Posted in Executive Pastor

A Better Question In a Performance Review


Do you want to know how your team really feels about their job? Your church? Or perhaps even how they feel about you as a supervisor?

Knowing how your team “really” feels is critical to for your supervision, their development, and the success of your team (church).

If you want to know the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. Even in a good performance management system, the important questions can get lost among all the other small ones.  How your team members really feel is what I’ll refer to as the last 2% (that term is not unique to me and I’ve blogged previously on the “last 2%” concept). The last 2% is what you want to make sure you communicate (or have communicated to you) in your staff reviews.

I’ve found one question gets me the most helpful and transparent information from those I lead. It’s simple, has two-parts, and has begun some very informative conversations in review meetings I’ve had with staff (sometimes in writing, other times verbally):

  • What is it I’m doing as your supervisor that’s helping you complete the goals we’ve set for you and in your day-to-day job activities?
  • What is it I’m doing as your supervisor that’s hindering you from reaching all your goals and can get in the way of you doing day-to-day job activities?

3 Rules of Engagement when asking this question:

  1. Listen to their feedback. Don’t defend.
  2. Ask clarifying questions.

In any scenario where you’re trying to elicit a response, frame your questions in such way that assumes the person has feedback. It’s the difference between:

“What feedback do you have for me?” and, “Do you have any feedback for me?”

If you assume there‘s feedback, you’re more likely to get feedback.

  1. Be trustworthy.

Even if you ask the right question and they provide you honest (last 2%) feedback, it’s only good for one try – unless you listen to their feedback and affect change based on it (or at least explain why you may not). You can’t hold their input over them (especially if it’s negative).

If you listen and don’t punish people for their feedback, they’ll be more likely to give it to you in the future.

I encourage you to try this out at your next review meeting. I believe you’ll be a better supervisor because of it.

P.S. I believe the two-part question fits nicely into a performance management system with formal reviews, but it can still work in informal settings with those you lead.

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Why a Multisite Model with Multiple Preachers

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What’s best for you may not be best for others. That could be true of the following philosophy from Brentwood Baptist Church. However, I wanted to share with you why when Brentwood Baptist chose a multi-site model, we chose not to have video venues, but instead to have live preaching at each campus. Perhaps something from our thinking will resonate as you consider your church’s future.

The multi-site strategy for us took two years of R & D and then time for implementation. A team studied, traveled, and prayed about what God would have for us (this hard work was done before I began serving here). For us, multi-site meant establishing both regional and ministry campuses. At this point, our five campuses are all within middle Tennessee. Each of the four regional sites is within 20 miles of our central campus (Brentwood campus), as is our one ministry campus. And for each of those sites, we have a campus and teaching pastor.

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Wins and Mistakes in Planning Sabbaticals

If you’re lucky enough to earn a sabbatical, you want to make sure you take advantage of it. I’ve taken a sabbatical, but most of my opinions about them have been formed by talking to other ministers who came back from theirs and realized it wasn’t maximized, or was used the wrong way.

As a free resource, you can view Brentwood Baptist’s documents related to sabbaticals, including these forms: Educational Assistance and Sabbatical Overview, Sabbatical Request, Sabbatical Proposal, and Sabbatical Report on my resources page.

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