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Performance appraisals – how do I organize the talk?

Relaxed start, focused performance, positive ending: that is the way to make performance appraisals productive

The previous entry centred on the preparation of performance appraisals. And now the date of the talk is near at hand.

How can the talk end in enrichment for both sides?

Your employees should come to the performance appraisal neither like to a slaughtering block – nor like to a free and easy chat or to an irrelevant formality. Create a casual entry. And then, straight away, focus on the issue. You have, beforehand, thought about the topics you would want to talk about, have perhaps taken a few notes. Stick to them.

Phases of the feedback-talk

Whether the big yearly or the feedback talk in between – these two kind of talks mostly develop quite organically.

Review, analysis, feedback – depending on the talk-structure topically limited or more comprising. If there are any problems or any criticism, they should be placed in this talk phase.
Prospects – aims of the near future, compiled solutions and targets which result from the feedback.

In the annual talk you mostly again have in view the further perspectives for your employees.

The feedback-burger: proper „packaging“ of critical feedback

Giving proper feedback – we once had this topic here some time ago. Catchwords „Describing your own perceptions“ and „Doing without generalisations“. You absolutely ought to make use of these strategies in performance appraisals, so that your feedback can reach the addressee.

Serve the so-called feedback-burger:

  1. Find a positive access door with reference to the topic. This should not be difficult with employees you are basically satisfied with – and your employees deserve to hear the positive aspects.
  2. Then utter your point(s) for further development. In a concrete form, please, and according to tendency rather limited to one point. Do not offload everything that ever annoyed you about your employee at one go.
  3. Create a positive, optimistic ending.

Positive – critical – positive. Like the grill meat loaf slice with crispbread salad between two breezy roll-halves …

Finishing the talk off with a good end

An acute occasion demands a critical feedback talk, and you rack your brain to find a positive starting point. But sometimes there just is none. Do what your job demands of you, use factual, plain language.

What, on the other hand, every performance appraisal really needs is a good ending in a friendly atmosphere. Even if it is only a „I am sure we will manage it“.

It is not only on the occasion of the annual talk that a formulated written text can give the talk an obligatory and structured conclusion. No matter whether you record in writing the essential items and the results or just take them down as an informal notice in a minute book: hand your employee a copy over. As a reminder – and as a gesture of inspiring confidence.

The next entry will again throw a concrete light on the review conversation.


Anke Michels
Consulting, Training, Coaching
Engelbertstr. 8
D-57489 Drolshagen

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