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  • 1. NUI GALWAY Appraisee Training
  • 2. APPRAISAL Appraisal is a process designed to help each individual to critically assess him/herself. Through such critical self assessment it is hoped that the individual will develop his/her skills. This process requires a careful consideration of personal aims and objectives. It begins with the appraisee completing the Self-Report Form. This requires the appraisee to reflect on the work undertaken in the past year, to look forward and propose a personal work plan for the coming year and to consider his/her needs for training or the upgrading of skills. This Self Report is the basis for discussion during the Appraisal interview. In addition, both the appraisee and the appraiser may wish to raise matters which appear relevant. The appraisal interview is an opportunity for the appraiser to share observations concerning the performance and objectives of the appraisee, within the context in which both work. During the appraisal interview the appraiser may provide honest feedback, and, where necessary, some work related counselling with the essential aim of developing the appraisee's potential. It is important for both throughout the process to remember the aims of appraisal. These are: 1) to identify and meet the developmental needs of individuals; 2) to enhance the effectiveness of NUI, Galway by improving individual effectiveness. The appraisal discussion is intended to: a) provide a means by which individual contributions are recognised; b) provide feedback on individual performance; c) assist staff develop themselves to their full potential, overcoming any problems in agreed ways which they themselves help to define.
  • 3. APPRAISAL IN HIGHER EDUCATION 1. Introduction In accordance with the provision of the current Social Partnership Agreement, Sustaining Progress, and the previous agreement, the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness, the Universities in Ireland are required to implement a ‘Performance Management Scheme’. This requirement was also established as part of the Public Service Benchmarking Exercise. In line with the agreement a Code of Practice has been assembled by the Appraisal working group and agreed between SIPTU and NUI Galway to provide guidance to all parties involved in the appraisal process. Fifteen years ago UK Universities were obliged to introduce formal systems of appraisal/career review of academic and related staff. Those systems, designed by the institutions in accord with national guidelines, placed a strong emphasis upon personal development planning. Irish universities are now introducing similar though perhaps rather more developed systems under very similar circumstances. Simmons (2002) notes that “effective performance management of professionals in knowledge based organisations has particular significance, but is an under researched area in the literature. Universities and colleges are knowledge based organisations especially dependent on the expertise, commitment and innovation of their staff.” “The challenge facing universities throughout the world is one of adjusting prevailing cultures to secure closer alignment of individual and collective goals, so that the sum of individual performance is accurately reflected in aggregate performance.” (Gordon, 1998). Citing Bergquist (1992), he adds “In my view, that is more likely to be achieved through effective accessing of Bergquist's four cultures of the academy (collegial, managerial, negotiating and developmental) than by centralist attempts at micro-management” (Gordon, 1998). Traditionally, it has been proposed that if staff are going to accept performance management / appraisal systems then certain conditions need to apply (Lonsdale, 1990), for example separation of judgmental and developmental aspects, and ownership by the staff involved. Beesley et al. (2004:12) describe some of the challenges that had faced appraisal including the “difficulties of enlisting the commitment of managers to implement the scheme positively, or at all; one called it ‘persuading managers to manage’ and another referred to managers’ ‘resistance to or fear of performance management’. This resistance tends to be greater amongst academic staff…” Other common challenges were: • “close consultation with unions had brought about benefits in terms of support and co-operation;” • “Convincing staff of the potential benefits and, linked with this, addressing the conflict between what staff want from a scheme and what the university needs;” • “Putting effective briefing/training in place, i.e. meeting the needs of staff at different levels, having the time and resources to deliver training, ensuring those that need to attend do” • “Implementing a scheme that combines flexibility (for maximum involvement) with fairness and consistency”. (Beesley et al., 2004:13). With regard to current practice, Beesley et al. (2004:13) found that the nature of the system could reflect how different staff groups were viewed and may be tailored to distinct groups differently, it was often tailored to fit in with the institution’s culture, and could be flexible in giving common guidelines but then accommodating different best fit models in specific departments or sections. Their findings indicated that “a crucial success factor for appraisal is good quality and extensive training for managers that emphasises not so much the requirement to complete appraisal forms as the benefits of a high
