Continuous Performance Management Training for Managers

Conversations to Accelerate Employee Performance and Potential



Our Learn, Try and Apply method quickly equips people managers with the fundamental skills to assess employee performance and use the information to provide the right feedback, even for difficult topics like behavior.   

Workshop content is delivered in short modules of 45 – 90 minutes, depending on the program. Sessions are experiential. A concept is shared, tried during the session, and ends with instructions on applying the skills and tools back on the job. The learning sticks because it aligns directly with your organization’s performance management process.  

Continuous Performance Management Training for Managers

Equip your managers with the skills and tools to drive employee performance.  

Research shows that just about 6% of managers are skilled at having candid performance conversations. The fear of engaging in a difficult or uncomfortable conversation prevents most managers from acting on the standard HR advice to: "provide feedback "early and often." These skills don't come naturally, but they can be learned. Participants learn how to analyze performance, uncover the highest impact area for development, and craft non-threatening messages that are hearable, sayable, and inspiring.  

  • Our signature program enables people managers to build their capabilities to transform performance through performance development conversations.

  • Participants learn how to analyze performance, uncover the highest impact area for development, and craft non-threatening messages that can be heard and are comfortable to deliver. 

  • Learn how to course-correct patterns of off-target performance without dredging up past infractions. 

  • In place of criticism and judgment, a system of "coaching-forward/how can I help this person develop" will improve performance and strengthen the communication and connections between managers and employees.


We've been running this program for more than ten years (see participant feedback). 

Simplify performance management

Performance management should accomplish one thing: driving and improving the performance of all employees in your organization. Period.

It all begins with an accurate assessment of an employee's current performance to identify:  

  1. What's working now

  2. What's next (how to be even more effective moving forward (future contributions, development opportunities, improvement area)

Naming and describing an employee’s current strengths/contributions and near-term priorities are the foundation of performance development conversations.  These skills don't come naturally but can be learned.

Methodology and Skills Training

We have deep expertise using a methodology developed by founder Jamie Resker to equip your managers to:

  1. Assess employee performance (Work Results and Behaviors)
  2. Craft high-impact messages to recognize each employee's positive contributions
  3. Identify each employee's most important area for development or improvement
  4. Know what to say using a formula to find the right words to begin and steer a two-way conversation  
  5. Use a framework for quick performance development style conversations that go beyond the typical 1:1 conversations that mostly focus on tasks, projects, status updates, and "to-do" lists

The Most Important Thing

Usually, there's at least one thing for an employee to stop doing, start doing, do more of, or less of. We'll show your managers a process to identify and describe that "one thing," the most critical employee performance focus area.

Finding the Words

Next, participants will learn a formula for finding direct, clear, motivational, and inspiring talking points.   Your managers will have the confidence to know what to say and how to say it. The process bypasses defensive reactions without sugar-coating or watering down the information. We call this communicating in a "hearable and sayable way."

Course-correcting Patterns of Off-Target Performance

The methodology helps to re-direct problem performance. Only about 6% of managers are skilled at having candid performance conversations, so a performance issue that should have been addressed earlier has developed into a pattern spanning months or years.    

For most managers, it's easier to talk about a Work Results issue and harder to talk about an off-target Behavior. Work results like job responsibilities and goals, and OKR attainment are more easily discussed.  Addressing the negative impact of behavior is difficult, if not near impossible. So, most lingering performance issues are behavior-related.  

Teaching managers how to talk about behaviors is our specialty.  One participant called the methodology a "genius approach" for finding the words to discuss behavior.

Learning Impact and Putting the Skills and Tools to Work  

This is not your typical training program where you hope your managers will use the workshop's skills and tools. Participants implement the newly learned skills and tools through the 10-Minute Questions Conversation (10MQ). The 10MQ reshapes communications between managers and employees based on two-way flexible, informal, yet structured conversations.

People managers will be more confident engaging in the one-off smaller conversations, whether acknowledging positive contributions or course-correcting off-target performance.

Improved Performance

Performance effectiveness will rise throughout your organization when your managers know how to assess Work Results and Behaviors and hold conversations. Employees throughout your organization will all have the opportunity to engage in higher-level performance development conversations with their manager, creating a consistent experience for all.

