Another example of how to switch from the dreaded strengths and weaknesses discussion to a strategic, productive discussion
I have been writing a lot lately about how managers are requested to discuss and document employees’ strengths and weaknesses. My conclusion: This is absurd and damaging. However, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team is a necessary and important part of people management indeed. So instead of putting your team member on the spot to list out strengths and weaknesses and then documenting these with a development plan, I propose instead engaging in a strategic discussion with the employee on what’s best for the organization and the employee. Today, I’ll demonstrate how to transition from the dreaded annual review discussion of strengths and weaknesses to a more appropriate strategic discussion that provides value for you, the organization and your employee. Let’s go! Read more
In my previous posts (here and here), I explored the often absurd and damaging results that often occur when pursuing discussions about an employee’s weaknesses. In many cases, managers are formally requested to discuss with their employee’s strengths and weaknesses during the annual review process, with confusing, if not angering results.
Absurd, damaging, confusing, angering – these are pretty harsh words. But surely, Walter, there have to be times when discussing weaknesses with an employee is appropriate? Of course there are! They should be strategic and collaborative discussions that are designed to drive the organization forward using the abilities of the employee.
Instead of having a discussion about the employee’s strengths and weaknesses, the discussion should be centered around where the employee’s skills – whether strong or weak – best fit in the organization’s needs, and how they can be leveraged to the maximum benefit for both the organization and the employee.
Here are some example situations. Read more
In my previous post, I described five reasons discussing weaknesses with an employee often seems so awkward, despite the best intentions. Yet, managers are frequently asked to do so on an employee’s annual review form, which, by design, creates some unnecessary and damaging conversations. Here are five more reasons discussing weaknesses with employees fails: Read more
Many managers are asked to discuss with their employees the various strengths and weaknesses of the employee. This often backfires, as the employee is appropriately suspicious of the manager’s intent when discussing “weaknesses”. The reason: This will appear on the employee’s annual performance review, and becomes part of the employee’s “brand” going forward – even if the weaknesses are irrelevant or nonsensical. As a result, any discussion about an employee’s weaknesses should be for the purpose of identifying and planning strategic needs of the organization. Instead what happens more often than not is that a discussion of an employee’s weaknesses is performed simply to document bad things about an employee. But why would you want to do that? You don’t. And here’s why not: Read more