The longer we keep looking back in the rear view mirror, it takes away from everything that's moving forward.

Previews focus on the future and I suggest a 90% focus on what can be changed and a 10% focus on what has been and the lessons learnt.With mid-year reviews fast approaching for many organisations I wanted to share with you a few tips to ensure these conversations cut through the clutter and maximise this valuable time.

Previews versus Reviews

Those that know me know I am a huge advocate for ongoing feedback and performance previews opposed to reviews.  Previews focus on the future. I suggest a 90% focus on what can be changed and a 10% focus on what has been and the lessons learnt. You can’t change the past; however, by looking at the future, you can spend this valuable time focusing on the systems, processes and habits required to get the desired outcome.

Why focus on what you have done and who you have been when you could use the time focusing on the things that will contribute to who you will become and what you can achieve?

Open, clear, honest and consistent communication

I reckon if dialogue and communication is open, clear, honest and consistent between all parties, there should be no surprises. Feedback given and received regularly is imperative and needs to be provided by you as the leader and also from your team to you and each other.

Working with a client recently, we discussed the ways the organisation she works in gives and receives feedback.

man and woman in feedback conversationMariana, my client shared with me that as an organisation, they have what they have called “Stay Interviews”. These are regular, jealously protected pieces of time dedicated to giving and getting feedback. I say ‘jealously” protected as I cannot tell you how many times I see feedback and coaching sessions cancelled due to so-called conflicting priorities. As a leader, people need to be an OR not an AND in our day to day function, people before progress I say.

I love the concept of “stay” interviews, and as we all are well aware, happy people usually don’t leave a company. If we can know when happiness, commitment and energy drops at least we can proactively do and drive what needs to be done.

“Stay” interviews create a space for awareness and growth with time dedicated to a few structured questions and the head space for both parties to be present, engaged and ready to contribute.

“Stay Interviews” can be carried out at any time, why wait to your bi-annual or annual performance review to know and grow your team.

[bctt tweet=”Previews focus on the future and I suggest a 90% focus on what can be changed and a 10% focus on what has been and the lessons learnt.” username=”Renee_Giarrusso”]

Success to “Stay” Interviews

Make them Regular

Don't make these a one-off event, name them and lock them in as you would with any meeting.  Consistent catch-ups will breed momentum, rapport and openness. Be committed and don’t cancel or back out, people are your priority, look at what it will cost you and the organisation if you’re not all in.

Aside from regular coaching, mentoring, and team catch-ups, I would suggest doing these every 6-8 weeks, 20-30 minutes per person.

A bit like exercise, once in the habit, these will become the way you do things.

Plan the Purpose

Make sure each person knows “why” the interviews are occurring.

[bctt tweet=”Giving each other open and honest feedback to feedforward is imperative.” username=”Renee_Giarrusso”]

People only buy into something if there is something in it for them.  We are the same so ensure you spend time setting the scene and expectations around this. Run a facilitated team session on the whole concept of “Stay Interviews”.  You need to buy in to make this worthwhile.

 Success in the Structure

Don't dilute what could be an insightful conversation by having idle chit chat. Respect their time and expect the same back to you.

Plan out a few great questions to get the responses that will benefit all, a few examples below but remember to make these your own!

  • What is lighting you up in your role right now?
    • Are you satisfying these motivators?
  • Where are you getting the most traction?
  • What and who is frustrating you?
  • How are you being stretching, and how are you growing?
  • What could you change or do differently?
  • As a team, what could bring us closer to being a “Limitless team?”
  • What’s your greatest learning to date?
    • How could you share this with the greater team?
  • Courage, capability and capacity…rate each one, 1-5?
    • What needs to change and be actioned?
  • As your manager, what could I do differently or change?

“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”
– Carol Dweck

Flip it around

Now it’s your turn! Let the team interview you! We all know how valuable disclosure is and your team will thank you for it! From experience, you can do this 1:1 or as a team, ensuring everyone contributes.

Follow Up

The interviews leave you all with golden nuggets of opportunity and progress.  Don’t forget this and let it slip! Not only will this be a waste of time and resources, but it will also dim the commitment of future conversations.

Everyone needs to be accountable and take ownership for their actions –  what needs to be done – as part of an overall ongoing development plan.

I’d love to hear how you implement “Stay” interviews into your organisation and how you go with a more future-focused conversation that cuts through and creates small changes?


To being limitless



Renee Giarrussso Director RG Dynamics Pty Limited Limited LeadershipFor more of my tips on how change can equate to growth, get in touch. I look forward to working with you in the future!

Find out where you sit on the Leadership Ladder, your responses are anonymous, and the results summarised to help us better understand where our market sits so that we can continue to provide, insights, tools and solutions to assist you to move up to be LIMITLESS, co-creative and stand out.

Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker. She is the author of ‘Limitless Leadership’ and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.


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