Performance reviews. Need I say more? There is nothing as dysfunctional and as predictable as the annual performance review. From vagueness to politics, from personal attacks to overall managerial disinterest, performance reviews are inherently nasty and rarely done well. Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford University, has a wonderful perspective on performance reviews. To quote Bob, “if performance reviews were a drug, they would not be FDA approved… About half the time performance goes up after a performance review conversation and about half the time performance goes down.”

Whether you are a manager and have the responsibility to conduct performance reviews with your folks, or you are on the receiving end of a performance review conversation (or both), knowing how to manage that conversation is a tricky and critical task to both your effectiveness as well as your happiness. Amongst other topics, we’ll be covering:

  • What are some of the most dysfunctional ways that performance reviews are commonly delivered?
  • How do you deal with a performance review conversation that has turned unhealthy and unproductive?
  • If you are a manager, how can you ensure that you are doing all you can to make the performance review process healthy and productive?

Do you have a performance review story you are willing to share? Send me your stories of your experiences with “less than healthy” performance reviews and I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty).

And in case you want an additional teaser to the month, here’s a radio segment I did recently on performance reviews. Who knows, maybe at the end of the month when we’ve covered this dysfunction thoroughly we’ll rate each other on how we did and see if our ratings match up. Oh, I can’t wait…

Performance Reviews. Always Dysfunctional.