Performance Appraisal: Managing Personalities In The Room as a Reviewee – Working Voices

This time we look at how to best compliment the personality of the person giving your appraisal, with body language, energy, and communication style.

Jay:

As described in the last blog, the first step is to think about and do a non-clinical analysis of their personalities.

Ask yourself…

  • Do they prefer to do most of the talking?
  • Do they prefer to take lots of pauses before or during speaking?
  • Do they prefer to ask (or be asked) “closed” (yes/no) versus “open” questions?
  • Are they conversational in tone or more formal and interrogative?
  • Do they like to tell and hear stories?
  • How personal do they get in discussing their own work and lives?

Once I’ve considered this, and considered what history and rapport I may already have, or what allies I’ll have on the other side of the table, I usually set about trying my best to “match their energy” in the room by

  • lots of eye contact
  • ask questions
  • tell stories
  • speak less formally or more so depending on the tone they’ve set
  • give them room to relax by being as relaxed as possible myself

I give myself permission to ask them for clarification if I need it, to be truthful and candid, and to embrace discussing mistakes as a natural part of the review.

The more relaxed and open I am, the more I can match the reviewers’ tone and energy in a collaborative way, the more ownership I’ll have of this important conversation.

For more information on how to approach a performance appraisal effectively, from both the point of view of a reviewee and reviewer, click here.

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