Participant Feedback

  • A brilliant way to structure feedback for tough conversations.
  • This is a recipe for correcting problems in the right way—no more guesswork in what to say and how to say it.
  • This session and the concepts flipped a switch for me. I always thought you needed to provide feedback and constructive criticism. I hate conflict, so I've done a poor job with that. I used the turnaround technique with one of my staff and got through with a message that should have been communicated a year ago! Well received, and I'm already seeing progress (and the person doesn't feel slighted!).
  • I've been through sessions on giving feedback. Jamie's program was the first time I've seen something that tells you what words to use…literally, the right words to use to get a conversation off to the right start and steer it in the right direction. I will use this technique in my personal life too!
  • The most valuable part of the session was the systematic approach to identifying performance issues, what words to stay away from, and better wording to get the point across without demoralizing someone.
  • I never had a formula for giving feedback. I guessed at the right words, sometimes coming across too harshly and other times too wishy-washy. Where was this twenty years ago when I first started managing people! Better late than never!
  • I will use the structures: having the 7 step process to help drive behavioral change; then the structure of the 10-minute chat.
  • I like how the approach helps the manager show the employee how forward instead of dumping a bunch of criticism and demotivating them.
  • Great to have ten pages of examples of keywords and phrases to use.
  • I learned how to find words to address disruptive behaviors at work.
  • The right mix of theory and practical application with examples, processes, and structure I can use.
  • I love the approach to reshaping your words.
  • It’s clear how to identify whether a performance issue is based on someone's skills and work deliverables or rooted in behavior.
  • Great strategies and practical steps to tackle difficult conversations about performance.
  • I used the positive wording technique to facilitate a conversation with an employee wanting to move to the next level but with performance issues in her current role. Best response ever!
  • We've been training our managers on this program for over eight years now. As a state agency, we have to do annual performance reviews, but this program guarantees that conversations happen all year long, and our managers know how to conduct them.
  • The process gives me a way to distinguish between my judgments and perceptions to uncover real issues instead of making assumptions about an employee's performance and motives.
  • The technique I learned to address performance, especially behavior issues, is so simple and makes so much sense, but it involves learning how to remap your thinking. It's almost like using a different part of your brain. It's intuitive and takes some practice, but I literally started applying what I learned the same day.
  • I love the three steps to craft positive feedback tailored to the employee instead of generic feedback.
  • I've learned how to redirect negative criticism in a way that reframes the problem into a request for future actions.
  • I've never considered myself a great manager, but after implementing the 10-Minute Conversations with my staff, I feel like I'm a better manager. I'm more connected and in tune with my people.
  • I found the words to engage an employee with a history of unruly behavior in a conversation that, to my surprise, was well received. Instead of getting defensive and telling everyone about how unfairly she was treated and ignoring me for weeks, she's smiling, in an upbeat mood, and has shifted her behavior. I never thought I'd see this day!
  • The technique to rephrase bad news is worth its weight in gold.
  • Very informative and inventive…easy ideas to apply that will help me be honest with my staff about performance issues, but do it in a way that doesn't kill their motivation.
  • A nice new approach to opening up conversations, especially when someone isn't meeting your expectations.
  • The workshop couldn't have come at a better time. I had scheduled a conversation I was dreading with an employee who is great with clients but treated our back-office staff like second class citizens. The technique I learned to find the words to raise the issue was genius! The three sentences I formed to kick off the conversation got the employee to readily admitted he was mistreating people. And more than that, he acknowledged that his behavior needed to change. He's like a different person, but had I not raised the issue, he'd still be mistreating people.
  • After seeing a few examples of how to apply the process, I tried it out in real-time. The Performance Continuum Insight Method has helped me resolve three complex issues. The problems in each case became crystal clear. From there, I knew exactly what I needed from each person. I then had the right words and confidence to initiate the conversations.
  • I've been a manager for many years and have gone through many training programs that seem like a rehash of things I already know but never apply. This program and the materials are beyond compare. Practical and stuff I wish I knew years ago!
  • The presenter was very well-paced and made every minute count.
  • I like how the conversation concludes with specific action items. It's not just an aimless conversation: the most important things are identified, and the next steps are clarified.
