by Michael Holland    

We’ve all gotten into those conversations where at some point we realize we’ve made some incorrect assumptions. That happens when we are managing an employee’s performance also. As managers, we frequently think we know why a person did what they did, or know what they intended, or draw conclusions about someone’s performance based upon a set of assumptions. To make sure we’re being fair, and tackling the right issue, watch your assumptions and start conversations by inquiring first. Ask some questions – and make sure you listen to the answers, not making any assumptions. By inquiring first you may find out other pieces of information that help you to better understand and then manage an employee’s performance.

So, go ahead, ask – what made you do it that way, why was that your approach, what happened when you tried? There are lots of questions to be asked to help you gain deeper understanding to better manage performance. So go ahead, ask – just make sure your tone matches your sincere interest and doesn’t sound accusatory, and you’ll be on a strong path for effective performance management.