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Performance Anxiety Vs Performance Review | Choose Your Chapter

“If my future were determined just by my performance on a standardized test, I wouldn’t be here. I guarantee you that.”

Michelle Obama

Coming up to quarterly performance reviews employees stress about whether they’re going to have a job, lose their bonus or worse, be told their not good enough.

Yes, we’re aware of the feedback sandwich or feedback hamburger and in theory, it’s a great concept. Most managers however simply want to get to the ‘area of improvement’ or your weakness or what needs fixing.

Do we really need to be told what’s wrong with us? This creates fear, which in turn creates performance anxiety.

Heck, my last performance review as an employee pointed out three areas I was terrible at. There was no praise, no areas of satisfaction, no chance of a thank you for your service. The manager was terrible

at performance reviews as proven for four out of the remaining six trainers and coaches in the company. None-the-less to say, the last mention of the company was they’re going into receivership.

Poor performance within a workplace is often a reflection of poor management.

However, have a thought for the manager, someone who was probably promoted based on past performance. They were possibly great at what they did (or they knew someone). The question is were they great at managing people, is are they great at the managing performance of others?

Chances are they were and are great at understanding and managing their own strengths, but do they know how to even identify the strengths of their team? Can they engage in their staff to inspire and improve performance outcomes?

American data and research giant, Gallup, Inc ® suggest not, as their research shows over 60% of employees are not engaged in their job. Only one in five managers enjoy their role.

How can we improve on this – is it time managers and employers look at their own performance reviews.

Employers, managers, employees – we’re all unique, we’re all different and we all have our own innate talents. Yet if a manager is not educated on identifying talent in others, what chance have they got of relating to their staff let alone inspiring them.

We’ve been fortunate enough to be introduced to the Clifton StrengthsFinder ® profiling tool. A tool that enables employers, managers and individuals to identify their own unique talents.

How unique?

By completing the StrengthsFinder ® you receive your top 5 talents ranked out of 34. The chances of you having the same top 5 talents in the same order as a work colleague or manager is 1:33 million.

That’s how unique!

Then, how does that help managers and employers with performance reviews, or do they simply continue to create performance anxiety?

Most employees fear the quarterly performance review because they’re expecting to be told what’s wrong with them and where they can improve. Regardless of how great a manager is at using language to sugar coat the situation, the employee is generally in a state to read between the lines. Expect the worst and interpret it as a failure, or broken or simply not acceptable.

Providing areas for improvement along with praise and validation are detrimental to an individual’s growth and development and in turn the success of a company and its productivity. However, the methods of communication and engagement can be the telling factors between success or failure in performance.

Performance anxiety or performance review?

So when a manager has access to an employees talents and an understanding of individual areas of improvement, together they can identify and communicate where, as a team they’re is not progressing within their ‘strengths zone’. Then it becomes a shared responsibility of both employer and employee to create success.

If employees and employers engage in professional development on an individual basis and truly respect the needs and contributions of what each party can bring, all of a sudden you have greater communication and understanding, greater appreciation and acceptance. A desire for success on a deeper level, a desire for individuals to improve as human beings, not just for the performance of the company.

This is a recipe for success, the key is communication and engagement.

At CYC we had the good fortune to meet and interview over 34 international strengths coaches, all with their own unique talents. We learned so much. It was an experience that took our understanding of just how unique everyone really is.

We loved it so much we turned those interviews into an online video course. Giving access to all managers, employers, employees – actually anyone who wants to delve deeper into their results according to the Clifton StrengthsFinder ®.

The Focus On Your Strengths online video course can be found on the Udemy platform. It offers lectures, videos and action plans toward implementing strengths into a work environment, relationships and your everyday life.

If you’d like to enroll today you can find the course here:

Focus On Your Strengths


If you and your business are serious about removing the anxiety from performance reviews then what steps are you prepared to take.


For a short time, we’re including some additional bonus extras for new users of the course. For the normal retail price of $US200 you will receive:

  • Lifetime access to the Udemy course ($US200)
  • An access code to the Clifton StrengthsFinder ($US19.99)
  • A complete Strengths Profile Analysis ($US495)

Enrol Now

The Strengths Profile Analysis is specifically designed to help you articulate your purpose. You’ll identify your Why and align your purpose to your top 5 talents. The aim is for you to achieve success in that area. Depending on your goal, you may choose to focus on areas such as:

  • High-Performance Management
  • Career transition and role re-engineering
  • Elite athletic performance (transitioning into and out of professional sport)
  • Employee engagement
  • Small Business Development
  • Overcoming depression, stress, and fears
  • Personal relationships (newlyweds, divorcees, performance anxiety)
  • Parenting
  • Job seeking (resumes, time management, focus)

Your success will flow through to every aspect of your life. When you understand, appreciate and apply your talents as deliberate strengths, a world of opportunity presents itself. You’ll feel happier, healthier and more in control of your destiny.

When you do your Individual Strengths Profile Analysis you’ll receive thorough reports that offer a complete understanding of how your talents have been impacting your life.

  • Specific analysis of your individual talents as they apply to you
  • Strengths in Action planning guide
  • Summary table and key descriptive terms for use in CVs and ‘About Me’ pages
  • Targeted activities to align your purpose, your needs and your contributions to your goal.

Enrol Now

With this valuable information, you’ll become even more consciously aware of how to use your talents to live a successful, happy and fulfilling life – in business, in relationships and in yourself. This is a practical experience with the immediate application. Unlike other assessments which give you things to think about, your Strengths Profile Analysis gives you tangible steps to action. It is a clear map for success in your chosen area.

If you’d like to have a conversation with a qualified Strengths coach to gather more information, we can help. Please contact us for more information info@chooseyourchapter.com.au 

*Disclaimer – These videos and the Focus On Your Strengths concepts are entirely developed by Choose Your Chapter and are NOT products of Gallup ®, Inc nor the Clifton StrengthsFinder ®. We would like to acknowledge Gallup and the CSF for their data and research tool which allows us to help spread the word to focus on our strengths. Clifton StrengthsFinder ® and StrengthsFinder ® and each of the Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc. Choose Your Chapter are not affiliated with Gallup, Inc or its subsidiaries.

Copyright © 2000, 2006-2012 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved.

Email: info@chooseyourchapter.com.au

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