You want to help others improve their performance in a way that really sticks over the long term? Create a safe environment in which people receive lots of positive reinforcement for the desired behaviors, little reinforcement of the negative kind, and feel valued for who they are and what they do.
The default working arrangements of today have crept up on us over many decades and are the result of a certain philosophy of business management.
Individual people—you, me, others—are not that great at making sound, evidence-based decisions. We also tend to be suspicious of decisions, made by others, that have the potential to affect us. But there are ways to foster better, more legitimate outcomes and it all starts with vigorous debate.
For some, formal reviews are a time to step back, reflect on the previous months and get ready for the stretch that lies ahead. For others, documenting their mid-year is one more thing on their plate, a mildly annoying time gobbler that just crowds out other priorities. And for leaders with large teams, it’s a time-consuming task that can easily turn into a low-value box-checking exercise.
If you hold a leadership role of any type (and you probably do — whether at home, in school, at work or in the community more broadly), it’s good practice to pause once in a while and reflect on how well you’re doing on that front. But what’s the relevant frame of reference against which to assess yourself?