When it comes to management, there shouldn’t be any surprises. Management is much more than following a protocol of regular performance reviews – it is a daily responsibility of leaders. Successful effective management starts with setting clear expectations upfront and then following through with an appropriate amount of communication between the manager and the employee, depending on the situation.

Below are 3 guidelines for effective management after expectations are agreed to: 1) A good manager asks five times more questions than he or she makes in statements; 2) Healthy conflict is appropriate from time to time and should be welcomed by both parties; and 3) Positive and negative feedback should be provided often, and timely.

I like the “24-hour rule” – whether it’s positive or negative feedback that needs to be delivered, it should be provided within 24 hours of the action. Employees should never be trying to guess about the strength of their performance – they should know where they are excelling and where they are falling short. When these guidelines are followed, employees always know where they stand. This builds trust within the relationship, and empowers the employee.

One way to test the skills of a manager is to reflect on the feedback given during a formal performance review. The feedback provided should never be a surprise to the employee at this point because any issues have been addressed long before the formal review. If the feedback given in a performance review is a surprise to the employee, then the manager has failed to do their job. Effective management avoids surprises.


About the Blog: Culture Counts is a blog devoted to the discussion of law firm culture and corporate core values. Frequent topics include positive work environment, conscious capitalism, entrepreneurial management, positive workplace culture, workplace productivity, and corporate core values

About the Firm: Klemchuk LLP is an Intellectual Property (IP), Technology, Internet, and Business law firm located in Dallas, TX. The firm offers comprehensive legal services including litigation and enforcement of all forms of IP as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. The firm also provides a wide range of technology, Internet, e-commerce, and business services including business planning, formation, and financing, mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, data privacy, and domain name dispute resolution. Additional information about the IP law firm and its IP attorneys may be found at www.klemchuk.com.