Everybody is busy. Especially business owners and managers. I have two partners, they are also very busy. However, we have learned together that taking the time particularly for any “hard” conversations is actually super-productive. We listen to each other, discuss at a deep, honest and direct level that allows us to come to sound resolutions. It turns out we agree on almost everything, even if we occasionally have different priorities or ways to get things done. Work-related stress zaps creativity and productivity, not to mention peace and joy. Conversations about strategies, thoughts and feelings free up productive capacity.
To help get ahead of this, we do regular performance reviews amongst the three partners.
There is a series of questions we use to prompt conversations about things that matter like: What are your work accomplishments or highlights; What challenges you the most or What are your short-term and long-term goals. We've created a questionnaire that we use at every review. This is a helpful tool, which done correctly, enhances relationships, reduces blind spots (we all have them) and encourages personal and professional growth.
Remember the classic book, “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten"? Let’s revisit those truths and see what we can relearn. Please don’t tell my partners about this section, for them I tend to overstress my Master’s degree in Finance, Investments and Banking. That blind spot may have came out in my performance review. : )
I have several favorite lines from the book that are so applicable to adult life and work:
- Play Fair
- Put things back where you found them
- Clean up your own mess (who does THAT and leaves it in the microwave at work?!)
- Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone
- When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together (teamwork!)
- Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
In school we learned that marketing is location, location, location (yes, this was before the internet). In a similar way, I say that management is people, people, people. And the first person a manager should be concerned about improving is themselves; becoming the best version of yourself, remembering and living the lessons you have learned throughout your life. Disciplining yourself to learn more, even through experiences like performance reviews, will help you become a more effective leader and will definitely help make your dreams come true.