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Performance review meetings

My client Akira is preparing to deliver the performance reviews for her team.

As the year winds down, many leaders are doing the same thing these days!

So, I asked Akira how she was preparing for those meetings.

She paused.

She then said, “I guess I’ll just ask my direct reports about their progress this year.”

Wrong answer! 

Too many leaders fail to prepare properly for these important meetings.

 The mistakes many leaders make are that they:

  • Don’t prepare or over-prepare.
  • Don’t have an agenda.
  • Don’t know what to say.
  • Don’t have data to support their perspective.
  • Don’t talk about the right things.

So, let’s take a step back and clarify the goal for annual performance review meetings.

These meetings are not about scoring or grading people.

These meetings are not to provide feedback. Feedback needs to be given in real-time.

Rather, these meetings are to pause, reflect and have a good conversation about your people’s progress and performance.

Performance reviewsThese meetings should review achievements, discuss development goals, and set goals for the year ahead.

Too many organizations make performance review season a make-work project. The process often involves completing forms and ratings…which, in my opinion, are extremely subjective and often a waste of time.

So, how can you prepare effectively for your annual review meetings? 

  • Focus less on the paperwork and more on the conversation.
  • Have an agenda that includes achievements, development, and goal setting.
  • Provide your team with 2-3 questions in each of the above areas.
  • Ensure both of you prepare the answer these questions in advance so you are ready to converse openly during the meeting.

What can you do to improve the quality of conversations that you are having during your annual review meetings?

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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