When looking at our long list of factors that contribute fear and anxiety to reviews, the fix seems rather simple—just do the opposite: reduce the stakes, lose the judgment, don’t raise uncomfortable truths (a strategy which, of course, isn’t very helpful in the short or long run), lose the blame, develop skills at giving and receiving performance feedback, reduce the uncertainty, give up the need to control, and make the conversation truly two-way. While many of these steps could indeed improve the quality of most performance reviews (with the one notable exception being ignoring uncomfortable truths), correcting just these simple sources ...

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