Many managers look to the annual performance appraisal as a time for goal-setting and calibration. It is an important event, but for the feedback-starved associate, that’s like being in school and getting no teacher input until the report cards come out in June.
Let’s face it: the annual performance review cycle is a relic of the 1900s and the boomer generation is likely the last to rely on it. People need attention and feedback more often and in smaller bites so they can calibrate their performance on the fly.
Every time you offer positive or developmental feedback, you create the possibility of a fresh start. The person who receives a continual flow of encouragement and constructive guidance has less opportunity to fall into poor work habits that become entrenched.
First, you must get out of your own way. If you think of performance feedback as “uncomfortable” or “drama” then you will avoid it and everybody loses.
Instead, think of yourself as a teacher. Imagine that your success is measured by how others perform and grow (which, by the way, is true). You will be more likely to offer ideas, course correction, and ongoing support to those around you.
Remember, Leadership is not about a title: Anyone can be a leader who creates a space for others to learn and ongoing opportunities to start fresh.