Mowing is useful guidelines for performance counseling that managers should follow:
1. Make Sure that the Subordinate is Willing to Learn From Counselling: On some occasions, a subordinate does not ask for performance counseling, but is, in effect, forced into it.
When counseling is provided without having been sought, it may be of limited value and frustrating to the manager as well as the subordinate.
In such a situation the manager would do well to forget about performance counseling and instead talk to the subordinate about his or her interest or lack of interest in growth.
If the manager establishes the proper climate, such a discussion can lead to openness on the part of the subordinate.
However, if the subordinate has serious difficulty in dealing with the manager, a problem-solving session should be the first step.
2. Encourage the Subordinate to Function Independently: Sometimes subordinates are so loyal and their manager so protective that they become totally dependent on the manager.
From time to time every manager should reflect on whether he or she is unintentionally fostering this kind of relationship.
It is important to allow subordinates to make their own decisions and thereby increase their autonomy.
The same principle holds true in a counseling situation, such as the subordinate should bear the main responsibility for determining what action to take.
3. Make Sure that the Subordinate Understands the Purpose of the Counselling: If the subordinate does not understand the purpose or has unrealistic expectations, he or she may not receive the manager’s message in the proper perspective.
If it is obvious that the subordinate has some misunderstandings, it is a good idea to spend the first session addressing them; then another session can be scheduled for the actual counseling effort.
4. Minimise Arguments: One argument is sufficient to make both the manager and the subordinate defensive.
The manager should try to accept everything the subordinate says and build on it. Acceptance is the best way of helping the subordinate to achieve self-realization.
5. Ensure Adequate Follow-Up: Good counseling sessions will ultimately fail to produce effective results if follow-up is inadequate.
When the manager follows up through informal exchanges, this approach goes a long way toward communicating interest in the subordinate.
But when the manager fails to followup, the subordinate may feel that the counseling was artificial and, consequently, may lose interest in improving the performance at issue.