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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Performance reviews, in which bosses look for weaknesses and pretend to speak objectively for the company, while subordinates grin and bear it, misapply the hierarchical structure that is necessary in any organisation. They ensure that the relationship is about power and subordination, making candor all but impossible, and defensiveness the behaviour of choice for stressed employees. They should be used sparingly and replaced by performance previews.
This would involve changing the internal politics so that boss and subordinate are a team, both accountable for getting results that the company needs. No longer will the subordinate alone stand accountable for arbitrary metrics that managers create. Now they're both on the hook, and it is in the interest of each of them to understand the way the other goes about his or her job, and to support that person's strengths.
If everybody starts by owning what they think, instead of arguing over the "truth," you can begin to have a trusting relationship that can tolerate each party hearing some things they don't want to hear. And then you can have honest improvement — in people, in practices, in results.
For more, see: Get Rid of the Performance Review!: How Companies Can Stop Intimidating, Start Managing--and Focus on What Really Matters (Business Plus)