You Remind Me of My Aunt (and Other Great Performance Review Lines You Can Use Today)

Last week my wife and I were doing some Christmas shopping and as we were standing at the checkout, the young cashier looked me in the eye and said, “You remind me of my aunt.”

My aunt?

I could see that my wife was delighted with this moment.

So I responded, “Is your aunt bald and does she have an immense beard?”

Is her aunt a former East German monobrow Olympic wrestler?  I remind her of her aunt?  Really?

Or is it that the very last vestiges of my testosterone has leaked away and I really do look like somebody’s aunt?

We wanted to burst out laughing, but we refrained until we left the store at which point we both guffawed for a quite a long time.

Which is an unusual segue to doing great coaching focused performance reviews, but hear me out!

Coaching is about asking the right questions, not about telling the solutions.  So here are some of my favorite coaching questions that I pose in my coach and connect performance review times:

Some great coaching questions you can use in a performance reviews right now

  1. What tasks drain you in your job?
  2. Which ones energize you and make you feel fulfilled?
  3. What does a good day look like for you?  A bad day?
  4. What could you do in your job in the next 6 months that would make a dramatic difference in your effectiveness?
  5. What are the three main things you are working to accomplish in the next 90 days?
  6. Are there roadblocks that currently have you stuck?
  7. What’s the most important thing in the world to you?  What drives you?
  8. What’s important about that to you?  (what are their life motivations?)
  9. Who are your best friends around here?
  10. Are you absolutely clear on what’s expected of you in your role?
  11. What does success look like in your role?
  12. What are you most proud of regarding your job here?
  13. Are you missing any tools equipment or training to do your job well?
  14. Who is your advocate/mentor here?
  15. Describe how you would like your contribution to the organization to look one year from today.
  16. What will you regret in 5 years about your time here if the issue remains unchanged or unaddressed?
  17. What’s on your mind today?
  18. What else is on your mind today?
  19. What could we do in this discussion that would make the best use of our time?
  20. Is there anything on any topic that you  think I don’t know about that I should know?
  21. Can you tell me more?  (about any of these questions!)
  22. What’s one step you can commit to doing before we meet next?
  23. What will happen if you fail to take this step?
  24. Is there anything you’re doing that’s causing you to NOT achieve your goals?

I also like these proactive questions reminding the person that they are in charge of building a great workplace, not you

What steps are you taking to:

    1. Build positive relationships?
    2.  Be happy?
    3. Find meaning in your work?
    4. Set clear goals?
    5. Be fully engaged in meetings?
    6. Solve your current roadblock?

Getting ahead is about getting started,

Trevor head shot in office 1

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

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