Building Common Ground and Trust Using Evidence

One of the ways management can manage difficult situations, collect relevant information, and build common ground and trust with employees is establishing communication based on evidence rather than judgment.

Using the final project case study transcripts provided, create a list of the relevant facts that are pertinent to the case. This is information that you would use to determine the outcome of the case – or evidence. Additionally, create a list of judgment comments you find in the transcripts. Judgments are information that could not be used to defend the actions in the case since they are feelings, emotions, and opinions – not fact.

Your paper should include these critical elements:

  • A compilation of relevant facts pertinent to the case
  • A compilation of judgment comments used to defend actions in the case
  • Recommendation of strategies for ABC Corporation to meet Kareem’s needs while still maintaining performance expectations

Guidelines for Submission: Your paper should be submitted as a 2 – to 3-page Microsoft Word documents with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and at least three sources cited in APA format. Library Article: Building Trust Between Employees and Management “Trust
is a crucial part of the leader-follower relationship and it is very
delicate. How much we trust leaders is a measure of whether we believe
in what they say and promise. The more followers trust their leader, the
more committed and more loyal they are likely to be.” This article
discusses the importance of building trust between employees and

This module continues the content from Module Five on shifting one’s
mindset in order to achieve positive performance conversations. This
module will examine the second mindset shift: eliminating judgment of
the employee. Managers need to be able to differentiate between judgment
and evidence. Judgment is one’s perception, feelings, assumptions, and opinions, whereas evidence is pertinent facts or specific proof.

When a manager has been transparent with expectations and observed
the employee’s performance, a gap may exist between the two that calls
for a performance conversation. Recognizing the gaps between performance
and expectations provides a manager the opportunity to communicate the
performance gaps and identify the need for change.

Figure 6.1 (Green, 2013)

Performance conversations can be difficult because often managers
focus on their own judgment and the employee’s attitude rather than
evidence. Evidence is things that managers may observe
such as employees’ actions, decisions, and choices. Managers should
focus the conversation with the employee on evidence gathered and how
the identified opportunities do not meet the established expectations.
This will allow for a productive conversation between the manager and
employee on improvements. Here are some examples of evidence versus

Performance Feedback Based on Judgment

Performance Feedback Based on Evidence








Free of emotional influence

Provided for the benefit of the manager

Provided for the benefit of the employee

Intended to force change

Intended to influence growth

(Green, 2013)

A manager’s goal is to change or improve employee performance. Using
evidence as opposed to judgment forces the employee to review work
performance as opposed to focusing on what the manager may think of him
or her. Consider this statement from a manager to an employee: “You were
not prepared for that meeting.” This is clearly a judgment. A better
option may be, “You were not prepared with the copies of the reports I
requested specifically, including the profit and loss statement.” You
can see the second statement is based on fact and is therefore evidence.

Establishing clear expectations with an employee is critical when
having performance conversations. Basing performance conversations on
evidence rather than judgment can foster mutual trust between an
employee and manager and help embrace acceptance of the manager’s


Green, M. E. (2013). Painless performance conversations: A practical approach to critical day-to-day workplace discussions. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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