The Value of Power Words
Amy (let’s call her) has an office next to the corner office, which is occupied by her boss, whom we’ll call Ted. Both Ted and Amy have been in these offices for three years. The two share a common wall; and they frequently overhear telephone conversations the other is having while negotiating with a client or coworker.
Ted and Amy go to all the same product release and sales meetings. They see each other in the elevator and break room; and sometimes they casually chat about upcoming holidays, how Ted’s children are doing in school, or the general state of the national and international economies.
Ted likes Amy and feels that she’s doing a good job as district sales manager. The strange thing here is that Ted has, for the entire three years he’s been Amy’s boss, communicated with her for work assignments, updates, progress reports, general information, and even for her performance reviews, entirely by email. He has not conducted a single face-to-face encounter to discuss how she is performing in her role as district sales manager. In short, Ted is clueless about his role as supervisor.
Clearly, Ted either feels entirely unqualified to conduct a face-to-face meeting, or he suffers from a fear of confrontation—or both. He seems to feel that doing an in-person performance review, or directly discussing other situations with Amy, offers the possibility that an unpleasant confrontation could occur. She could disagree with his assessment. She could challenge him. So Ted avoids such encounters.
While Ted is meeting his own personal goal of avoiding a possible confrontation, he is not meeting his responsibility as a supervisor/manager. Privately, he admits that he was unprepared for this role, and it’s one he’s not comfortable in. Avoiding a face-to-face meeting with Amy is his way of trying to dodge this part of his job.
But he is doing Amy, and their company, a severe disservice.
The result of Ted’s failure to have a face-to-face review is that Amy doesn’t feel she has any real connection to Ted, nor does she feel a sense that they are teammates working together to achieve common corporate goals. In fact, the absence of this vital part of the review process has meant that Amy hasn’t gotten the feedback she needs to perform at her full potential, nor has she gotten vital input that would help her set her future career goals. She doesn’t know how she’s performing in her sales manager role within the organization as a whole.
Hopefully, Ted will buy a copy of this book. And when he follows the simple steps in these pages, he will be able to easily overcome his fear of conducting meetings with Amy. This book will give him the tools—the exact power words—to do his job of manager efficiently and expertly.
It will help Amy, too. Following the simple steps in this book will mean that Ted, Amy, and their organization will all perform at a much higher level.
Excerpted from 3000 Power Words and Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews by Sandra E. Lamb. Copyright © 2013 by Sandra E. Lamb. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.