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Performance appraisals. How to give negative reviews a positive twist

by , 25 February 2014
Performance reviews can be difficult when you know your comments will be mostly negative. Take these steps to conduct an effective conversation on how to improve performance.

Start by stating something the person does well. That will help the person feel more open to hearing about areas for improvement.

Describe the problem clearly in a non-threatening way. Talk about specific behavior. Refrain from discussing personality traits. Always stay positive, explaining that you want to be an active partner in correcting the situation.

Ask for help in solving the problem. Together, discuss alternative solutions and mutually agree on actions to solve the problem. Try to use the persons suggestions, he'll be more committed if it is his idea.

Provide resources for help. Can you spot an easy remedy? Example, send them on a training course.
Set a specific action date to follow-up. Add specific performance expectations and deadlines for completion. Build in checkpoints along the way.

End on a positive note. Express your confidence in the solution and team member.

Follow up and recognise improvement.  

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