3 Questions for Better Performance Review Conversations

How to Bring a Positive Approach to Your Next Performance Review Conversation?

Organisations move forward or backwards one conversation at a time. And one of the significant conversations in organisational life is the performance review discussion. If you are like most people you probably don't look forward to these too much and you might even wonder about how well you do it.

These questions, adapted from an article by Neil Samuels1, offer a positive, strengths based approach to how these conversations can be structured for maximum benefit. Try them the next time you lead a formal or informal discussion about performance.

How Are You Doing?

Considering all of your objectives, what are you proud of, what have you accomplished, and what are you doing that works?

Give yourself credit for all the things you do that bring you a feeling or demonstration of success, to even the smallest degree, in any work situation. Be specific.

What contributed to those successes? What caused those things to work? What has allowed you to do your best work?

How have you changed?

Think about yourself at the beginning of the year and the person you are today. How have you changed? Again, give yourself credit for improvement in your professional competencies or personal effectiveness. What did you do that helped you improve?

How can you become even more effective?

To help you become even more effective in the future, what do you want to continue to do, do more of, do better, or do differently?

Of all the items listed and described above, which are the ones you are inspired to act on?

What support within the organisation do you have to do the things you have identified? What resources do you have outside the organisation?

It is questions like these that lead to increased awareness and confidence. They also keep the responsibility for moving forward squarely with the staff member... things that we think all effective coaching conversations bring to growing people and improving performance.


  • 1 These questions are adapted from an article by Neil Samuels based on ideas from Appreciative Inquiry, a strengths based approach to organisational and personal change.

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