I have read all the helpful hints and understand how to do my part for a successful employee evaluation session. Be prepared, Know my goals, Have specific examples. Seems easy enough. We all say we want feedback, but we still get a knot in our stomachs when it is time to sit across the table.

To my surprise, the meeting with my manager was not painful. As a matter of fact, it was a very thorough discussion and I left knowing more about how I am viewed in the company. What made that discussion so different? The review in my mind recalled the following observations:

1) Be Here Now
I’m not sure who coined that phrase, but my manager blocked out all distractions and made sure he was not interrupted. Our discussion was the only focus for that hour. He made the choice to value the feedback appointment with me.

2) The Form, The Discussion, The Commitment
I completed my self appraisal and he read it. He highlighted comments I made to review with me. He presented his review and we discussed the differences in our opinions and gained greater understanding of each other’s perceptions. I discovered that a couple of risks I took were for the right reasons, but didn’t yield the right results. We talked about a new approach to gain some consensus around my suggestions. I thought I would get in trouble for that one. It turned out to be a great learning situation. Finally, the commitment. He shared his commitment to help me learn, grown and challenged me to work towards an even higher level of performance. My weaknesses, development areas, opportunities, they were all addressed with openness and gave me a sense of direction. There were even so kudos for some difficult projects I completed.

3) My Ratings Made Sense
Hard work doesn’t make a performance rating, right results do. My manager helped me see that improving the way I approach my tasks will help me to gain better results. The ratings were not a surprise due to the ongoing communication and our company performance management system that captures the details of my measureable results.

4) Goals and Training
The career goals I have identified with my manager have purpose. I understand how they fit in the company’s overall goals. There are many courses our company offers that I haven’t taken advantage of since I have been employed. Time to quit putting off the online courses I know I need.

5) Genuine Concern for My Success
We had a transparent conversation, not just about my performance, but some of my manager’s career goals. I can see how my ability to step up and accomplish more will allow my manager to delegate to me. There was a sense that he was genuinely interested in my success.
Overall, the meeting was something I really appreciated. Sure we had some tense moments, but when it was all said and done, I am going to be a better employee because of it. Performance appraisal conversations done the right way can make all the difference in world between reading job boards and focusing on career development tasks.
It’s not all a walk in the park, but when two professionals approach the performance discussion with respect and openness, great things can happen.
Alright managers, how to you stack up? Can you step back and make a few changes to your approach to your employee coaching sessions? It’s all a matter of choice.

About Bullseye Evaluation: Looking for a system to make Performance Management a strategic advantage? Bullseye Evaluation offers a web based solution to help shift the culture of expectations for your company process. At Bullseye Performance Management Systems, we believe HR Professionals are operational and strategic partners when managing an organization.

Author's Bio: 

Pat Bell is an HR Advisor with Bullseye Evaluations. BullsEyeEvaluation offers Performance Appraisal Software, Employee Evaluation & Performance Appraisal System