Five Powerful Questions to Ask Your Direct Reports

Many of you are probably getting ready to deliver performance appraisal feedback in the next few weeks. Be sure to prepare well in advance, and remember to listen carefully to your direct reports during the session. Be candid, be clear, and use examples when giving your impression of their results and competencies.

As the session turns to planning for 2011, ask these five questions. Not only does it spark an interesting and purposeful conversation, it will give you some great insight into their overall intentions for the year ahead…

  1. What’s your vision for your role this year? Opens up a dialog about the purpose of their role
  2. Where will you innovate? Gets at what’s possible
  3. How will you wow your customers? Designed to uncover outcomes and service delivery
  4. What are you accountable for? Are they thinking beyond the borders of their own role?
  5. How will you get others involved? Checks in on their intentions to collaborate

There are a lot of variations to these questions, of course – your task is to find the right mix to start a provocative dialog with your direct report. How can you infuse the performance appraisal discussion with more purpose and energy? By asking these types of questions! Good luck… and try to make this year’s conversations your most impactful yet…