during the past months and that this article finds you refreshed after your summer holiday. Although the yearend performance appraisal process is still some weeks off, I want to invite you to undertake a proactive self-assessment of your performance at work.

This is because knowing today where you stand with respect to achieving the year’s objectives will allow you to focus your energy over the coming weeks so that you finish the year on a high note.

So, in this article, let me share with you a three-step process which is both simple and yet comprehensive so that you can perform a thorough self-assessment of your objectives. [Read more…]