  • I've always had one-on-one meetings with my people, but the 10MQ goes beyond tasks and projects. It's like going up in a helicopter to take a bigger picture view of your work relationship, what's working and should continue, and what can be done to work even better together.
  • Learned about what to do outside of performance review time—new skills and tools to keep engaging in an ongoing two-way dialogue with my team.
  • I love the 10-Minute Conversation framework and the many questions, all categorized and easy to find.
  • Very informative and intensive. Great new ideas. Simple but powerful ways to rethink employee performance, figure out the most critical area for improvement, and use words that don't feel like "constructive criticism."
  • I have a new way to assess performance that is so much better than the annual performance review. Splitting performance into tasks and behaviors makes sense.
  • I addressed a long-term employee with a history of problem behavior and was shocked at how positively she responded because usually she'd have been defensive and talk to everyone else about how she's been mistreated. I can't believe how well this approach works, and it's pretty easy once you learn the process. I'm now coaching other supervisors on conversing with their employees.
  • The best way to describe the approach is that instead of having a difficult conversation, you get to have a small, no big deal conversation no one walks away hurt or demoralized, yet you addressed an issue.
  • The reframing tool and 9 pages of examples - will be helpful to develop development-focused feedback.
  • A model for how to talk about values so it feels organic: I've learned the trick to connecting employees to the values; the old way of thinking of each value, rating the employee, and commenting on each was tedious, never produced valuable content.
  • The framework to think about the most important feedback to give to employees ( and how best to do it).
  • I've been using the approach I learned during the workshop to redirect negative criticism with one employee who gets defensive over anything and everything. It's like a miracle!   I'm less apprehensive about approaching this person! I feel like the 10-minute questions conversation with the turnaround technique has made all the difference.
  • Great steps to provide performance feedback outside of the annual performance review cycle.
  • Learned how to incorporate discussion about behavior without making it personal.
  • I appreciated the performance problem examples and the time and instruction to apply the steps to several performance issues. Trying out the tools and steps helped cement the information.
  • Excellent program because I'm walking away with some new tools to give constructive and corrective feedback effectively.
  • Thinking of someone's performance visually in terms of work results and behaviors and then planning the conversation helps me focus on the most important aspects of the employee's performance. I'm more intentional about how I give positive feedback and coaching on areas for improvement.
  • I never knew if I was giving feedback the right way.   I'd just wing it and hope for the best. Now I actually have a formula, and I'm feeling more confident that I'm using the right words.
  • No one teaches you what to say and how to say it when you become a manager. I think it's assumed that you're having the right conversations. I like this roadmap.
  • I spend more time talking about the day-to-day work and not so much about performance feedback. I wish I had this "formula" 7 years ago. I'm having regular check-in convos using the 10-minute format different from my regular 1:1's.
  • The questions on the 10MQ are brilliant. So many to choose from and worded so it provides specific feedback and insight.
  • Excellent training materials and examples. The tools, especially the 7 step process to analyze performance and put together the right words for a conversation, blew my mind.
  • An elegant and simple approach to something so complicated; people and performance.
  • This class is a great way to learn how to have a feedback conversation that positively responds.
  • I learned how to take negative feedback and turn it into words that will not come across as disparaging. But also get your point across.
  • I love the steps to get clear on your thinking about a performance problem. Great help in organizing the information to uncover the most important issue. The first step in helping to formulate the right talking points.
  • I'm using this to help coach my supervisors when they come to me with employee performance problems.
  • I realize that before I assume someone is a low performer, I first need to make sure that the target performance expectations have been communicated.
  • The part about analyzing performance without ratings opened up a whole new way of thinking about my team. It's visual, intuitive, but you do know how to apply it. Everything, including examples and real-time practice, were in the session.
  • Handy: 7-step method way to organize a difficult conversation.
  • Before talking with an employee, it's important to break down and work through the issue to talk with effectively, reframe turnaround actions, and show the positive impact.
  • The examples and tools helped me work through a sticky performance issue.
  • Think about behavior and results as separate facets of job performance.
  • Liked: a technique to turn cons into pros (an eye-opening mindset change!)
  • Interactive, specific vs. generalized information.
  • I enjoyed role-playing- it helped to get to the root of the issues. I also liked the many specific examples the book contains.
  • Examples and group work helped put ideas into action.
