Performance appraisal questionsSome managers think of performance appraisal meetings and recollections of tornAchilles heels or root canals immediately surface. Theyre sort of "been there, dontwant to go again" situations. The more it can be put off, the better. Study after studyshows that both managers and employees are very dissatisfied with performanceappraisals and often view them as a necessary evil to get over with quickly. Here areseven strategies to turn performance management from a nightmare into a sweet, or atleast tolerable, dream. 1. Prepare for the appraisal meeting. Give yourself adequatetime to review an employee´s file, complete an evaluation of their performance andoutline topics for the session. It´s also a good idea to note some talking points and doa mental walk-through of the meeting. The employee also needs to prepare inadvance. Ask the person to assess his or her performance. Suggest that she also jotdown concerns, questions and opinions regarding her work and suggestions forimproving it. 2. Explain the reason for the meeting. When you begin the appraisalsession, state the purpose of the meeting in straightforward terms. No matter howoften employees have been through appraisals, they may not understand how theirwork is being judged, why it is being evaluated or what the performance appraisal isfor. Reassure the employee that your role as manager is to help them succeed in theirjob and identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. 3. Remainpositive. Avoid using judgmental phrases and words like "poor performance" or"weakness." You are there, however, to suggest ways that an employee can improvetheir work and discuss causes of below-average performance. Express your concernsin concrete terms and use detailed examples. 4. Ask questions. Your discussionshould be guided by open and closed questioning techniques. Closed questions, whichtend to elicit a "yes" or "no" response, require specific answers. Open questionsencourage a general discussion and usually begin with "could," "would," "how,""what" or "why." Use open questions at the beginning of the appraisal to stimulatediscussion and closed questions at the end to summarize. 5. Foster productive andopen communication. In general, when you reflect the employee´s thoughts, they feelunderstood and acknowledged. But be prepared for negative reactions. When you talkwith an employee about poor performance or inappropriate behavior, they may deny,blame, fall silent, respond abusively or display an emotional outburst, such as crying.If the appraisal session deteriorates, terminate it and reschedule the meeting. 6.Suggest improvements. During the appraisal, discuss any areas in need ofimprovement and offer specific, realistic and concrete suggestions and solutions. Beprepared to sell your improvement suggestions to the employee - they may not bereceptive to your ideas. Together you and the employee should develop a plan tocorrect any problems. 7. Close the interview. Summarize the major points and be sureto end on a positive, encouraging and upbeat note - even when the employee is verytroubled or deficient. If you can´t provide the employee with immediate feedback,follow up as soon as you can and finalize the appraisal in a timely fashion. WorkSMARTER, not harder. Make sure your performance appraisal meetings getRESULTS.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.