Be Trustworthy and Brave


If you have the expectation of “performance management” anywhere in your job description or resume, you may have an idea of the juggling required to keep everyone moving effectively in the same direction.  Or you may be one of the millions of new managers who were not warned of the circus skills required to avoid chasing the dropped balls rolling around at your feet.

Hopefully you have the three kinds of balls required for successfully juggling performance management: 1) the ones that clearly describe what success looks like; 2) others designed to measure each individual’s progress; and 3) the slippery little ones that motivate the people you ‘manage.’

Demonstrate You Believe in Their Magic

A close look at that last motivational aspect will remind us that, unless employees believe that you believe in them, they rarely respond to your influence.  Sometimes it is difficult to see evidence that they are even trying, but find it you must, if you are to build the trust needed to encourage their success.  It is usually worth these risks. Perhaps this aspect of leadership takes more of that Scout mentality than the circus act managing feels like: be trustworthy and brave enough to face the risks.

Extending your trust in individuals inspires their effort. If you consistently demonstrate to them that you are trustworthy, they will be more likely to reflect those credible qualities of character and competence back in their performance.

People believe you trust them when your relationship includes discussions of both their accomplishments and mistakes. When you discuss errors, focus on the facts instead of questioning their motives.  For errors in judgement, give them a chance to share what they think caused the mistake before you share your assumptions.

Show you care about their success by learning their priorities; people don’t value the same things. Honestly acknowledge the impact of their mistakes to whatever is most important to them: the customer, their compensation level, their reputation with peers or leaders, their career, keeping their job, getting more time for personal priorities, etc.  You must pay attention to the individual.

Influencing others is an important skill for all leaders; performance management is only one application.  Do you or your colleagues need support in sharpening this skill?  Pepperbox Solutions can support either the individual learner or a team of professionals.  It’s your career!

The next two blogs will continue these ‘performance management’ skill tips.