by Marianne Minor and Jocelyn Kung

Manage the development of high-performing employees through collaborative and constructive dialogue. By engaging employees daily in meaningful, performance-related conversations, managers build relationships and get results in a less awkward, more productive atmosphere. 

Performance Management Through 5 Key Conversations is designed to help managers identify their skill level in engaging employees in 5 key types of performance-related conversations. The instrument allows managers to create a profile of skill level in each of the 5 Key Conversations (comparing self assessment with peer feedback), providing insight on the areas for improvement. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify conversational areas in need of development
  • Compare perceptions with valuable feedback from direct reports
  • Develop vital performance-related conversational skills

The assessment presents 30 statements regarding current practices as a manager in developing high-performing employees. In scoring the assessment, participants determine their Overall Performance Management Score. In addition, participants create a self-profile showing scores for each of the 5 conversations. Feedback forms submitted by peers provide the data to create a second - or "feedback" - profile. Finally, to prepare for meeting with employees, participants complete worksheets on each of the 5 conversations. 

Uses for Performance Management Through 5 Key Conversations 

Performance Management Through 5 Key Conversations is effective when used alone or as part of a management development program (flexible enough to be used at various stages). The instrument can be used in the following ways:

  • To establish a new approach to performance management in an organization
  • To provide basic skills in performance management for new managers or supervisors
  • To suggest an alternate or complementary approach to existing performance management techniques being used in an organization

If the Feedback Form is used, the manager should have at least 90 days of experience managing his/her employees. It is ideal if the manager has been through a performance review process with the employees who complete the Feedback Form.

Target Audience 
Managers, and anyone who conducts performance evaluations. 

Product Type 
Self-assessment and workshop 

Proficiency with each of 5 types of performance conversations 

Time Required 
1.5 hours