with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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G’day Chiefs

In today’s minisode, we are going to talk about how to prepare to run performance reviews. These are your one-to-one coaching sessions when you are assessing talent, or when you're about to go through a performance management process.

If you're familiar with Chief Maker, when we're coaching and developing people through the Chief Maker Deal Hope Coaching Model, there are only ever three outcomes: improve, move or remove. That is, you’re helping them get better, you're moving them into roles where they can do a better job, or you’re removing them from a role so they can go to another career where they're much more likely to thrive. 

But often, managers can run into trouble; either you can’t get the low performer to lift, or you are running out of inspiration and dealing hope to the high performer. And so any outcomes from a review become stalled.

So today I’m going to cover three key questions to ask before and during the review – and it is surprising how often we forget these!

1. What are their dreams and aspirations?

To effectively coach, manage, and review an employee's performance, it's important to understand their long-term career goals, including their dream role and the pathway to get there. This information provides you, as their manager and coach, context and can help you to create a coaching program, set KPIs, and assess performance against the employee's desired trajectory. It can also help identify if an employee is in the right role and facilitate conversations about how to get them where they want to be.

2. Do you understand the system around the person?

The second important thing for you to consider is whether anyone in your or their team is thriving, particularly if there are performance issues. It's important to assess if there are systemic issues at play within the business, such as low sales or bad customer service, rather than placing blame on individual team members. By understanding the broader context, you can coach more effectively. Knowing both the team's dream roles and the system's context is important before beginning coaching.

3. What does the future hold?

The third important thing for you to consider as a leader is where the team needs to be in six months. This helps you to identify the performance gap and set clear goals to help the team improve. It is important for both low and high performers as it helps to inspire and challenge them to reach the next level. Knowing where the team needs to be in the future will help you to provide effective coaching and drive high performance.

Bringing it all together

Now, if we put those three things together – you know the dream role and the next role for that individual, you know what's happening at a system level across a business, how everybody is performing, you’ve identified any problems within the system or performance issues that you need to fix, and you know where you need to be in six months so as to hit some organisational goals – you are ready to move the needle.

I can't actually imagine coaching without those three things because it would be nearly impossible to deal hope, and it would certainly be impossible to track if we're being successful as a leader.


So, Chief, I want you to just focus on getting the mind ready and getting your performance ready as a coach. For the people in your team, their career is in your hands. That's a real privilege. So we've got to take that seriously and really take our game to a new level as a coach.

Stay epic,