  • 4. quality appraisal discussion, linked to other aspects of performance management and staff development.” (Beesley et al., 2004:14). Beesley et al. (2004:14) identified “a tension between the ‘mechanistic’ aspects of appraisal – the forms, the rules about confidentiality, the systems to make sure appraisal discussions take place, the monitoring to ensure equality of opportunity – and the content and quality of the appraisal discussion itself. … The trick, perhaps, is to keep the focus of the training on the skills required for a good appraisal discussion… and to keep the mechanics as simple as possible.” Training is identified as important, emphasising core skills such as giving and receiving feedback and setting objectives and also their relevance for teaching, and increasingly backed up by web resources, mentoring and coaching for managers (Beesley et al., 2004:14-15). They identified the need the need to “help appraisers and appraisees – especially perhaps academics – to see the value of an incremental, detailed and specific approach to objective setting and feedback” (Beesley et al., 2004:15). They also identified the view that “schemes might be enhanced by forging stronger, but appropriate links between personal performance and organisational development” (Beesley et al., 2004:15). Beesley et al. (2004:16) found that “work objectives and targets have tended to be couched in vague and non- specific terms and that under new arrangements there are moves to encourage: • The use of SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based) that are agreed and define more precisely what is required. • Objective setting as a joint activity between appraiser and appraisee. An open, frank, two-way discussion in which views are exchanged and feedback given. • Objectives that are agreed and not imposed, and where the relative contributions of individuals and other team members are clearly identified. • Using different types of objectives appropriate to the job and the individual that may be: o personal - specifying personal development actions that will benefit both the individual and the institution; o maintenance - aiming to sustain an already high level of contribution or performance; o innovative - mapping out new projects or directions.” “All these refer back to the stated mission, objectives and operational targets of the institution. … most feel that between 3-6 objectives are appropriate and ensure that the process does not become overly bureaucratic or oppressive.” (Beesley et al., 2004:16). Beesley et al. (2004:17) found some use defining skills and competencies such as using “broad job activity headings e.g. appraisal discussions based on teaching, scholarship and research, administration and income- generating activities, to more complex breakdowns of job skills and requirements.” They identify strong arguments for and against pay-related appraisal and note that many people feel that “appraisal reviews should inform rather than determine staff pay awards” (Beesley et al., 2004:19). They discuss the identity and assignment of the appraiser and note that the “notion of ‘self-appraisal’” is retained and “is seen to be important in making the process more acceptable to staff” (Beesley et al., 2004:20-21). “In order to underline the ongoing nature of performance management and moving away from seeing appraisal as a once a year activity, the recommendation or requirement for an interim review meeting, often less formal, is included in many schemes.” (Beesley et al., 2004:21). Most institutions are retaining the three-person confidentiality, appraiser, appraisee and head of department/section, which enables both room for appeal and retains a mechanism for monitoring of both
  • 5. process and practice. Schemes continue to build in long-stop appeal mechanisms, which may become important as schemes take on a wider performance-management role.” (Beesley et al., 2004:21). “Success, particularly for the introduction of new schemes, seems to be connected with support from the head of the institution and the senior management team.” (Beesley et al., 2004:22). They identify a “Checklist of Good Practice” (Beesley et al., 2004:24-25). “Much has been written about good practice in appraisal. Here are some of the messages that, based on our experiences and those of our respondents, we feel are worth repeating.” • Ensure that the design of the scheme reflects institutional/departmental culture and values; • Agree a scheme that is positive and encourages staff rather than threatens and judges; • Be clear about the aims and objectives of the scheme and how they fit into the institution's aims and business plan; • Be specific about the name of the scheme and widely publicize it; • State how the process fits in with other human resource/personnel