I believe the temptation is to talk about performance reviews and, in fact, to me the performance review is after the fact. You see, if you wait one year to suddenly spring the problem on someone, what you’ve done is get them angry and hurt because why didn’t you tell them sooner? Why didn’t you tell them there was a problem?
You see, the technique to use comes out of the old book, “The One Minute Manager,” and there are two things the book and encourages you to do–praise and reprimand. One minute each, and never to shortcut the praise part because of the habit that most managers have is to talk in terms of criticism.
So, you would answer the interview question this way.
“You know, a long time ago, I learned from a manager of mine that the best way to get great performance is to praise when you notice something good going on and to reprimand when you don’t. To do it quickly, maybe a minute and start the praise sessions and do them frequently by saying, ‘Hey, I just noticed you do something I like,’” and you compliment the person for about 15-20 seconds and what you’re doing is enforcing the good stuff with the person.
When you get to the reprimand, you say, ‘I was disappointed when I noticed such and such and I know you can do better than that. But it looks like you took a shortcut. Am I missing something here?’ And then you stay quiet. When I do that with my subordinates, they know when they’re doing well and they know clearly when they’re not. Thus, by the time we get to the review at the end of the year, or at the end of six months (because I like to do them more frequently than just simply a year. The formal one institutionally may be a year but I like to do them in six-month intervals), they know where they stand. They know the good things that they’ve been doing and they know where they need to have improvement.
Thus, when we get to the review I’ll start by asking them, ‘how do you think these six months have gone for you so far? Something about the good things that you’ve done. Tell me about the places where you can use improvement,’ and then I listen to them and then I offer feedback.
So, it starts with them telling me what they think and then my speaking to them and I find that’s a very effective method that avoids the heartache and the pain that so many managers inflict on people because they don’t dare to tell, tell the employee during the year what they do well and where they can improve.”
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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