Conversations Drive Performance

Four Critical Mind-sets of a Painless Performance Conversation

The premise of my new book, Painless Performance Conversations: A Practical Approach to Critical Day-to-Day Workplace Discussions, is that day-to-day conversations drive performance. Without conversation, employees are left to wonder what success looks like. In the book, you’ll learn the four mind-sets that must be present for performance conversations to be painless, for you and the employee.

The four mind-sets of a painless performance conversation are:

Lead with Behavior: Separating Actions from Attitudes
Eliminate Judgment: Focusing on Performance Evidence
Inquire with Purpose: Using Curiosity to Expand Possibilities
Be Clear: Creating a Culture of Ownership

The first mind-set, lead with behavior, reminds you to identify the specific actions an employee must change to improve performance. By focusing on behaviors, you can decrease the amount of defensiveness that often appears when you talk about performance issues.

The second mind-set is to eliminate judgment. By comparing the facts with your expectations, you will be able to identify critical gaps in the employee’s performance. Defining performance gaps allows you to communicate the need for change.

The third mind-set is to inquire with purpose. By framing the problem and asking questions that expand possibilities, you will be able to create an environment where the employee is involved in creating the solution.

Finally, the fourth mind-set is to be clear. When you are clear about who owns the problem and who is responsible for taking steps to solve the issue, you enhance levels of accountability in your work environment.

These practical strategies and ideas will help you tackle potentially painful conversations with greater confidence. For more on the four mind-sets read chapters 5-8 in Painless Performance Conversations.

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