Evaluation Day, the day dreaded by leaders and employees alike! I remember my football days and awaiting Film Review Sessions on Mondays; to go over every play. No matter how many good plays you make, you know when the bad ones were coming… along with a creatively worded embarrassing scolding in front of your teammates! However, these moments can prove to be quite valuable when leaders decide to teach rather than simply scold and recipients of the Evaluation choose to Learn, Apply, and Evolve rather than becoming defensive or disconnected! Contrary to public opinion, leaders don’t wake up thinking of how they can ruin their people’s day… and that day is as tough for them as it is for you. So, how to do it?
If you’ve been following my blogs, books, and videos you’ve heard me share the power of The Positive Sandwich. It makes sense to start with the positive. The person you’re evaluating has had to do something right! Find it, appreciate it, share it, and thank them for it. The middle is the ISSUE, the meat of the sandwich, where you can collaborate to develop an understanding of “Why” and “How” decisions are being made; as well as how to fine-tune the process to align with the vision and mission of the organization or team. Then end by recapping the plan and thanking them for their effort and time.
In the middle, The Meat, is where my Power 4 Questions will enhance your leadership and set you and your organization apart from others as you influence, impact, protect, and enhance the leadership of your people (employees, team, kids, etc.)!
- Power Question #1 – What’s your dream?
A few years ago, I had the honor of speaking and conducting a Leadership & Work/Life Harmony Training at a company. They were an international company and flew all of their International Head of Programs in for the training. The Vice President of the company introduced a woman named, Mary, to me. He was so happy to introduce Mary and with a smile, he stated she’d be leaving the company soon to open her own business… a bakery! He mentioned they didn’t want to lose her, but they were so happy for her and have benefited by being her taste-testers! WOW!!! Do you think Mary will ever forget them? Do you think Mary will speak highly of them and kick back great people? I know I was blown away!
Leaders care what their people’s dreams are; even when it’s not related to the vision or mission of the organization! A person that can have their dream, permission to talk about it, be supported in the environment they choose to spend 8-10 hours a day, and if you’ve hired right… is an inspired and motivated worker who will be an asset to your organization while they are there and after they leave. Be Mindful to know your people’s Dream, be of impact when you can, and allow their word of mouth to benefit you in the present and in the future!!!
- Power Question #2 – What do you enjoy most about working here/being on the team?
The power of this question will shed light on three things. It forces you both to stay on the course of positivity. They just shared their Dream (if they don’t have one… simply encourage them to “Just Live Right”… consistently do the right thing to best of their ability so when they do have a dream/vision they don’t have to climb out of a hole first) now they are talking about features they enjoy about the job or team. It also assumes that positive things do exist.
Most people will gravitate to the negative or problem first if you let them. The power of this question will allow your people to acknowledge the positives of being where they’ve chosen to be. If they say it aloud, it’s more true than you or anyone else telling them how lucky they are!
Lastly, it lets you know what they value! A full day of evaluations and this question being asked will give you a clear view of what your people enjoy about the organization or team; as well as where to put your organization’s energy for retention!
- Power Question #3 – What do you want to get out of the experience of working here or being on the team?
This Power Question will shed light on the goals of your people. Are they in the “Right-Seat”? Does their ambition match their ability? Are they aware? For example, you find out they would like promotions and desire to move up in the company, but several key incidents or consistent behaviors are getting in the way of that being a possibility. This Power Question allows you to shed light. A leader may say, “Thanks for sharing. I hear you want to move up. You’ve been great at ____________. It’s going to be hard to move up if _____________ keep happening. Can you help me understand why that keeps happening?”. They are going to provide an answer that either knocks your socks off or sinks their battleship. Either way, you can now be of better assistance in collaborating on a plan for their success and the success of your organization!
- Power Question #4 – What would you fine-tune?
The keyword in this final Power Question is “Fine-Tune”. It suggests that things are already good, but can be tweaked to allow an evolution! It also allows your people to share their gripe in a positive manner. A simple rule I use and teach when working with companies, teams, and leaders is… please accompany your problem with a suggested solution. We may go with your idea, or collaborate on an idea. If not, I always promise to explain why. There may be a Bigger Picture Issue or a long-term vision that makes the idea problematic that they’re unaware of. A willingness to shine a light on these areas enhances your people’s vision, mode of things, and their overall leadership mindset!
I hope “The Leader’s Evaluation” resonated with you and you are willing to implement The Power 4 Questions into your next Evaluation Meeting to provide the gift of Leadership & Work/Life Harmony for you, your people, and your organization!!!
“Leaders choose to grow and understand that change is inevitable, but growth is a choice!” – Andre Young
Written by: Andre Young
Enhance Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Organization, your Leaders, Employees, and Teams with Andre Young’s Speaking Engagements, Evolve & Lead Training Programs (on-site, online, or virtual), and1-on-1 Growth Sessions! www.youevolvingnow.com