Imagine coming home tonight and finding out that your spouse and kids were giving you a performance review. Right there on the spot. The fam has been taking notes for a year, and today is the big day for you! Think of the fun topics:
- Helping with homework
- Home maintenance
- Bedroom stuff!
- BATHROOM stuff!!
- Financial record keeping
- Church attendance without complaining!
- And the super fun – getting along at the family reunion
(A) Walk back out the door, come back in hoping you’d somehow passed through a space-time continuum.
(B) Leave and go to a bar and stay away until they came to their senses.
(C) “Be excited,” said no one, ever.
(D) Laugh and ask if it’s April Fool’s Day.
Seven of ten people refuse to complete the exercise. Two of ten say they left home and called a divorce attorney. One in ten was hospitalized while the doctors tried to get her medication right.
But that’s what we do at work. An entire industry exists to develop and sell evaluative instruments to gauge your work performance up to a year after you performed. It is operated by people who do not know you, nor do they objectively know the quality of your work much less the amount of energy you invest. This industry DOES NOT EXIST for marriages and families.
Your company hires them because they do not know what else to do. Your family does not hire them because common sense prevails at home more often than at work. (Wait, what? Really?) And why is that?
Perhaps, because at home we watch sports. Sports give instant coaching and feedback. So do functioning families. Dysfunctional families are a different matter not within the scope of this brief note. Want to enjoy work more?
4 reasons to coach now instead of waiting for a performance review
- Coaching now is behavior based. Right or wrong behaviors can be identified instead of mingled with several months of emotional soup.
- Coaching now is more objective. The boss sees what’s wrong, tells you what she expects. Nothing is perfectly objective, but doing it now, like they do in sports, gets us closer.
- Coaching now has more integrity. Am I really expected to believe that managers, peers, and direct reports take notes on what you did three months ago (or a year)? They don’t. Annual and quarterly reviews are based on what was observed the last few times they interacted with you. If either of you had just one bad experience right before the eval came around, watch out. There’s no way to solve for that one other than coaching in the present.
- Coaching now is more encouraging. After awhile, you know you may realize you’re not getting better in which case you can ask for a different seat on the bus before you’re fired. On the other hand, you’ll know pretty quickly if you are getting better and in line for a raise or promotion. Waiting three to twelve months for a bad review is disheartening. Getting it now – either way – is more encouraging.
What do want from your people? I’m guessing you want them to behave correctly, be evaluated fairly, do it now, for the process to have integrity, and to encourage people along the way. Am I close to right? Coach me now.