policies; • Link target setting/work planning to both personal and organisational development; • Ensure equality of opportunity. Give all levels and categories of staff the opportunity to participate in the process; • Communicate effectively about how the scheme will operate; • Get agreement from line managers and trade unions; • Provide support and impetus from senior managers; • Be clear about who is doing the reviewing - have effective reporting structures in place; • Make sure all staff are trained to operate the scheme effectively - pay attention to interpersonal skills; • Provide guidance notes; • Make paperwork simple and cut down on administrative time; • Be clear about the confidentiality aspects of the information shared in the meeting; • Encourage two way feedback; • Ensure that what's agreed actually happens and resources for training and development are made available; • Ensure time is allowed for meaningful appraisal discussions to take place; • Have an agreed appeals procedure to follow when there is a disagreement of views; • Promote the benefits of the scheme and what actually gets done - most schemes fail because of lack of interest, poor skill in carrying out the discussion, and no action or feedback on outcomes of the meeting; • Review and evaluate the progress of the scheme.” Beesley, J., Guildford, P., Nestor, R. and Rex, S. (2004) Organisational Development in Higher Education: Emerging Practice in Staff Appraisal and Review. Final Report 23/01/04. Sheffield: HESDA http://www.hesda.org.uk/activities/projects/ssda/app_report.pdf Bergquist, W.H. (1992) The Four Cultures of the Academy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Gordon, G. (1998) Translating Institutional Objectives Into Action. University of Strathclyde. http://www.aau.ac.nz/goodpractice/quality/sharing/Examples1/Examples2/GeorgeGordon.rtf Lonsdale, Alan (1990) Achieving institutional excellence through empowering staff: An approach to performance management in higher education. In Moses, Ingrid (Ed.) Higher Education in the Late Twentieth Century: Reflections on a Changing System, pp.91-107. Sydney: HERDSA. Simmons, J. (2002) An ‘expert witness’ perspective on performance appraisal in universities and colleges. Employee Relations, Mar;24(1): 86-100.
  • 6. ATTITUDES TO APPRAISAL Whilst Appraisal schemes have been in use in other areas of employment for many years, Appraisal within the Higher Education is a relatively recent phenomena. It is now seen as an essential part of a career training and development programme. As with all innovations, its implementation evoked a variety of responses. Both appraisers and appraisees voiced some misgivings. Similarly, both appraisers and appraisees acknowledged the possibility that some tangible benefits might result from the introduction of an Appraisal Scheme. The Main Obstacles to the Implementation of a Useful Appraisal Scheme were seen as: On the Appraisee Appraiser Institution part of:- - of exposure - of conflict - that appraisal may create - of criticism - of subjectivity unrealistic expectations - of prejudice - of insufficient skills amongst staff therefore FEAR - of personality clash leading to decreased morale - of disciplinary proceedings - of coercion - that appraisal may encourage - of loss of academic freedom staff to over value themselves - of lack of confidentiality - of unrealistic targets - that appraisal may create a - of insensitivity situation in which "lobbying" for self interest might occur STRESS - of interview - of interview TIME - commitment in self - in preparation for - increases departmental assessment and appraisal interview work load appraisal interview - in holding appraisal interview - in following up on appraisal interview LACK - of "teeth" in the - no obvious tie up with scheme Disciplinary Proceedings TRUST in system in system in appraisser Documentation where would it be kept? access? CARE ISSUES GENDER ISSUES
  • 7. The Main Advantages of an Appraisal Scheme Both appraisers and appraisees recognised the possibility of gaining some benefit from the careful implementation of an appraisal scheme. The main advantages were seen as: On the part of:- Appraisee Appraiser Institution Communication - providing the opportunity - improve communication for real dialogue with a between colleagues senior colleague on a one- working in the same to-one basis away from the area. pressure of work. - providing an opportunity to display strengths, review progress, be recognised. - leading to a frank exchange between people directly concerned, enabling the exchange of individual perceptions of the situation Increased - of self resulting from - of staff needs - of staff needs Awareness critical self analysis Providing an - improved sense of - of assets, sense of - of assets, sense Overview direction direction of direction - shaping career path - possible route to promotion Highlighting - providing an opportunity - pin-pointing areas of - pin-pointing areas Problems to ventilate grievances, difficulty of difficulty "confidential grumbling" thus eliminating frustrations - identifying anomalies in the - providing an opportunity to work force identify difficulties, problems producing not fully recognised opportunities for restructuring and - providing an opportunity to more efficient mutually explore solutions to staff deployment problems, express personal ideas for improving the work base Aligning Personal and Institutional Objectives A factor in changing the culture of the University
