Performance Management

The Key To Reducing Conflict and Improving Teamwork

When you look at failed relationships—be they business, personal or otherwise—you will almost always find they have at least one thing in common: unmet needs and expectations. Intuitively, we all know this.  But when was the last time you asked any of your important relationships to come to a shared understanding of what you need and…

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7 Ways Performance Reviews Kill Performance

The annual performance review is widely believed to be the least popular practice in business.  An artifact from post WWII corporate America, performance reviews have been described as a “rite of corporate kabuki.”  Stanford University professor and leadership author Bob Sutton says that doing performance evaluations well is like “doing blood-letting well — it is…

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5 Powerful Practices to Give Feedback Like a Pro

In my previous article on How To Cure A Passive-Aggressive Culture, I made the case that the essence of leadership is to “go before” and guide others to a destination.  The way leaders guide others is by constantly pointing to the destination and providing frequent feedback about how well individual efforts are moving the team…

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Are You a Talent Developer or Talent Waster?

Few leaders have earned a reputation for being an exceptional talent developer… but they’re out there.  You may have heard of some of them.  In professional football, 20 of the NFL’s 32 head coaches trained under Bill Walsh or under someone in his coaching tree. In hedge funds, Julian Robertson, the founder of the investment firm…

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10 Practices That Will Make Others Want Your Feedback

Right now, there is probably something you want to tell one of your colleagues… but you’re holding back.  It’s something that’s hurting their career, and they seem to be totally oblivious to it.  You’ve wanted to tell them about it for a while, but you haven’t because you are afraid that they will be offended…

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How Good Managers Foster Feedback-Rich Cultures

What do you think is the most important thing you can do to become a more effective, successful leader?  I often ask this question to leaders at all levels who attend my leadership training workshops.  I usually hear answers like, “improve my strategic thinking”, “become more persuasive”, and “be more motivational.”  These are all reasonable…

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Performance Management: 4 Questions Managers Should Ask First (Part 2)

In PART 1 of this article, I assert that, for decades, most organizations have been taking the wrong approach to managing employee performance. How can I make that claim? Because traditional performance management is based on the totally false notion that anytime an employee has a performance problem, the problem is with the employee. Most…

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Performance Management: 4 Questions Managers Should Ask First (Part 1)

This time of year, many organizations are gearing up for the annual performance appraisal – a practice best described as managerial bloodletting. It’s a tradition that, like bloodletting, has been used for too long, and has provided overwhelming evidence that it does more harm than good. And yet, there are still organizations that continue to…

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How to Create a Compelling Case for Change

In the past, when change happened less frequently, a leader could get by without being a proficient change agent.  Today, it’s a completely different story.  Change is occurring in virtually every corner of business and industry, and the pace of change is increasing rapidly.  Being an effective change agent is no longer just a nice…

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Creating a Culture of Accountability, Not Blame

If you’re a leader, you’ve probably heard the quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Unfortunately, when it comes to which one gets more attention from executives, it’s strategy, without question. This is perhaps because, to most executives, strategy is easier to manage. What many leaders fail to realize is that if they aren’t managing their…

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