It May Be For Reasons You Haven”t Thought About – Part 2 of 2
Guest Post by Chad O”Connor, Communication Consultant & Adjunct Professor
In continuing from the previous installments of my guest blogs for NPTB we were discussing some issues surrounding how to give a bad performance review. And now for a few quick strategies on how to get that difficult message across.
1. Don”t make it personal. Focus on the problem and not the person, even if the person”s personality is the problem. For instance, instead of saying “You unnecessarily yell at the secretaries for mistakes they didn”t even make and problems beyond their control. You have to stop it,” you could say “It”s not good for our organization to have our secretaries unnecessarily yelled at for mistakes they didn”t even make and problems beyond their control. We need you to take a deep breath and consider other possibilities before taking complaints to them.” By stating it this way it focuses on the problem of the action and a simple way to fix it; it takes it out of the frame of reference of being an immutable problem of personality and with the person him/herself.
2. Don”t give mixed signals. Don”t downplay a problem just because you are uncomfortable with discussing it, as this kind of ambiguity can be worse and leave the recipient confused about just how important the problem really is. It”s far better to get the problem clearly out in the open, but remember to do it in a way that employs the first principle discussed above.
3. Pick the best possible day and time. There is never such a thing as an ideal day and time to spring bad news on someone. But there certainly are better times than others. All days and weeks should have ebbs and flows. Don”t pull the person out of his/her element at a particularly stressful time, as his/her mind will be preoccupied with other things and he/she will be more resentful of the intrusion when trying to get valuable work done. As a general rule, a time with a little less stress will make a person a little more receptive. Just don”t delay this conversation indefinitely, as I had cautioned in my previous blog post.
4. Remind the person of his/her value to the organization. It”s good to point out here that if you didn”t value the person that you”d just let him/her go with minimal reasons given and move on. Close by stressing positive contributions to the organization, but reiterate that there is certainly room for improvement on the key issues while reiterating what those issues are (again, in the spirit of the first point mentioned above).
As always, I welcome your thoughts…
Chad O’Connor has taught communication at Northeastern University and Emerson College in Boston, serves as a connector forBoston World Partnerships, and works with various individuals, companies and nonprofits as a communication consultant on issues such as public speaking, message strategy, and improving organizational communication. Chad can be contacted at his gmail account, firstname.lastname@example.org ,and found on Twitter @chadoconnor.
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- Dreading Giving A Bad Performance Review? (thenon-profittoolbox.com)
- Convincing the Boss to Give you the Resources You Need (Part 4 of 4) (thenon-profittoolbox.com)