  • 8. In addition the following advantages were seen to be common to all. IDENTIFYING TRAINING NEEDS THEREBY IMPROVING PERFORMANCE INCREASING EFFICIENCY - through replanning time, improving work practises IMPROVING MORALE IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED IMPROVING THE IMAGE
  • 9. MODELS OF APPRAISAL Appraisal schemes vary considerably. Developmental approaches to appraisal tend to be based on a combination of high levels of support and high levels of challenge, Daloz (1986) “Challenge and support and, in italics, their consequences for development from Daloz, (1986)” (Cameron-Jones & O’Hara, 1997, p.16) SUPPORT Low High CHALLENGE High RETREAT GROWTH Low STASIS CONFIRMATION • When support and challenge are both high there is likely to be growth in learning. • When support is high, but challenge is low there is likely to be a confirmation of the present state leading to little movement. • When support is low, but challenge is high there is likely to be a retreat as the individual feels threatened. • When support and challenge are both low there is likely to be stasis and stagnation leading to little movement. Daloz, L. (1986) Effective Teaching and Mentoring. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Cited in: Cameron-Jones, Margot and O’Hara, Paul (1997) Support and Challenge in Teacher Education. British Educational Research Journal, Vol.23, No.1, pp.15-25
  • 10. The Process of Developmental Appraisal The developmental approach to appraisal is appraisee centred, the development of individuals is the most significant immediate purpose of the process, although the longer term organisational implications are very important. This approach suggests that appraisal will be most effective if issues which are usually kept private and issues about which the appraisee may have a blind spot are addressed. Problems which are publicly acknowledged by both parties can be confronted with the support of the appraiser. The Johari Window represents one way of conceptualising how individuals are known to self and others. It is also a way of considering what they are willing or capable of communicating about themselves in any interchange. The size and content of each pane of the window probably alters in relationship to different people in an individuals life. What is hidden from colleagues in the private zone may not be hidden from spouse, though there are things which are probably hidden from everyone. What is seen by friends in the blind zone may be different from what family members see in that zone. KNOWN TOUNKNOWN OTHERS TO OTHERS KNOWN TO PUBLIC PRIVATE SELF ZONE ZONE UNKNOWN BLIND UNKNOWN TO SELF ZONE ZONE
  • 11. The first stage of the our developmental approach to appraisal is exploration. This takes place in two phases, the first is the covert exploration that the appraisee carries out as s/he confront his/her appraisal form and reflect on the past year's work. At this point s/he makes decisions as to what s/he will put into the public zone by placing concerns on the form. An important factor in the decision to go public on an issue, which could be kept private, is the extent of the appraisee's trust in the appraiser as an ally. Developmental appraisal however does not depend on everything being brought into the public zone to have a positive effect on the performance of the appraisee. Frequently issues in the private zone such as doubt about how to approach the teaching of a difficult topic may well be dealt with privately by the appraisee as a result of confronting the issue but not entering it in the self report form. It is also possible that s/he may seek assistance from peers and other senior colleagues whom s/he trusts rather more than his/her appraiser. The interview provides a second chance for the appraisee to bring material from the private zone to the public zone. This is the overt phase of the exploration process. An important part of the role of the appraiser in this stage of the interview is to encourage the appraisee to bring new material into the public zone. The skills of active listening, responding and questioning outlined in the notes will facilitate this process but if for other reasons the appraisee distrusts the appraiser the development of trust may well take more than a single interview. In such an interview the most important issue to be explored is the lack of trust. Only when that has been fully explored and worked through can a meaningful overt appraisal take place. The second stage of the interview is concerned with reaching a shared understanding so that an action plan acceptable to both parties can be constructed. The first phase of this process is helping the appraisee move material from the blind zone into the public zone and this can be difficult. If an individual considers him/herself to be, for example, an excellent teacher, when all the evidence suggests that s/he is not, then it is probable that s/ he can only maintain this belief by putting in place a set of defence mechanisms which shield him/her from the evidence which would disconfirm this view of him/herself. For the appraiser to be effective s/he needs to be able to challenge the appraisee's perception of himself as an excellent teacher without causing him/her to raise his/her defences even higher. We have made some suggestions in the Challenge section of the notes as to how this might be done. The challenge phase of the appraisal is very much concerned with NUI Galway Appraisal Training 11
