Core Skills of Engagement

Core Skills of Engagement

Performance reviews are difficult conversations because they address accountability, performance metrics and provide unsolicited suggestions for improvement. Performance reviews force the employee to take ownership for their actions within their occupational role. Many times a performance review determines the eligibility for a salary increase and this factor can add additional stresses to the manager and the employee that is hoping or needing to receive a pay increase. Depending on how frequent the reviews are facilitated, the employee could be blindsided by the results; not knowing exactly where they fall within their given metrics. Another detail that is related to the frequency of the reviews is the openness of the employee to the feedback. For an employee that receives more frequent feedback, they tend to be more open to suggestions for improvement and general feedback. On the other end of the spectrum, an employee that receives fewer reviews may tend to reject the feedback because they are not conditioned to such criticism.

  1. Explain why performance reviews are difficult conversations.

When introducing the performance review, I would first start with telling the truth. The employee needs to be given a transparent review that openly provides their strengths as well as areas of opportunity that they could improve on. I would also include self-disclosure. In an effort to create a lasting relationship with the employee, self-disclosure will assist with building an open and trusting environment. Lastly, I would include extending goodwill. Extending goodwill will ensure that both the employee and manager are committed to contributing to the success of organization.

  1. Describe how you would introduce the performance review, using three of the core skills on pages 59-61.

The first core skill that I chose, telling the truth, entails being upfront and honest about the performance of the employee. Telling the truth allows both parties to be transparent which can lead to a deeper engagement. As Peter Block stated in The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook &Companion, “Without disclosing the truth as we know it, nothing else is possible and engagement will fail.” Telling the truth is a necessity in order for communication to be successful. Going further, self-disclosure allows the communication to be deepened by including matters of the heart and mind. Self-disclosure brings an emotional connection to the relationship that allows both parties to fully engage in the communication process. Incorporating self-disclosure in the communication process while at the workplace can create a genuine relationship that allows care and compassion that goes beyond the normal scope of a work relationship. Extending goodwill goes beyond the emotional connection and provides the physical contribution of commitment to the individual. This commitment requires both parties to participate together in an effort towards success but it also requires them to be there for each other when goals are not met as well.

  1. Explain the three core skills that you used.

When providing a performance review, it is imperative to tell the truth to the employee so that they can have a clear grasp of their contributions to the organization. Telling the truth eliminates any grey areas that could cloud the employee’s perception of how they are performing. This way, if the employee does or does not receive a financial increase based on their performance, there is no question as to why. By providing self-disclosure, being open with the employee can help remove some of the stresses that having a performance review can bring. Both parties are then able to express themselves thoroughly and create a lasting relationship that will continue throughout the employment relationship. Extending goodwill helps to solidify the goals that are set within the performance review. The commitment that is made between the manager and the employee will help both parties aim towards the organizations successes while still being committed even when the goals are not met. By including these three core skills, the performance review can be delivered with an open conversation that builds trust and understanding that will go beyond the scope of a normal working relationship.

  1. Provide rationale for each of the three skills used.


Block, P. (2011). Flawless consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer-Wiley.

Block, P. (2001). The flawless consulting fieldbook and companion: A guide to understanding your expertise. San Francisco: Pfeiffer-Wiley.