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Use these two tips to deal with sullen, disinterested and non-responsive behaviour during performance reviews

by , 18 June 2014
If you thought an office Christmas party is the only event that brings out outrageous behaviour, you're wrong. Performance reviews take the cake.

The reality is that employees act very differently when they're under stress and performance review meetings can bring out both the best and worst in your employees.

One of the reactions you must anticipate during performance reviews is sullen, disinterested and non-responsive behaviour. Our experts recommend you use these two tips to deal with this kind of behaviour during performance reviews.

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If your employee displays sullen, disinterested, non-responsive behaviour during a performance review, use these two tips to deal with him

Tip #1: Force participation

Ask open-ended questions so he'll be forced to answer and explain his answers.

Tip #2: Be patient

Patience is key here. Don't jump in with a comment when he doesn't respond immediately.

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says you must use the silence to create a discomfort that he'll usually eventually break by saying something.

Remember, if you start to feel uncomfortable, it's likely that your employee will feel the same and if you don't break the silence, he will.

These types of responses (sullen, disinterested, non-responsive behaviour) can often be more challenging to deal with than anger or abusive responses, so draft a list of possible questions to help you out under these circumstances.

For example, say: 'You rated your performance on this goal as exceeding customer's expectations. I've shown you the feedback from two of our clients that indicate their unhappiness with your service to them. What do you think you could have done differently for what they were expecting?'

So why must you go through all this trouble when it comes to sullen, disinterested and non-responsive behaviour during performance reviews?

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A performance review is a participative process – that's why you must never tolerate this type of behaviour

Author and motivational speaker DR Rob Nelson says: 'To be successful, a good performance review process must be participative - that is, the employee must have a voice in the process.'

He adds, 'not only does this generate a sense of fairness about the process, but it's an effective way to improve job performance.'

There you have it. Don't tolerate sullen, disinterested and non-responsive behaviour during performance review meetings. Deal with it with the tips we've outlined.

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