  • 12. beginning to bring material out of the blind zone. This however is a process which has to be undertaken carefully and with patience and understanding. Once material is in the public zone there still may be difficulties. A lack of shared understand can arise out of acknowledged differences in values or objectives which are not resolved. It is at this stage that negotiation skills become necessary and there are notes on this, the second part of reaching a shared understanding. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 12
  • 13. A THREE PHASE MODEL OF APPRAISAL The following three phase model of appraisal is advocated. PREPARATION The initial phase requires appraisee and appraiser to prepare carefully for the appraisal interview. Skills required 1. Self-assessment The appraiser or appraisee considers their strengths and what they are less strong at. 2. Planning Deciding how to approach the interview given profile of self; e.g. if an individual finds it difficult to deal with conflict how will he/she plan to confront issues which may lead to conflict. INTERVIEW The second phase is the appraisal interview itself. This interview proceeds through 3 stages, exploration, understanding and finally action planning. Skills required in the exploration phase 3. Opening Establishing rapport with the appraiser or appraisee. 4. LISTENING Perhaps the foundation skill of communication on which the rest of the process is built. 5. Responding Effective responding enables the previous speaker to know that he or she has been heard and to gauge the extent to which he or she has been understood. 6. Questioning Skilfully asked questions open up the communication process, some types of questions tend to produce short answers and to shut down communication. Skills required in the understanding phase 7. Challenging Encouraging the individual to be more objective and to act. 8. Negotiation Attempting to reconcile the needs of the individual and the needs of the department. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 13
  • 14. INTERVIEW (continued) Skills required in the action phase 9. Action Planning The Action Plan is the product of the appraisal interview and its appropriateness will depend on the proficient carrying out of the appraisal interview as well as the particular skills of action planning which include being specific and clear. 10. Endings Checking out that the appraisee and the appraiser both have the same understanding of the outcome of the interview and that all the issues have been dealt with. FOLLOW UP The third phase in the appraisal process is follow up. Skills required 11. Support Providing appropriate guidance and support through out the time between interviews. 12. Advocacy To make the case for the appraisee to have training identified during the appraisal process These skills can be used with different emphasis. In a situation where staff development is a primary objective, then self-assessment is important for the appraisee and listening with open, reflective questions are crucial skills for the appraiser. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 14
  • 15. GIVING FEEDBACK Constructive feedback is intended to benefit the receiver, who must be: • able to understand it clearly; • ready and able to accept and own it; • able to act on it and make changes. Understandable Feedback • Be specific, not vague or general; • Cite clear, recent and relevant examples; • Give feedback frequently; • Be concise and don’t ramble; • Don’t back out of or sweeten the pill. Acceptable Feedback • Establish & maintain a climate of trust; • Invite self-assessment first - self-discovery; • Body, vocal & facial messages (yours & theirs); • Focus on behaviour/performance, not person; • Be descriptive not evaluative of personality; • Sandwich: positive, negative, positive; • Avoid following positive with “but…”; • Timing: check the receiver’s readiness; • Check validity with other sources. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 15
  • 16. Actionable Feedback The receiver must be able to take action on it: • Change must be within the person’s power; • Circumstances may not allow change; • Personal traits (body, voice etc.) can’t change; • Barriers to change may not be removable; • Portioning: do not overwhelm; • Feedback only what the receiver can handle. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 16
