Because your workplace is a community, some of your conversations will be difficult. The good news is that you can head off many difficult conversations in your routine conversations about goals and performance. The bad news is, stuff happens. All kinds of stuff.
So you need to build some skills at giving and receiving feedback. And hone your ability to deal with emotions — other people’s, and your own.
You’ll find that most conversations about people’s performance benefit from preparation. Yours. Sometimes you may need coaching from your manager or HR. It can also be wise to prepare talking points, and bounce them off of a trusted colleague. (Particularly when working with someone who needs to improve their performance — or when it’s time for a team member to move on.)
You can’t learn this stuff from the Internet. So, don’t. Do read about it. Then, rely on experienced humans in your orbit to coach you through the toughest workplace conversations.
- Thanks for the feedback : the science and art of receiving feedback well (even when it is off base, unfair, poorly delivered, and frankly, you’re not in the mood), by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen (Library) (Amazon)
- Effective 1:1 Meetings: A Template for Emerging Managers, my own brief PDF.
- Don’t Fear the Performance Review: A Checklist for Emerging Managers, my own brief PDF.
- The corporate kabuki of performance reviews, Jena McGregor, Washington Post
- 6 Tricks for Better Performance Reviews, Kathryn Minshew at Inc.com
- Getting 360-Degree Feedback Right, by Maury Peiperl at Harvard Business Review
- Dealing with Angry People, Rich Armstrong, Fog Creek Software’s blog.
- Big Empathy my blog
- (Hu)Man Up, my blog
- Stay, my blog
- The Exit Interview, by Fred Wilson at his blog