“I don’t know how!” said Bob.
“Oy Veh“, thought Chip
A client (Bob) and I were talking about how he never has enough time to work bigger issues. I suggested he better utilize his staff. This frees his time for more value-added contributions. In essence, be a “coach” instead of a “player.”
I recommended he conduct mid-year performance reviews to recalibrate expectations, set higher-level goals and clarify his desire to coach more and do less.
His answer shocked me, “Chip, I love the idea, it sounds great. The problem is – I’ve never felt confident or competent at giving performance reviews. I really don’t know how to do it well.”
“No problem“, I said – “It’s good you’re aware of a weakness. Let’s use this to push you out of your comfort zone!”
Then came my question that sent the train off the tracks – “What have you done to figure this out?”
He looked at me like a deer in headlights.
Seeing confusion, I clarified – “I’m asking for how you’ve attempted to learn about performance review meetings and where are you practicing?”
He was getting frustrated – “How can I learn or practice? I told you, I don’t know!”
The Learning Point:
I believe, in this day and age, there is no excuse for ignorance.
Think out it -back – today’s cyber-power removes your right to say “I don’t know how to…”
Shame on you – get off your butt and figure it out.
Case in point – I googled “How to give performance reviews” and got 31,100,000 results in .38 seconds. I then went to YouTube and got 34,600 results! Are you kidding me!?
There has never been a time when information is so plentiful. Further, there has never been a time when knowledge is such an important differentiator in your life and career.
Without continuously building on your knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics – you will plateau. You need to grow to stay relevant and help pull your organization to new heights. You cannot fight your way to a position of influence and then turn your autopilot on and just relax.
At least not if you want to avoid the plateau and keep your life/career fresh and interesting.
Do the Work:
Use my 5 Prerequisites for Continued Growth to avoid becoming “Bob.” In doing so, you relaunch yourself to new levels of success, contribution and satisfaction.
- Awareness – Change doesn’t start without awareness. Take the time to reflect and identify your developmental need. What are the areas in need of change or development? What is needed to enhance your work and/or your life? If you look two promotions ahead – are you prepared for the demands of that role? If not, what should you be working on?
- Motivation or Desire – All the awareness in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t have the motivation to do something about it! I’m 25 pounds over weight, but I had ice cream last night! Establish the motivation to do the work.
- Knowledge, Skill and Ability – This is where Bob fell down. He was aware and motivated but he claimed he didn’t know how to conduct effective performance reviews. Figure it out. Do the research, hire a coach, follow the example of a mentor – whatever it takes to acquire the requisite ability – do it.
- Opportunity – This is the step for practice. Find opportunities to deploy your newly acquired skills/knowledge. Test it. Practice it. Have the courage to try new and different behaviors. It’s okay if it doesn’t work great – keep at it.
- Feedback – Your learning curve gets shorter with feedback. Find someone to critique and offer suggestions. Get data to see what’s working and what isn’t. The input from feedback received serves to increase your awareness. That is the power of continuous learning!
Don’t be Bob.
Target an area of your Leadership and go after it.
Who knows what you are capable of doing if you do the work!