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Real Conversation Planner

Conversation Planner infographicPlan your performance conversation today. This tool is for managers or staff members, to craft a conversation guide that helps keep things REAL. Select your conversation prompts and reminders below, press submit, and save and/or print as reference. 

Using the planner
  1. Start with the Reflect section. Check the actions you want to complete before the conversation. 
  2. Open each section below (Empathize, Ask questions, Look ahead) and check the questions or prompts you'd like to include within the conversation. Add any individual notes in the open text boxes.
  3. Use the final open text boxes for additional items you want to emphasize or questions you'd like to ask.
  4. Click SUBMIT
  5. A printable/savable version of your conversation will appear in a new window.
  6. Option: refresh the conversation planner window and plan your next conversation.
Additional resources for performance conversations
Tips for Reviews and Ratings Getting ready to discuss development
Giving feedback overview and worksheet Tips for receiving feedback
All staff resources All supervisor resources

Planner Section 1: Reflect

Select preparation steps you want to complete before the conversation takes place. This section will print out as a personal checklist.

 Look at objectives for the past year (individual or team)
 Read through notes from past check-ins
 Complete your written review
 Brainstorm development opportunities for the year to come
 Review best practices for delivering or receiving feedback

Planner Sections 2-4: Empathize, Ask questions, Look ahead

Check 2-3 scripts or questions from each of the following sections, for your use. Use open text boxes to add comments or questions you want to remember to include in the conversation. Many of the questions here are intended for managers to ask staff members. If you are a staff member preparing for conversations, check off questions you want to ask, or prepare to answer.


 Here's what we're going to cover today. What questions do you have?
 This has been a unique year. There has been (extra work, changes in responsibilities)
 Acknowledge home challenges you are aware of, or have navigated, such as care-giving responsibilities
 What's been most positive or most challenging this year?

Ask questions

 Here's an overview of the written review for the year. The main thing I want you to hear is... additionally, I appreciate ____ and have observed _____ as an area for improvement.
 How do you prefer to receive feedback and/or recognition?
 What's working best within this role?
  What's working less well within this role?
 What have you learned about your preferred working environment this year?
 What skills do you have that you believe are currently underutilized?
 What do you think is your biggest challenge next year?
 What do you think is our team's biggest opportunity next year?

Look ahead

 What does success look like for you?
 What do you hope is true about your career in two years?
 Based on this discussion, I'd like to suggest the following performance goals as a starting point
 Let's explore professional development options for next year. This could be courses or programs, stretch or cross-functional assignments. Is there something you're specifically interested in?
 What's one thing I could stop, start or continue as your manager (or your team member) in the year ahead?
 Let's document our plan for next year so far.

Planner Final Section: Additional questions

Is there anything else you want to remember to say or ask? Note it below.