There are no pay raises this year, and there may be more lay-offs. 
Everyone has to return to the office.
Someone on your team isn’t meeting expectations. 
There’s been complaints about someone on your team. 

Delivering tough news in a performance review is difficult — whether it’s an individual performance issue or effects of the global economy.

But these conversations are also critically important. You are in a position to provide meaningful support, direction, and development to another person. And this matters — especially during tough times. 

Whatever you face in your upcoming performance reviews, be ready to take a human-centered approach with these 3 steps from Verb. 

Step 1: Be human-centered…with yourself first

Remember you are human too. Give yourself time — in your calendar — to prepare for performance reviews, process the conversations, and recover. Know how to care for yourself personally, and let your family and friends know that you might need some extra support.

Follow mindfulness techniques before, during, and after conversations to decompress your nervous system, quiet the mind, and connect with purpose. 

Recommended Verb Collections:
Manage Your Mind
Rethinking Stress

Step 2: Decide what’s most important to share

Prepare your key points ahead of time. Keep them simple and focus on 2-3 main messages. It can be easy to go on a tangent or leave things out, so take the time to write out what you plan to say. Being intentional about word choices can help you say what you mean during a conversation, even under stress. You might even practice beforehand with a mirror, trusted colleague, or HR.

If it’s a performance issue, connect feedback to observable behaviors and co-create clear goals for the future. If it’s unfortunate company news, get to the point quickly, following org-wide messaging. 

Recommended Verb Collections:
Formula for Feedback
Delivering Actionable Feedback
Welcoming Feedback

Step 3: Help others prepare and process information

Schedule the right amount of time and space for the conversation, even remotely. It’s important that the person hearing something difficult isn’t back-to-back with an important meeting right afterward. You can also send important information in advance, along with your approach and outline. 

When you meet, share with vulnerability and create a safe space. Give the person time to process. Listen so they feel heard first and set aside any defensiveness you may feel. Lean into connection and dialogue instead of rushing toward an outcome. Move toward co-creating goals for the coming months.

Recommended Verb Collections:
Practice Empathy
Support People
Respond With Mindfulness

Wrap Up: Use Verb before, during, and after

We are here to support you. Use Verb collections yourself and recommend them to your employees before, during, and after these conversations for guidance. 

Give your employees time to use Verb by recommending collections in advance, encouraging time blocked in the calendar to do them, and referencing them during your conversations. Verb provides a shared language and set of tools during this time.

You are in your role for a reason. This is an important moment for you and your employee. You’ve got this.

Verb Customers: You can click the links in this blog to access these recommendations.

Not yet a Verb customer? Find out how Verb can set you up for success