17 Sentences for Your Performance Conversations

by Nov 4, 2019

We’ve been developing performance management systems for several clients lately, and even helping a few implement BambooHR.

We find in our work that many managers have never been trained in how to deliver effective and collaborative performance conversations, so in the interest of providing you a simple tool absent of our training, we created this list for you.

Here are 17 sentences you can steal for your performance conversations or your documentation, categorized to make it easy on you. Some are for giving positive feedback and some are for addressing opportunities for improvement.

And remember, it’s best practice to check in with employees at least once per month!


1. Communication is definitely one of your strengths. Specifically [fill in the blank].

2. We value respectful communication here, and when you [fill in the blank] it goes against our company core values.

3. I think you have some great ideas. I’d love it if you [fill in the blank] so you could share them with others.


4. I appreciate your willingness to work so hard! You do what it takes to get the job done and it is awesome.

5. We value independent thinking and initiative here. I’d like to see more self-direction from you.

Problem Solving

6. Your ability to solve problems and get the right answers without much, if any, help makes you a valuable asset.

7. It would be helpful if you could seek answers and problem-solve on your own before reaching out to others for help. It’s a great way for you to learn.


8. I can see you really living our core value of teamwork when you [fill in the blank].

9. Part of being a good teammate is communicating with respect and I’m hearing that people are perceiving interactions with you as [fill in the blank]. What are your thoughts on that perception?


10. Thank you for always being so positive! You really keep the team energized.

11. You have a knack for staying civil and polite even in stressful situations, and it improves our workplace.

12. When you have a negative attitude, it can affect others around you by [fill in the blank].


13. You are really great at rallying the troops and getting everyone excited to move forward on [fill in the blank]. It is really impressive.

14. Part of being a good leader is inspiring others, and we feel that you tend to lead with fear. For example, [fill in the blank]. We would like to see you turn this around. Any thoughts on how you might do that?

15. I know leading others can be intimidating, and it can be hard to have difficult conversations, but it’s important that you lean into leadership by [fill in the blank].

Core Values

16. You consistently demonstrate our core values, and it makes you a role model for others.

17. It’s imperative that you live our core values in everything you do. A good place to start is to create an action plan for implementing each core value in your daily work. Let’s start with one action item for each core value and build from there.

Keep in mind that any constructive feedback should include some follow-up questions such as, “What ideas do you have to make some adjustments?” and, “How can I help you succeed?” and, “What feels like a reasonable timeframe to make these changes?”

Now you’re ready to prep for those collaborative performance conversations. Good luck!

And if you’re still not sure, you can always check out my LinkedIn Learning course on Buliding a Performance Managament System to learn more!

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

5 Steps for an Efficient Succession Planning

What happens when the CEO of your organization suddenly resigns or retires? Are you confident that there is someone ready to step up and fill the leadership gap?  That is why succession planning is vital to every organization. Succession planning can help ensure a...

How to Establish a Budget for Training and Development Initiatives

Training and development is a vital aspect for any organization that wants to invest in its employees' growth. Over here at Civility Partners, we often receive inquiries from people seeking guidance on developing their training programs and wondering how we can help....

The Connection Between DEIB and Mental Health

In today's ever-evolving work landscape, it's refreshing to see organizations finally acknowledging the pivotal role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in cultivating a thriving workplace. At the same time, the growing recognition of mental health's...

Rebecca Del Secco: Six Years With Civility Partners!

We would like to take a moment to celebrate and recognize the incredible contributions of Rebecca Del Secco, our exceptional People & Culture Consultant, who has dedicated six remarkable years to Civility Partners.  Rebecca began her journey with us as an intern,...

Recognizing 5 DEIB Influencers in Unexpected Places

Picture this: a world where workplace culture is transformed not just by well-known DEIB influencers, but by unexpected heroes who wield the power of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in their own unique ways.  DEIB are increasingly recognized as...

10 Songs About Inclusion to Play in your Office

In a diverse and inclusive workplace, it's important to create an environment where all employees feel welcome and valued. One way to promote a sense of unity and acceptance is through the power of music.  Playing songs about inclusion in your office can help inspire...

It Starts with You: The Power of Being an Upstander

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you witnessed behavior that made you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, but weren't sure how to respond? Maybe it was a situation where someone was being bullied or harassed, or perhaps it was a situation where someone was...

Three More Brilliant Tips for Dealing with an Angry Boss

A few years ago, we shared five simple tips on how to deal with an angry boss, and the response was overwhelming! We're back with even more tips to help you navigate this challenging situation with civility in mind. According to a survey conducted by the Workplace...

Insights from the Craft Brewers Conference

Last Sunday, May 7th, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the THRIVE pre-conference, which was a roadmap to a safe, inclusive, and equitable experience at the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC). As a conference held in Nashville, TN, a city known for its musical...

3 Tips to Leverage Positive Psychology at Work

In the world of traditional thinking, the notion that success leads to happiness is a commonly held belief. We're taught that if we work hard and achieve our goals, then we'll be happy. However, research in positive psychology has revealed a new perspective: happiness...