Performance reviews should be a two-way street where you ask reports about your performance, what you can improve and how your communication’s been, writes Know Your Team CEO Claire Lew. “Ideally, as a leader, these are questions you are asking not just once or twice a year during performance reviews — but consistently and regularly, so you can be constantly improving your own performance,” Lew writes.
To make the most of the performance reviews you’re already doing, here are the most meaningful questions to ask in a performance review as a leader – for yourself, and from your team.As a leader, ask these questions…
#1: What should I start, stop, or continue doing?
This is a classic question for good reason. I call it a “catch-all” question: It opens up many areas for people to share feedback with you without resorting to a generic question such as “What should I improve?”
#2: What can I improve about my communication, in terms of both content (e.g., priorities, decisons, etc.) and style (e.g., tone, frequency, etc.)?
Communication is the crux of what we do as leaders. And so, it’s paramount that we ask for feedback on it, and include it as one of the questions to ask in a performance review. This question is excellent at zooming in on the two aspects of communication you’ll want feedback on as a leader: (1) What you’re communicating, and (2) How you’re communicating those things.
#3: What more can I be doing to help you navigate uncertainty?
Oftentimes, performance reviews will include questions such as “Am I giving you enough direction?” or “How well do I set our goals?”… But what we really should be asking about is the underlying reason for why we need direction and goals in the first place: To navigate uncertainty in order for us to make progress.
We as leaders are “sense makers,” as described by scholar Karl Weick, and we should ask a question on this in our feedback process – be it performance reviews or an alternative system.