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Managing Performance from a Place of Integrity

January and February is performance review season in many companies. (If you’re in the federal government, you’re off the hook until the fall!)

I can sense your excitement from here!

Let’s talk about how we lead and manage from a place of integrity.

The word integrity comes from the Latin integritas, meaning wholeness and soundness. Many define it as “doing the right thing when no one is looking.”


To me, integrity means always interacting and engaging with people ethically, respectfully, and honorably. Leaders who lead from a place of integrity hold themselves to a higher standard and conduct themselves honorably in all situations. In addition, they expect the same behavior of others. They strive to treat all individuals with both respect and fairness. They maintain their commitments, communicate from a place of respect, and engage with all around them authentically.

How does this manifest itself in performance management season? In actuality, it should be present throughout the entire year, not just when the higher-ups ask for it. Effective managers work with their team members managing their performance all year long. As I mention in my classes, if an employee gets to her review and learns she’s not performing to expected standards, that’s the fault of the manager. Successful managers engage with all employees throughout the year.

Those successful managers work with those who are meeting all expectations by connecting with them and deepening the relationship that they have already established. They discuss the employee’s long-term goals and how they can work toward those. They explore additional opportunities for the employee to grow and further develop their skills, both individually and with the team.

Leaders with integrity are always in contact with their struggling employees as well. They work with them throughout the year, discussing current situations and finding opportunities for the employee to experience success. They provide mentoring to the employee, either doing it themselves or identifying additional senior leaders in the organization who can be of assistance and support.

All of us will receive both positive and not-so-positive feedback at times within our careers. When leaders establish strong relationships with their employees, they can provide this type of ongoing, constructive feedback. Through the trust inherent within a strong connection, open discussions can take place.

No one truly wants to provide negative feedback to an employee or colleague. If there is trust already established, this dialogue can become the foundation for growth and forward movement.


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