By the time you've completed your employees' evaluations, the scheduled dates for your one-on-one sessions loom large on your calendar. Some managers feel uneasy at this point. But I have good news for you: If you've worked through Chapter 5, you've already taken three major steps to quell such feelings:
You've gathered and documented accurate and specific performance data for each of your employees.
In order to gather such data, you spent a lot of time in direct contact with your employees, providing them with feedback, coaching, guidance, and support. In doing so, you've provided them with a clear understanding of your thoughts regarding their performance, so you've eliminated the element of surprise from the forthcoming session. And this means that the likelihood of resistance, defensiveness, or disagreement is dramatically reduced.
You've written performance evaluations that are thorough, fair, and focused on specific and measurable behaviors, competencies, and results, rather than on personalities.
In order to have highly productive appraisal sessions with your employees, all you need to do at this point is prepare and plan for each face-to-face discussion and then make sure that you stick to your plan and run each session in an organized, businesslike, and positive style.