Performance management discussions can be awkward, but they don't have to be. To ensure you don't conduct a successful performance management discussion, here are a few tips to follow:
Avoid being prepared: Don't bother researching the employee's performance, reading through their past performance reviews, or brushing up on the performance management process. This will ensure the discussion goes off the rails and you'll be left in the dark.
Don't be clear about expectations: Instead of clearly outlining expectations and goals for the employee, leave it vague and open-ended. This way, the employee won't know what they're supposed to do and won't be motivated to improve.
Don't provide constructive feedback & criticism: Instead of providing helpful feedback and criticism, point out everything that the employee has done wrong. This will make the employee feel attacked and will not be conducive to a productive discussion.
Don't be a good listener: Don't bother listening to the employee's thoughts and opinions. Instead, talk over them and don't let them get a word in edgewise. If they do talk, rather than listening to them, focus on what you're going to say next so you don't forget your thought. This will ensure the conversation doesn't go anywhere and won't be productive.
Don't be supportive: Don't be supportive of the employee and don't provide any encouragement. This way, the employee won't feel supported and won't have any motivation to improve.
Recap: Following the tips above and you will ensure that your performance management discussion is anything but successful, perhaps even a monumental or viral train wreck. Good luck!