I was reviewing some notes from a book that I found to be inspirational. Alan Weiss wrote a book called Thrive! Stop Wishing Your Life Away. I think one of his tips is particularly valuable and makes an excellent management tip for evaluating employees.
According to Alan:
We all grow by exploiting STRENGTHS not by correcting weaknesses.
I found that statement to be very powerful. In a performance review we often focus on what needs to be corrected as opposed to focusing on how we can help someone use their strengths to their best advantage. So the next time you are talking to someone about performance spend more time on what they did well and less time on what they did poorly.
By the way, that same tip applies to your own personal assessment of yourself. Rather than beat yourself up on what you are doing wrong focus your self-assessment on what you are doing right. You will be happy with the impact that change has on your personal performance.