  • I used the positive wording technique to facilitate a conversation with an employee wanting to move to the next level but with performance issues in her current role. Best response ever!
  • I wrote action items for some of my employees during this session.
  • The context and tools taught suddenly clarified some things that I'd been struggling with.
  • Great ideas to present performance issues without triggering a defensive reaction.
  • A logical thought process provides me with the opportunity to fairly assess my team.
  • I'm an experienced manager and wasn't looking forward to spending 4 hours in this session. Best time I've spent in any training. I learned new and practical ideas that will save me time and aggravation when dealing with performance problems.
  • I am a library manager at a small library and work with 3 other gals. I do not like being a manager or boss, but circumstances happened here that could be done no other way, and here I am. I dislike confrontations and try to avoid them at all costs. I now feel like I can deal with issues that won't cause problems or make people feel uncomfortable. I will start implementing the 10MQ this week!
  • I liked the steps to distinguish between perceptions/judgments and reality.
  • I feel like I have a better approach to addressing issues as they arise. Most people, including myself, let the first incident go hoping it will not happen again. I've learned a technique to address single but important incidents with a casual conversation approach.
  • I learned to deal with things quickly rather than waiting for persistent behavior patterns.
  • Direct applicability to a job as a manager, and because I have someone whose performance isn't meeting expectations, I have an immediate opportunity for implementation.
  • I tried the techniques of giving feedback to one of my top performers who takes any kind of criticism personally, and I tried Jamie's rephrasing approach. This person was completely receptive to the information and was even excited about shifting a behavior.
  • The 7 steps and reframing negatives helped me work through how to address two issues I'm dealing with and have been putting off. I'm confident I've got the right approach for both people I will talk with. The specific examples used to demonstrate the process were also very helpful.
  • The power of having a 7 step plan with the examples and practice on how to apply them to an issue I'm dealing with.
  • I now have a plan to deal with a direct report who had applied for my position and undermines my authority at every point.
  • At age 58, I often find myself asking, "Where's the beef?" Not so with this learning opportunity. Thank you!
  • I used the Employee Performance Continuum to plot my team, but it wasn't clear how I should deal with the people who do the work but have poor behaviors. The 7-step analysis reframe process gave me clarity around what to say and do with each person. Not just a general plan and wording but very specific.
  • I NOW have a new plan for a person that accepts feedback initially but continues to arrive late, etc.-even after progressive discipline has been initiated.
  • The only reason I rate this workshop as a 4 is because it is too short! I appreciate what I've learned here today and wish there was more time scheduled to practice more.
  • The Performance Continuum and analysis process helped me make sense of every employee I've supervised with problematic performance. I could have used this information years ago! Thank you!
  • I was hoping this workshop would help me manage some disruptive behavior employees on my team. I'm not disappointed! Instead of generic advice, I have two strategies to practice implementation to deal with behavior issues tactfully.
  • Jamie, I  had to share this feedback from one manager: "Every time I give this person feedback, she gets defensive and deflects responsibility. Honestly, I'd given up. I learned the approach to wording feedback in a non-confrontational way, worked through the issue during the workshop as my practice scenario, and had time to try it out in the pairs conversation practice where I made a few tweaks. We had accountability partners, and I'm reporting back that I had the conversation.   Pleasantly surprised (and relieved!) by this person's reaction. The non-confrontational but direct wording approach is magical. Thank you for scheduling the program!"
  • The strategies and step-by-step processes she introduced were easy-to-understand.
  • I came to this program with high hopes and was not disappointed! I am dealing with an extremely bright employee and basically does her job but exhibits several disruptive behaviors. She gets very defensive when I try to talk with her about these behaviors, blaming me because she is behaving this way or denying that she acts this way. I've always dreaded having even a short conversation with her. I used Jamie's 7 step approach and was confident that the conversation would turn out differently. The 10-minute conversation approach created a completely different dynamic…leveling the playing field. There was no defensiveness, quick agreement, and she gave me some helpful feedback about one way I could provide more support. Truly a 2-way conversation that eliminates the element of criticism and defensiveness.
  • I have a great team except for one person. I will try the turnaround and 10-minute convo, which will help me manage my emotions when dealing with this person.
  • I learned a great strategy for remaining calm and controlling my own negative emotions when interacting with this employee.
  • The 7 step process. It appears to be a method that can be applied to most situations and lead to an effective coaching session.
