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[The second in a series of email tips that we provide as part of our follow up / ongoing support for clients who have completed our Performance Coaching workshop.  See the first Performance Coaching tip here.]

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Remember that the primary goal of any performance conversation is that the associate takes full responsibility for his or her actions view all of buy zoloft online – cheap zoloft without prescription’s quality brand & generic medications online without prescription cheap price, cheaply,  and results.  Everything we as supervisors do or say in a performance conversation should support that assumption of responsibility.

Most supervisors have been trained to “tell” the associate what’s wrong and how it “needs to be fixed.”  We agree, partially … if you are having a performance conversation, something needs to be fixed, but “telling” — especially when dealing with a new performance issue — works against your goal.  Telling tends to promote a defensive response from the associate: why the action was “unavoidable”, for example, or how “everyone does it” and the problem is actually with you for trying to enforce the standard.

This defensiveness is completely avoidable. Reference the area of your concern, then ask the employee to identify the specific violation.  For example “John, I have a concern about your documentation.  Can you show me where that is?”  Once the associate correctly identifies the issue, ask more questions, this time to determine, from the associate’s perspective, the source of the performance issue.  Listen objectively, then focus improvement efforts on the valid source(s) identified.

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“Treat an employee like a child … and he will act like a child.”  Scold (or do too much telling), and you unwittingly establish this dynamic.  Asking an associate to own up to his error, then to think critically about the error, invites buy baclofen 20 mg buy lioresal 10 mg order baclofen buy lioresal online buy baclofen tablets mail order baclofen buy cheap baclofen buy baclofen canada him or her to address the issue as an adult.

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So the next time you are tempted to “give that employee a piece of your mind”, stop and consider how you might ask questions to move the conversation forward.  You will be more thoughtful, and so will the associate.  Which is exactly what you want.

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2 Responses to “Performance Coaching “How To,” Number 2: Ask Questions”

  1. great process.
    Making time to schedule these talks prepares both parties for the conversation. As you wrote “…treat like child act like child” paraphrasing.
    Nothing is worse than when a boss calls staff into their office with a surprise accountability meeting.
    Simply setting up to the time prepares both parties to be a little less defensive and treated autonomously.

    • Rob Benson says:

      Great point Michael, thanks for bringing that out. “Surprise” accountability meetings almost guarantee defensiveness, poor listening, and (ultimately) no accountability. And at the same time, we don’t want to let poor performance go on without addressing it, particularly if we are seeing a potentially unsafe behavior.

      Which actually brings me back to the first step in our process. If we are consistently praising performance, the employee will be more open when we step in “in the moment” to address something that is off that needs to be addressed NOW.

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