As a leader it is your responsibility to expand the outlook of your team, bolster their pride and confidence, and show them that they achieved much more than they may have realized. Reviewing annual team accomplishments is a great way to do that and start a new year on the right foot.
When people identify with success they become more successful because we are what we believe we are. Convince someone that they are a top performer and they will rise up to a level of superior performance. You can do this, for example, by consolidating the data from smaller projects and minor benchmarks to make it look more impressive as a whole.
Individual team members have to focus on the task in front of them and tend to develop limited tunnel vision. You have to be like the captain of the nuclear submarine who looks through the periscope and points out the unlimited sky.
Did you face challenges and fall short? Don’t remind them of their shortcomings. Emphasize how proud you are that they faced such tremendous obstacles. But never make the mistake of lowering expectations. Always raise the bar while reassuring them that you know they are qualified and capable.
Provide tangible reinforcement, too, to make that belief in success and performance more real and memorable. Give rewards, be generous with praise, and put in a good word for each team member when you speak to senior executives.
Take Away Exercise
In this exercise you’ll start to transform your team’s year into an encouraging leadership narrative or presentation.
- List minor team accomplishments and statistics and take a full inventory of all those positive outcomes.
- Alone they probably seem unimportant. But bundled together they look significant.
- List team setbacks or failures. What was learned from those experiences? That’s your value-add.
Now you have an example and experience of how to use an annual review to motivate and inspire.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.
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Copyright © 2013, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS