Here are the questions I just sent to my direct reports as the first stage of their mid-year review:
- What’s the thing you’re best at? How much of your time is spent on it?
- Name one thing you don’t enjoy that you’re spending significant time on. How can we eliminate the need for you to do it?
- What is your most important work goal, and how should you / we re-organize your time to better achieve it?
- Which person in the company do you most enjoy collaborating with? Please give one or two examples of what’s come out of that. What would enable you to spend more time working with that person?
- As your manager, how can I make you more successful?
- What specific areas of feedback or advice would you like from me?
- What’s the one piece of advice you can give me?
These questions are based on a single over-riding goal: leverage what the person loves doing, and avoid trying to fix their weaknesses (which doesn’t work, and is demotivating).
How would you feel if you were asked these questions in a review? Can you suggest any improvements?