Why You Should Prepare For Performance-Based Meetings

Peter Buckingham

VP of Software Engineering at SambaNova Systems



"Most engineering leaders tend to be smart people but sometimes that means you don't prepare as much as you could for certain things. However, when having to have a difficult performance-related conversation with my team members, you absolutely need to be prepared."

Actions taken

"Sometimes it's easy to try to make things up on the fly but this is generally a bad idea. You should prepare for performance-related conversations, even with high-performing employees as it's good to be thoughtful about the constructive criticism you have. However, for individuals who are performing poorly, it's critical to be on message. Start by writing down a list of the things you want to say. This helps to crystalize what you want the conversation to be about and also means that you can stay on message. Think through what you want to say about where they are underperforming and what they need to do better."

Lessons learned

"By preparing for the meeting you will be able to clearly communicate why you believe the individual is performing poorly and will be able to provide them with concrete actions to improve their performance."

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Peter Buckingham

VP of Software Engineering at SambaNova Systems

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