5 Ways to Recharge Your Performance Conversations

In times when motivating your staff is key to maintaining well-being and continued performance, providing training and support to help them recharge their performance conversations in a virtual world can really help.
Continuity of regular and end of year Performance Conversations is vital between your employees and managers right now to ensure everyone feels supported.

5 ways to recharge your performance conversations

These first two ideas will help change the dynamic of the conversation
  • Listen.  Just listen.  Invite your colleague to talk about how well their performance is going at the moment.   Tell them you won’t interrupt or comment for 3 minutes.  If they stop talking earlier, simply ask ‘anything else?’  Let them talk for longer if you want.  The experience of being listened to, rather than having someone waiting to speak next, is hugely powerful
  • Expand an idea.  Take one of their suggestions and explore it fully in the conversation, rather than trying to cover lots of other things.  What is the idea, what would it mean in practice, are there many variations, how would things be different, what would it feel like to us, to customers, to other colleagues?  You will be helping them learn how to develop ideas, as well as exploring the potential to improve performance.  Only at the end should you even consider whether or not you want to take the idea forward.  Sharing and developing ideas is a highly motivating and engaging activity.


These ideas are particularly useful when your people are feeling bored, stuck or that they simply can’t change anything
  • Invite each person in your team to ‘swap’ some work with a colleague.  Sometimes, just doing something different can re-energise us and give us new ideas about our work.  Encourage each person to share their expertise on a task before they hand it over.  This means they have to practise coaching or training a colleague – a valuable skill to develop.
  • If your colleague could change one thing, what would they change?  Once they have settled on what they would change, invite them to talk about what difference that change would make.  Say you won’t interrupt them, or criticise anything they say.  Listen closely, take note of what they say.  When they stop, ask ‘anything else’, and listen again.  Then encourage your colleague to see if there is a way to gain one or more of the benefits they identified, even if they can’t change everything.
  • What are they really good at, where do they excel, when do they feel at their best at work?   Ask each of your team to think about what is going well as preparation for a conversation with you. During the conversation, encourage them to think deeply about their skills, and value each skill even if it seems minor to them.  Whether it’s an eye for detail, or creating great charts from dull tables, a session focusing on what we do well is nearly always motivating.
At the end of every performance conversation, reach some closure.  What will you do, what will they do, what difference will that make?  Don’t leave people not knowing what will happen next – focus on something specific, however small.  Otherwise, you’ve had a nice chat, not a meaningful performance conversation.
Read more about our It’s My Conversation (Forum Theatre ‘Live’) workshops for all employees and Brilliant Conversations workshops for managers…and much more – click here

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