Learning Point Blog

It’s Not the Appraisal

Five Conversations that Transform Employee Performance I am often asked whether performance appraisals are good or bad. My answer? It’s not the appraisal. I’m not a fan of appraisals. But the appraisal itself is not the issue. It’s all about the conversations that come before, during, and after the appraisal. Take the worst appraisal form …

All Hat, No Cowboy

At age 25, which was a fast thirty years ago, I was asked to lead a major project. The project had high exposure and would impact many people in the organization for which I worked. Because I was ambitious, I was excited. Because I was naïve, I had no fear. I worked hard to get …

A Lesson from the Underground: Own Your Role

A few years ago I was working with a mining operation in Eastern Tennessee. I have been in underground mines before. They are tough and often dangerous environments. The individual that was giving me the initial tour was an electrical foreman. He had worked in that mine his entire life. He must have been at …

From Yep to Sweet Spot

Far too many supervisory conversations never get to the sweet spot and suffer from what I call the yep syndrome. Yep. I said the yep syndrome. The yep syndrome is what happens when a supervisor checks in with a direct report and gets a short and superficial answer – “Yep.” The supervisor then allows the …

The 8 Great Practices of Supervision

Over the past 30 years I have learned many valuable lessons from thousands of supervisors. One of the most profound is that nearly all of the great ones do a few common things on a regular, habitual basis. Different leaders, different styles, same practices. I like to call them the 8 Great Practices of Supervision. …