Why “less is more” for performance reviews – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Natasha in Sydney, Australia. She asked:

Q: I’ve read your articles on LinkedIn about Productive Leadership. I had a simple question. What should a good leader suggest for an employee to add on their professional development aspirations section in their performance review?

Click to tweet this: Facilitating an employee’s career growth is more “help me help you” and less “do as I say.” @DaveCrenshaw

Should your employees go after what they want or what you want?

This week’s question comes from Natasha in Sydney, Australia. She asked:

I’ve read your articles on LinkedIn about Productive Leadership. I had a simple question. What should a good leader suggest for an employee to add on their professional development aspirations section in their performance review?

Dave:

Thanks for the question, Natasha. Based on your question, I’m assuming that you are a manager who is helping an employee create career goals that they want to accomplish.

Whenever you talk about aspirations, I think of the word vision. What is the vision that they have for their career? The implication with your question is that you should be the one responsible for helping them figure it out.

You can be a facilitator, but, in the end, what they want matters far more than what you think they should want. We want them to think about what they want to accomplish in their career. Five years from now:

  • What do they hope to accomplish or do?
  • What kind of person do they want to become?
  • What sort of things do they want to have?

Help them figure their own vision out. This is far, far more motivational than you suggesting what they should do. The more they make it their own, the more motivated they will be. Then you, as their manager, can use that vision to remind them of what matters most.

Now, just a caution—sometimes people are excellent at crafting their vision. You ask them where they want to be five years from now, they have an immediate answer. They’ve been planning it out their entire life. But that’s the exception to the norm. Most people need some time to really ponder that question and think about it.

So, when you have that conversation with the employee, don’t expect an immediate answer. Give them some guidance, give them some things to think about, and then give them some time. Perhaps a week or two weeks to think about their answer and to craft a meaningful reply. In that way, you’re not going to rush someone into just saying something to make you happy in the moment. It would be truly meaningful.

Thanks for the question, Natasha!

And if you have a question you’d like me to answer, all you need to do is go to davecrenshaw.com/ask.


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