Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Would Love To Hear In A Mid Year Review!

The first six months of the year are over and if you work in an organization with a well documented performance management process, then you will be getting ready for a mid year review with your supervisor.  

End of year reviews are bad enough, and now we have to bear mid year reviews too? Yes, you do!

I know performance reviews are stressful. Stressful for both for supervisors and for their team members. But I believe that they can be made less stressful by asking the right questions and truly having a dialogue between partners.

In this post I am going to share with you what I wish my supervisors would have told me during my performance reviews, whether good or bad. Perhaps this can help you with your review.

"I have read the performance review docket / xls you sent me" - from my earliest days I have always sent my supervisor a complete docket with details of my performance against goals.  When I come for a meeting, I want to know that you have read it, that you have paid attention to me.

"You have achieved  xxxx.... in these 6 months" - even in a bad year (and I have had those), there has to be something that I have done well.  Enumerate these.  Tell me that I have done good work, that I have contributed, how it has helped you and the team.

"Lets go thru your specific achievements against goals to see what could have been better or needs more focus or....." - I know that there is critical developmental feedback you want to give me. I know you are using the softer "right" words, so let me have the pleasure of hearing them vs being told that "you have done / achieved precious little" or some such remark.

Ask me the right questions to help me solve issues in areas where goals have not been met. Don't tell me what to do.  Help me find my own solutions. Guide me down the path.

Shine a light on goals that may be at risk - you have a view to the bigger picture. If there are risks / challenges that may hinder my achievements, talk to me about them, help me plan for them, avoid them.

"Your 3 biggest strengths are......" - I may know my strengths and be very confident about stating them, but I also like hearing them from you. Tell me where you have observed my strengths in action. Talk to me about how you would like to leverage my strengths.

"Last time we spoke about......" - Do reference earlier conversations we have had on what I want to do, so that I know you are paying attention and care. Share with me where you think I am on that journey.

Don't compare me with others in the team - I am an individual and unique. I am not your A-Player's clone. Tell me how I am unique and how I can use that uniqueness.  

"What help do you need from me" - Ask me what I need from you.  How can you help me achieve more.  Not just goals, but also longer term career objectives, building relationships with others, projects / opportunities.

"You wanted to work on a new project / move to a new function, etc. Are you getting closer?" - Ask me if I believe I am moving closer to my next career objective. If not, what should I do to get there.  What can you do to get me there.

"I need you to help us with...." - Tell me where I can help you or others in the team.  Give me the opportunity to show that I can do something outside the normal. Let me be a partner.

"I'd like to hear your feedback on me" - ask me for feedback. Take me seriously.  Understand that this is a give and take relationship.  And that if we are honest with each other we make a better team.

"Is there anything else you would like to talk about, or tell me, that we have not already covered?" -  Dialogue with me.  Give me an equal opportunity to participate in my performance review, to cover something that you may not have thought of or asked. 

For those of you who have supervisors who don't ask you the critical questions you want to answer or don't dialogue with you or don't prepare for your meeting, I say.... 

Take charge of your performance review.  Help your supervisor ask or discuss what is critical for you.

After all, it is your performance review and not theirs.  

Take charge - Own it. Grab it.

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