  • 17. RECEIVING FEEDBACK • Be open: to learning and change; • If unclear, ask for explanations & examples; • Summarise briefly to check understanding; • Check validity with personal assessment; • Check with other sources if needed; • Be assertive, not defensive or aggressive. Behavioural Guidelines • Stay calm and even tempered. • Do not argue; stay seated. • Look for the cause of the conflict. • Avoid personality clashes/attacks. • Choose words carefully. • Stay open to consideration of mutual needs. • Avoid dogmatic statements. • Actively listen • If necessary take time out and postpone. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 17
  • 18. NEGOTIATING When the aims of the appraisee and department are in conflict it may be important to reconcile these opposing perspectives if possible and to identify and agree on priorities. Negotiation attempts to do this by moving from separate views to a shared perspective on issues. For such movement to take place it is necessary to listen to the other's position, to explain one's own position and to explore areas of difference and similarity. In the average negotiation up to 50% of the time is spent on such activities while the rest is used trying to persuade the other side to see things differently. If less than 50% of the time is spent on explaining and exploring then the interaction may have moved away from negotiation and towards debate. NEGOTIATION DEBATE A win-win orientation A win-lose orientation Readiness to consider Resistance to compromise compromise Looking for common Defending position/ground position/ground Listening for needs and Listening for rebuttal points feelings A spontaneous back and A structured back and forth forth exchange exchange Equal emphasis on questions Emphasis on statements and statements Effort to convince the facing Effort to convince third parties party of common interests of greater comparative merits Strategic use of disclosure Unwillingness to make disclosure If more than half of the time is being spent following a debate pattern the chances of getting deadlocked in disagreements are increased. Debate is useful as a tactic to make a point but it is important that the tactic does not become the purpose of the exchange. Negotiation is a complex skill and below are listed a number of points which it is worth considering when entering into the process. I Attempting to avoid conflict. 1. Make it apparent that the appraiser is seen as a potential ally. 2. Identify the problem to be solved as the source of difficulty, not the appraiser. 3. Be as non-defensive as possible. 4. Recognise the appraiser’s ego-needs. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 18
  • 19. 5. Adopt a friendly tone. 6. Display an open mind. 7. Avoid tricks or pressure tactics. You may be interested in a book on this subject: Calero, H & Oskam, B (1988) Negotiate For What You Want Thorsons: Wellingborough. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 19
  • 20. ASSERTIVENESS In relating to others, we can behave in three ways; we can be assertive, aggressive, or non-assertive (passive). Assertive behaviour involves standing up for our personal rights and expressing our thoughts, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest, and appropriate ways which do not violate the rights of others. Assertiveness involves respect--respect for ourselves by expressing our needs and defending our rights, and respect for the other person’s needs and rights. We can be assertive and kind at the same time. When people are aggressive, they stand up for their rights and express their thoughts and feelings, but do it in a way that can be dishonest, is usually inappropriate, and violates the personal rights of the other person. The typical goal of aggressive behaviour is domination and winning, forcing the other person to “lose.” In non-assertive, or passive, behaviour people violate their own rights by failing to express their honest feelings, thoughts and beliefs, and permit others to “walk all over” them. It can also include expressing themselves in such an apologetic and self-degrading manner that they are disregarded. The goal of non- assertiveness is to please others and to avoid conflict. A Comparison of Assertive, Non-Assertive, and Aggressive Behaviour Assertive Aggressive Passive / Non-Assertive Expresses wants, ideas, & Does not express wants, Expresses wants, ideas, & feelings at the expense of ideas, & feelings, or Characteristics of the feelings in direct & others. expresses them in a self- behaviour: appropriate ways. Intent = to dominate or depreciating way. Intent = to communicate. humiliate. Intent = to please. Self-righteous, superior; Anxious, disappointed in Feelings when acting Confident, feel good about sometimes embarrassed self; often angry and this way: self at the time and later. later. resentful later. Other people’s feelings about themselves Respected, valued. Humiliated, hurt. Guilty or superior. when acting this way: Other people’s feelings about us when we act Usually respect. Angry, vengeful. Irritation, pity, disgust. this way: Often get what we want at the expense of others; Don’t get what we want; Outcome: Often get what we want. others feel justified in anger builds up. “getting even.” Feels good; respected by Avoids unpleasant others. Improved self- Vents anger; feels Pay-off: situation; avoids conflict, confidence; improved superior. tension, confrontation. relationships. Modified & adapted from: Alberti, R. E. and Emmons, M. L. (1974) (2nd Ed.) Your Perfect Right: A Guide to Assertive Behavior. San Luis Obispo, CA: Impact Publishers, Inc. http://gossamer.saf.uwplatt.edu/counsel/esteem/assertvs.htm NUI Galway Appraisal Training 20
