Performance Management: Avoiding Fight or Flight

Performance discussion is about the most dreaded conversation that ever takes place at work, for both the employee and the manager. When you need to discuss unsatisfactory performance with an employee, there is an excellent chance they will instantly become fearful. This leads to their adrenaline being activated and the workplace version of “fight or flight”. That is, they will become incredibly defensive. Some people will be quite aggressive (fight), and others will stop communication by clamming up and even taking leave (flight). As supervisors and managers it is absolutely critical that we make our employee feel safe from the moment we mention the words, “We need to have a meeting about…..” to the time that the performance issue has been fully worked through to its conclusion. If they don’t feel safe you’ll be dealing with an adrenaline pumped staff member whose regular, rational brain […]

Ten Steps To Stress-Free Performance Management Meetings

Twenty years ago I went to my manager for guidance on how to approach a poor performing staff member. I left the meeting with 10 dot points of wisdom scrawled on the back of an old manila envelope. That same scruffy old envelope has been my reference over the ensuing years whenever I’ve had a poor performance issue to manage. Those 10 points have become the backbone of my preparation for poor performance management meetings with staff. With the meeting carefully set up and well thought out you’ll be in the best frame of mind to manage the poor performer effectively and not let your lack of confidence allow the meeting to be side tracked or go off the rails. You’ll reduce stress on yourself, be better placed to support the staff member and achieve a positive resolution. The 10 steps to stress free performance […]

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