I did not know it at the time, but Fallon McElligott’s “On the Level” (OTL) approach to providing feedback and performance evaluations became a significant milestone in my career. Not because of some big client achievement or embarrassing belly flop. Quite the opposite, it was a gradual, subtle and personal learning.
The agency had licensed OTL from Pat McLagan. Thinking back to how I first learned about OTL, and now having been on both sides of performance evaluations, OTL stands out because it focuses on learning and growing when you are in the moment, not 6 months later when all context is long forgotten. Because of that just-in-time focus, OTL effectively shifts the tone of evaluations to true learning and teaching. It re-frames the conversation to be about on-going mentoring — similar to the “on-the-spot mentoring” referenced in this white paper — with an openness and directness that positively impacts the chemistry and confidence of the entire team. It becomes a win for the individual, and the team.
The best part about OTL? On-going, two-way dialogue is a superior foundation for talking about key performance indicators during annual reviews.