  • 21. BASIC STRATEGIES FOR BEHAVING MORE ASSERTIVELY Assertion training can help you express yourself in a manner that neither sells yourself short not threatens others. Apply assertiveness strategies to learning how to stand up for your rights, making and refusing requests, giving and receiving compliments and expressing anger constructively. Basic Strategies for Behaving More Assertively 1. Identify your personal rights, wants, and needs. 2. Identify how you FEEL about a particular situation, (e.g., “I feel angry”, “I feel embarrassed”, “I like you”.) In identifying your feelings about the situation, use sensory descriptions that help to capture how you feel, (e.g., “I feel stepped on”, “I feel like I’m on cloud nine”.) Report what kind of action the feeling urges you to do, (e.g., “I feel like hugging you”, “I feel like I am being put on the spot here.”) 3. In describing your feelings, use “I” messages; own your message. Use these “I” statements to express your feelings instead of evaluating or blaming others, (e.g., “I feel hurt…” rather than “You hurt me…” or “You are inconsiderate…”.) 4. Connect your feeling statement with some specific behaviour in the other person, (e.g., “I felt hurt when you left without saying goodbye” rather than “I felt hurt because you were inconsiderate”.) 5. Be direct -- deliver your message to the person for whom it was intended. Express your request in one or two easy to understand sentences. 6. Try not to make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling, about what their motives are, or about how they may react. Check things out with them first. 7. Avoid sarcasm, character assassination, or absolutes (e.g., using words like, “you never...”, “you always...”, “you constantly...”, etc.). 8. Avoid labelling. 9. Avoid statements beginning with “Why?” or “You...”. This may put the other person on the defensive. 10. Ask for feedback: “Am I being clear?”, “How do you see this situation?”. Asking for feedback helps correct any misperceptions you may have, as well as helping others realize that you are open to communication, and are expressing an opinion, feeling, or desire, rather than a demand. 11. Evaluate your expectations. Are they reasonable? Be willing to compromise. http://www.unc.edu/depts/ucc/Assert.html Compiled by Pauline McNeill, 1990. The University Counseling Center is an Agency of the UNC-Chapel Hill Division of Student Affairs. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 21
  • 22. ACTION PLANS The action plans formulated at the end of the appraisal interview will be very individual and may comprise actions to do with each individual's development, training or career development and/or to do with developments in the job or the work of the department. Plans will need action from the appraisee and possibly the appraiser. This is a key element in an appraisal interview. If the action plan is flawed it is likely the appraisee will fail to meet his/her goals and this will have negative consequences for motivation in the future. Action plans may have four stages. 1. Goal setting Goals should be SMART, that is, they should be: Specific (not generalisations) Measurable Attainable Relevant Tenable. It is important that they are specific enough to drive behaviour and that the time frame is realistic. They also need to be clear, shared, mutually agreed, flexible and resourced. If there is going to be commitment to the action plans, then it is essential that the appraisee is directly involved in initiating and formulating the goals. Goals can be of three kinds 1. Maintenance – maintenance goals focus on maintaining an already high level of performance. There may be strategies which are necessary to keep performance at this level. 2. Improvement – improvement goals focus on improving performance in specific areas in ways which are SMART (see above). 3. Development – development goals focus on developing a new area of competence. This may be done in the context of one’s current position or it may be about preparing for a promotion or even a sideways move. 2. Identify and assess action strategies. Choose action strategies which best fit personal and institutional resources. Use cost benefit analysis. Be aware of the balance between taking risks, and the probability of success (see Appendix 1). NUI Galway Appraisal Training 22
