At its heart, managing people is an ongoing series of conversations. Optimally, you’ll have targeted conversation around setting goals, offering feedback, and ways that you can help team members to develop their skills and meet goals.
As a manager, it’s on you to set clear goals. And then to bring those goals into the conversation, while exchanging feedback. Otherwise, when a team member isn’t meeting goals, the problem is very possibly, well, you.
Towards this end, I’m a fan of stating your goals in the SMART format, and discussing them in regular 1:1 meetings. Solid 1:1s also set the stage for smooth and effective performance reviews. I do not believe that performance reviews have to be a dreaded and useless time suck. With thoughtful action, you can use your review process to build relationship, accountability, and help your people to do their best work.
- Wikipedia entry on SMART.
- Lightweight, my blog
- Francesco Dao on Setting Goals, via Inc. Magazine
- How to Have a Coaching Conversation, Center for Creative Leadership blog
- Good ways to Deliver Bad News, Curtis Sittenfeld in Fast Company, classic.
- Introduction to Non-Violent Communication, via Center for Non-Violent Communication.
- Non-Violent Communication, via Wikipedia.