Get ready to talk performance

Have focused conversations that will help you perform better and get you the results you want.

It all starts with your mindset – get that right and you’re on your way to have some highly effective performance conversations.

This tool will help you make sure you’ve got the best mindset and approach for having performance conversations.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

This tool will help you make sure you’ve got the best mindset and approach for having performance conversations. It also gets you ready to talk to others about getting a shared mindset when it comes to talking performance. 

Use this tool right now. It will take you 15 minutes if you do it thoroughly. Then use it regularly as you get going having effective conversations – we’d suggest once or twice a week for the first couple of months then keep checking in with it as you become more expert. Use it as much as you want – once a month will help keep you focused and disciplined.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. How are you talking about performance at the moment?

There’s a list of options below. For each, just check off where you think you are on each of these.

Give yourself a score of where you think you sit between each of the statements. Be honest and don’t cheat. Please.
Your score
(0 – 10)
Focused on results 100% performance focused
They happen at set times They happen in the moment while it’s fresh
We’re careful with what we share We openly share our thoughts
Focused on who’s doing what Focused on what we’re doing to win
Mostly reviewing/analysing what’s gone Looking forward to how we need to perform

2. Great. Now it’s time to review what you’ve said.

Your aim here is to develop a mindset and some habits around performance conversations. Do this right and those conversations become a really useful tool to help you constantly understand how you perform best. You’ll understand more about what you need to do to get the results you want and get great at using that insight to perform better, more often. So you’ll be aiming for a higher score for all of these statements when you’re having performance conversations every day.

So, your next task is to decide on 3 things you’re going to do to move close to a 10 and lay the foundations to have better performance conversations. We’ve provided an example to get going with. You do the rest

e.g. I’m going to start focusing far more on what I and we did when we got a ‘win’. In conversations with others, I’ll be asking them what they did, what I did and what we did as a team.




3. Ok, good. You’ve decided what you are going to do, and that’s a good start.

But as conversations tend to be with other people (though there’s a lot to be said for talking to yourself), there’s going to be some stuff that other people will need to know or do so you can have great conversations with them too.

For example, you might want to have a really up front conversation with people in your team about how you’re currently talking about performance and why the team could do a better job of this. There may be someone who’s particularly important in supporting the culture changing. In the space below, write yourself a few actions about what you need to crack on with when it comes to talking performance with other people.

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

  1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the 3 steps listed above.

    My actions:

  2. When are you going to start? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

    My start date:

  3. How often will you be doing it? You’ll probably be doing this as a one off, but it could be useful to do it more often.

    Check-in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.