  • 23. 3. Formulation of plans. Once strategies have been identified they need to be assembled into a step by step process which leads to goal achievement. The help and support of the appraiser can be very useful at this stage. Turn strategies into plans. Shape plans in terms of goals and subgoals, Determine the sequence of steps and time frame*, Develop contingency plans, Reflect upon the challenges of the plan. 4. Implementation of plans. There is no implication that action plans have to be very different to that which is already being done. Where an individual's work is going smoothly, it is likely to be a case of confirming this. Then the objectives may well be to continue last years performance. *It will be useful for the appraiser and the appraisee to touch base at time during the time between appraisal discussions. The times could be arranged to fit with the time frames developed in the action plan. If a certain part of the plan is expected to be completed in three months then an informal agreement to touch base in 14 or 15 weeks might be of benefit to the appraisee. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 23
  • 24. ENDINGS Appraisee will summarise: - the main issues discussed - the outcomes established - their goals - the support/action needed from the appraiser. The appraiser can facilitate this process. Action plans agreed. The comments in Section 2 may be written there or, more likely, later. If it is written later then time must be allocated for this and possibly for further discussion. Appraisees should leave the interview feeling it has been a worthwhile exercise which will help them in their future work. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 24
  • 25. READING LIST Beesley, J., Guildford, P., Nestor, R. and Rex, S. (2004) Organisational Development in Higher Education: Emerging Practice in Staff Appraisal and Review. Final Report 23/01/04. Sheffield: HESDA http://www.hesda.org.uk/activities/projects/ssda/app_report.pdf Bergquist, W.H. (1992) The Four Cultures of the Academy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Bernthal, P., Sumlin, R., Davis, P. & Rogers, R. (1997) Performance Management Practices Survey Report. Development Dimensions International. Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E. (2003) (3rd Ed.) Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bryman, A., Haslam, C. and Webb, A. (1994) Performance appraisal in UK universities: A case of procedural compliance? Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 19(3): 175-187. Bull, Ian (1990) Appraisal in Universities. Universities’ Staff Development and Training Unit, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United. Sheffield. Calero, H & Oskam, B (1988) Negotiate For What You Want Thorsons: Wellingborough. Gordon, G. (1998) Translating Institutional Objectives Into Action. University of Strathclyde. http://www.aau.ac.nz/goodpractice/quality/sharing/Examples1/Examples2/GeorgeGordon.r tf Heneman, R.L. & von Hippel, C. (1997) The Assessment of Job Performance, in Lewin, D., Mitchell, D.J.B. & Zaidi, M.A. (Eds.) In The Human Resource Management Handbook, Part 3. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, pp.79-109. Hughes, P. (1997) Appraisal in UK Universities and Colleges. UCoSDA Survey. UCoSDA Briefing Paper 52. Sheffield: UCoSDA Hutchings, Ian (1993) Appraisal procedures: A recipe for mediocrity? The New Academic, 2(3), 1-3. Lingle, J. & Schiemann, W. (1996, March) Is Measurement Worth It? American Management Association Management Review, 56–61. Lonsdale, Alan (1990) Achieving institutional excellence through empowering staff: An approach to performance management in higher education. In Moses, Ingrid (Ed.) Higher Education in the Late Twentieth Century: Reflections on a Changing System, pp.91-107. Sydney: HERDSA. McDonald, D. & Smith, A. (1995) A Proven Connection: Performance Management and Business Results. Compensation and Benefits Review. 27, 1: 59-64. Rogers, R., Miller, L. & Worklan, J. (1993) Performance Management: What's Hot—What's Not. Development Dimensions International and the Society for Human Resources Management. Simmons, J. (2002) An ‘expert witness’ perspective on performance appraisal in universities and colleges. Employee Relations, Mar;24(1): 86-100. Sumlin, Roger (1998) Performance Management: Impacts and Trends. White Paper. Development Dimensions International, Inc. Taylor, P.J. & Price, J.L. (1999) Effects of Introducing a Performance Management System on Employees’ Subsequent Attitudes and Efforts. Public Personnel Management, 28, 4: 424-453. Wexley, K.N. & Latham, G.P. (2002) Developing and Training Human Resources in Organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. NUI Galway Appraisal Training 25
  • 26. Appendix 1 - DECISION BALANCE SHEET If I choose this course of action: THE SELF Gains for self: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: Losses for self: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: SIGNIFICANT OTHERS Gains for significant others: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: Losses for significant others: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: SOCIAL SETTING Gains for social setting: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: Losses for social setting: Acceptable to me because: Not acceptable to me because: (Egan, 1986, p.313, Table 11-1) (Egan, 1994, p.233, Figure 11-1) NUI Galway Appraisal Training 26

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