Stand By Me – A Conscious Guide to Performance Management

Have you ever been barked at from across the other side of the office?

Stand By Me – A Conscious Guide to Performance Management   //

Walking home from day-care after dropping off my son, I overheard a conversation on a work site just down the road from my house.

Now I wasn’t eavesdropping (well not until I got the gist of the convo), it would have been hard not to hear one of the guys barking commands at another guy sitting in a piece of heavy machinery.

Effective performance management we can learn from our children:

This photo was taken at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium a couple of months ago.

My son was so intrigued by one of the aquariums that he stood right at the glass with his toes and forehead touching the glass.

I stood back, admiring the fish in the aquarium and fascinated by my son’s gung-ho attitude.


Next thing, my son drags me closer to the aquarium, then pushes me until I’m also now face-to-face with the glass, toes almost touching the glass.

   What I saw was incredible!

I felt like I was right in the water with all these amazing fish. Because I was standing so close to the glass, I couldn’t see the frame, or the ceiling of the building. All I could see was what was in the water.

It was such a revelation. I was blown away that my son’s curious nature had shown me a different way to look at something truly beautiful.

It made me think about the way I talk to my son when he is doing something he shouldn’t be doing, or doing something not quite the right way.

   I’ve come to realise that when I stand beside him, not in front of him (and not across the other side of the room behind a sink of dishes), he listens more intently to me and as a result he learns a lot faster.

I believe this type of performance management can be translated to the workplace also.

When was the last time you noticed yourself, or someone else, stand up from their desk and give feedback or instructions? Or worse still, not stand up from their desk (or pick up the phone), but simply send an email with instructions?

   When communication is between two people and you have the opportunity to stand beside that person, not in front of them, and not behind a computer across the room, building or road… make the effort.

I can guarantee that the time and effort you waste avoiding a face-to-face discussion will be far greater than the time taken to walk over to that person, stand beside them and say “hey, can we have a chat”.


I’d love to hear your thoughts on this method of performance management.

Leave a comment if you have ever felt like you were on the receiving end of an instruction that felt more like am impersonal command because the other person didn’t make the effort to pick up the phone or come and stand beside you?

Have you delivered a message ‘from afar’ when you could have made the effort to go and stand beside the person?



6 thoughts on “Stand By Me – A Conscious Guide to Performance Management

  1. I loved this post Kylah !! It resonated with me – a few years back in a different career I went to a course on photography – the presenter told a story of working with some primary age children and how he sent them out to take photos – they had some amazing view points / angles different from our more traditional angles – that made me see things differently when behind a lens, like your Ollie story at the aquarium – absolutely loved it 🙂

  2. Great post Kylah. I’m was so disappointed when I couldn’t make the ProBlogger event on Sunday and finally get the chance to meet you.

    My husband has this approach to life, all the time, not just in the work place but at home as well and it really is calming and far more productive than my hot under the collar no time for anything when I’m in stress mode.
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    1. I saw that you couldn’t make it on twitter. Such a shame. Will you be heading to ProBlogger later this year? I’m so pumped, hanging out for tickets to go on sale next week.

      This approach is definitely far more productive isn’t it. Totally get that stress railroads all good intentions of handling situations diplomatically though! Been there, done that. Lack of sleep is my worst enemy. 🙂

  3. Great post Kylah. I get this. My son has a mild hearing loss and wears hearing aids. I STILL yell across the room if I am in a hurry. It is not really very effective! LOL.
    I have also noticed that he gets more homework done, if I stand next to him, rather than across the kitchen bench cooking with only one eye on him!

    1. It’s funny how we think we ‘need’ to get the dishes done, or dinner started, or multitask doing something else, when in reality if we just spent a few more minutes being engaged in a particular activity we would most likely accomplish it faster and with more satisfaction leaving time to get onto other things. Thanks for sharing Tamara.

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