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There is a Better Way

communication skills Jun 20, 2019


That's what I hear most from employees as the enter the season of performance reviews. Frustration because some employees believe their boss "should know" about their performance. "I should not have to write my self evaluation." 

The reality is - it is your job to communicate what you are doing, how well your are doing it and what's the impact of your efforts. 

In a perfect world, there is real time coaching occurring throughout the year.  Last I checked, many of us do not work in a perfect world.  There are at least four things that can prevent real time coaching from occurring:

1.  Job change for you. You might have been promoted mid year and have a new boss who is still getting to know you in your new role. 

2.  Job change/move for your boss.  Your boss may be young in their role, may have physically transferred locations to assume the role while learning both the “what” and “who” of their new role. 

3. Your boss might be overloaded with their role, special projects and more.  Many leaders wear more than one hat. 

4. Your boss may not be fully comfortable coaching and giving feedback. 

How do you best manage this?

Take ownership of communicating your efforts and create opportunities for your boss to give you feedback through out the year. 

One person who worked for me, initiated sending me a one page 4-6 bullet list of highlights between our 1 on 1’s meetings to just keep me up to date. It was always easy to read and valuable.  I did not require it. But welcomed the connection and the briefing.

Not getting much time with your boss?  Schedule 1 one 1’s.  Provide an agenda. Share performance highlights and the IMPACT of your work. (I call this the so what? i.e. What's the impact of your work?)

Ask your boss:

  • Are you comfortable with what your are seeing from me?
  • Is the frequency of our communication adequate?
  • What else would you like to see from me?
  • How can I be making a great impact?

There is an art to managing your performance and managing your communication about your performance with your boss.  Have an opinion on how you are doing. "I am really proud of x." "My team initiated a new project." "Strategically this will help both our team and others." "Our team had a great year."

Over the course of my career I have experience a wide range of how the annual performance review was executed. Some good, some not so good. I found the better I got at regularly communicating my efforts, building a good working relationship with my boss, the better off I was. You can do the same.


About the author:

Ann Zaprazny is a speaker and a high performance coach for athletes and business professionals. She is the founder and CEO of Great Sports Minds and helps clients achieve more.

Ann can be reached at [email protected] or (717) 419- 5789.




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