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What makes you think you're under-performing?

I think the "secret" is simply to make sure people know what they're suppoesd to be doing, that they want to do it, and that they feel they have everything they need to do it. That won't necessarily always work, because not all under-performance is work-related - if you've just had a baby, going through divorce or bereavement, I'd expect you to be 'under-performing' and wouldn't try to fix it.

If you do want a chat, I'm available on email (it's on my profile page).

thanks, will drop an email (to be clear its not like i was expecting any solutions here, i just like learning about how managers manage).

Great, I'll reply to your email. As a manager, I wouldn't discuss any problems you're having in an open forum - and I'd try to do it face-to-face as much as possible. It takes time to build up trust, figure out what's going on - perhaps you already know but don't feel comfortable, perhaps you need to work it out.

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