because your employees are your business

Conversations to Optimize Employee Performance TrainingPicture4.png

The shift away from annual performance evaluations is increasing at a rapid pace. Frustrated by this time-consuming, ineffective legacy process, many organizations are moving toward a more qualitative approach that leverages informal, insightful coaching conversations about performance and expectations.

However, the lack of skills and training in this brave new world of performance management is leaving managers ill-equipped to help their employees become better versions of themselves. The two-part Performance Conversations workshops—one for all staff and the other for managers—build the skills and offer the tools and resources to help your organization create a system of ongoing performance coaching and alignment conversations.   

Our program builds the skills of managers and employees to engage in ongoing performance conversations.  The focus is on more frequent, forward-looking dialogue [versus reviewing past performance]. 

The training teaches managers and employees effective communication strategies to comfortably give and receive meaningful insight.  Participants directly implement their new skills and tools through an easy-to-use framework called the 10-Minute Questions Conversation.  The framework reshapes communications between managers and employees based on two-way informal performance alignment conversations. 

These workshops can be offered together, so all employees and managers have equal access to the skills and tools to participate in a two-way dialogue about performance.   Contact us for more details:


Workshop 1 (for all staff)

Conversations to Optimize Your Performance and Potential

This program trains employees to take control of managing their performance to support short- and long-term career objectives. In this workshop, your entire staff will learn strategies they can use to ask thoughtful questions, elicit new insights and turn everyday work interactions into opportunities for maximizing their performance and potential.

Participants learn how to:

  • Ask powerful questions that result in new points of view from managers, colleagues, and customers, etc.
  • Engage in two-way dialogue with peers and managers to comfortably give and receive feedback.  
  • Increase the ability to independently seek-out real-time insight [rely less on the manager as the sole source of feedback].    

Audience:  All Staff    Duration:  half-day

Learning Objectives

  • 1.  Developing the Capacity to Invite Feedback and Coaching
    Self manage your performance and potential by soliciting different  points of view from your professional network.  Asking for feedback gives an additional perspective and shrinks blind spots.

  • 2.  Expanding Your Perspective Through Others
    Learn how to engage others to help you grow.  Discover how everyday work interactions can offer the best opportunities for on-the-spot insights and on-the-job growth.  Learn the key to asking thoughtful questions of managers, colleagues, and customers that result in new points of view.

  • 3.  Giving and Receiving Insight 
    Use a conversation framework designed to think about the present and future [versus justify the past].  Learn how these brief, one-to-one conversations with your manager and peers result in recognizing accomplishments, strengths, ideas for working better together, and ideas for strengthening performance.

  • 5.  Considering the Role of Behavior
    Stellar work results are not enough.  How others experience interacting with you can make or break your reputation and ability to move up the ladder.   Explore the impact of behavior on  career trajectory, organizational culture, productivity, team dynamics, and more.  Learn how to assess your behavior and seek input from others to balance your self-awareness.

  • 6.  Opening Up to New Insights
    Discovering yourself through the eyes of others can feel daunting.  Learn how to manage the apprehension that accompanies requests for feedback and develop the capacity to hear “need-to-know” information that could make the difference between a successful or stalled career.


Workshop 2 (for managers)

Conversations to Optimize Employee Performance and Potential

This program enables managers to build their capabilities to transform performance by increasing the frequency and quality of conversations.  Learn how to analyze performance and develop non-threatening feedback messages that can be heard and are comfortable to deliver.  New skills are learned to bypass the tendency to blame and criticize, leading to more cooperation, trust-building, improved interpersonal interactions, and higher performance. 

Participants learn how to: 

  • Reinforce and recognize strengths and good performance
  • Redirect off-target performance (emphasizing future performance expectations versus shortcomings)
  • Transition from the traditional manager role of evaluate/document to a develop and coach others mindset.    

Audience:  People Managers    Duration:  half-day

Learning Objectives

  • 1.  Map Employee Performance Effectiveness
    Use the Employee Performance Continuum model to identify the six employee performance types.  Utilize the Continuum as the starting point to differentiate performance and strategically plan performance conversations. 

  • 2.  Uncover the Key Area(s) for Development or Improvement  
    Apply an algorithmic method to deconstruct performance 
    concerns, big and small. Delineate between non-relevant 
    information (the noise) to hone in on the central performance concern or opportunity for greater effectiveness. 

  • 3.   Know What to Say  
    Understand why the human brain is hard-wired to push away “constructive criticism” and select brain-friendly wording designed to be direct and reduce defensive reactions. Use the Turnaround framework to reframe negative information into a future-focused request versus a criticism.  

  • 4.  Verbalize Disruptive or Unproductive Behaviors  
    Disruptive behaviors slow others down, cut into productivity, diminish engagement and can drive good performers out the door. Find the words to talk about performance issues rooted in behavior.

  • 5.  Give Positive Insight That Goes Beyond General Comments  
    People do things we appreciate all the time.  Most employees say they don’t receive enough positive feedback or it’s too general to be meaningful.  Learn three easy steps for crafting high impact meaningful messages.



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