Discussions about performance can easily go wrong. Staff can misinterpret observations about their performance as judgements about them as human beings; they can get emotional; they can resist participating in the discussion, and so on.
Managers can be extreme or excessively blunt in what they say. Alternatively, they can dilute their message until it is meaningless, or they can avoid raising an issue through fear that they will be unable to handle the ensuing conversation.
In discussing performance with staff, we need to be assertive rather than aggressive or submissive because genuinely assertive behaviour is not only effective, it is behaviour that people appreciate and respect in one another.
- To help participants to understand assertiveness, to distinguish it from aggressive and submissive behaviour and to determine how to apply it in their performance-management discussions.