  • I now have additional ways of providing constructive feedback when dealing with problem employees (especially those who are more difficult or repeat-offenders).
  • I loved the four quadrants, which differentiated between work and behaviors.
  • This reinforced my sense that direct criticism and feedback does not inspire change.
  • The most valuable part of the program was the diagnostic steps to confirm perceptions and turn around the message to paint the picture of what desirable behavior would look like.
  • Have a disruptive employee that I’m working with, and this has given me more tools and an approach I haven't tried. It seems intuitive, but I would never have thought of it! I'll let you know how things work out.
  • Learned how to speak with a person after a single incident using a casual conversation approach. Most people, including myself, let the first incident go hoping it will not happen again.
  • I like the approach to dealing with an employee with a persistent pattern of behavior issues. Rather than bringing up things from the past, I will use this approach to help redirect the person's future behaviors.
  • I now have a strategy and techniques to home in on the most important performance issue, and instead of waiting until performance review time will use the 10-minute convo to course correct this person's performance.
  • I wrote performance goals for some of my employees during this session.
  • The program emphasized how to use the learnings and tools in the workplace instead of a formalized training/general ideas session.
  • I enjoyed role-playing- it helped to get to the root of the issues. I also liked the many specific examples the book contains.
  • I used the tools and steps to resolve an employee performance issue. It helped me think about the problem in an entirely different way to see a path forward.
  • This logical thought process provides me the opportunity to give a fair evaluation.
  • I now have additional ways of providing constructive feedback when disciplining employees (especially those who are more difficult or repeat-offenders).
  • I loved the four quadrants, which differentiated between work and behaviors.
  • I enjoyed role-playing- it helped to get to the root of the issues. Surprised it worked through Zoom so well. I also liked the many specific examples the book contains.
  • I've always been frustrated by the annual review form asking for this year's goals. I feel forced to make things up to fill in the form. I love this approach of shorter-term actions that are relevant and can adjust to fit real-time biz needs. Thank you to the HR team for adopting this approach, training us, and giving us the tools to carry it all out!
  • Finding an active role for the employee to play during performance discussions has made all the difference. I no longer feel like it's all on me to initiate feedback and direction. The 10-Minute convo makes the process collaborative and a shared partnership.
  • "Employee performance continuum to map where I want people to be and how to get there.”
  • Will use the employee performance continuum graph to start the process, but the graph is just the starting point. The other 7 steps are what help you create the employee's performance plan/next steps.
  • The turnaround technique and specific (examples) make it clearer and easier to describe the desired performance levels.
  • We have some great employees, but we can get better. This class provides us with some tools to converse with people to help them get better using a positive approach."
  • Most people we hire come from academia, and joining startup biotech isn't an easy transition for most people. I'm using the 10MQ convo framework with everyone on my team and communicating about what's working and what needs attention without having to blow things out of proportion; take too much time or energy is a huge plus! Thanks, Gail and team, for eliminating the tedious annual performance review process.
  • Instead of going direct to people she has an issue with. I have a chronic complainer who will spend hours writing emails and copying everyone when she should have gone direct to the person she had the problem with. Every time I raise the issue, she justifies her actions, is passive-aggressive, and won't talk to me for the next week. I FINALLY found a different approach using the 7 step analysis process and a ten-minute conversation tool.   She has not only stopped emailing everyone, but she's also dealing directly with the right people. Less drama and stress between departments!
  • I've realized I am very sarcastic when I am requesting a behavior change. It's because I'm uncomfortable being overly critical. The 7 step approach and reframe will help me be more direct without the discomfort of giving "constructive criticism."
  • I enjoyed the examples used throughout the presentation; real-life situations go a long way.
  • Before talking with an employee, it's important to break down and work through the issue so the conversation goes in the right direction. The 7 steps analysis and reframe is the first time I've seen an approach that can work out complex performance issues.
  • The instructor kept the training session interesting, exciting, funny, and very informative: great slides, great information, great tools to use both for work and personal life. GREAT job!
  • The turnaround technique will make for a positive experience when addressing improvement areas.
  • How to identify problem areas, reframe them, and provide constructive feedback with actionable items.
  • The most valuable part of the workshop was reframing problem performance to make the issue clear and actionable.