And so the day of the appraisal arrives. If you’ve followed my previous posts and and completed all the preparation then you should feel ready for the meeting.
Set the tone of the meeting to ensure that your team member feels relaxed and ready to talk. Use the walk to the meeting room or other location to put them at ease so that they feel ready to start talking.
So now the tricky part; how to get them to open up and start talking about their accomplishments. If you’ve done your preparation correctly you should have a list of topics to cover and open-ended questions ready to start the conversation. So go ahead and ask the first question.
Remember it is their appraisal and they should do most of the talking so be prepared to be quiet. This can be the hardest thing to achieve, believe I know! But giving your team member the room to articulate themselves will pay off in the end. It may take up to a minute for them to speak but you must hold your tongue. If you butt in you won’t give them room to really start opening up.
Use the feedback you have received indirectly, i.e. don’t directly attribute this to an individual, unless you have their consent to do so. Use it to articulate the topics you want to cover.
And lastly, even if the appraisal content largely about bad performance or other issue, you need to try and balance this with points of praise too. If you over criticise someone they will go into defensive mode and not actually take on board what you are saying.