From the Ask Tom mailbag:
I have a performance review with a top performer on my team. In addition to reviewing his past 3 months results, I am trying to prepare some discussion topics that are geared towards 1) further developing his strengths and 2) finding ways to challenge him so he does not get bored.
I think you just defined the discussion topics.
Developing strengths can usually be identified with the following questions.
- What is it that you believe you do well?
- If I was standing as an observer, what would I see in you as a strength?
- How do you gain the greatest leverage from your strengths?
- How do you nurture your strengths?
- How can I, as your manager, nurture those strengths?
Finding ways to challenge the team member is most easily done through delegation. Most people believe delegation is a time management tool, but it is also your most powerful people-development tool. Ask these questions.
- Looking forward, what responsibility would challenge and test your abilities?
- If we were to assign that responsibility to you, what safeguards could we put in place to make it a learning experience rather than a trial by fire?
When you think about retaining your top performers, these are the most important conversations.