Category: Performance Management.

Finding it hard to write leadership performance reviews for your employees? Need some inspiration about what to write to help them to develop?

You’re not alone, providing feedback for employees can be really tough, especially when you’re trying hard not to upset employees that are in need of a little improvement.

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll cover 16 helpful performance review phrases for leadership traits that will suit all types of feedback. Whether you need positive feedback examples or negative performance review examples for employees that need to improve, this article has it all.


I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.

Elon Musk

We’ve even thrown in some self-evaluation phrases that you can use in a self-evaluation performance review template.

So, let’s jump in:

Positive Performance Review Phrases for Leadership Traits

Have you got an employee that is really achieving their targets when it comes to leadership? Do you want to applaud them on how well they’re doing whilst still giving them helpful and professional feedback?

Giving positive feedback should be easy, but that isn’t always the case. Simply focusing on the positives will leave you little room to give your employees some targets to work towards. But not showing enough appreciation for the hard work and leadership skills the employee shows could lead them to feel undervalued.

Here are some positive feedback examples that will help to make your performance review phrases both positive and constructive.

  • John utilizes his critical thinking and reasoning skills readily to solve problems and help others
  • Jane is keen to take part in the decision-making process and present his own ideas
  • John harbors good relationships with other employees and helps to resolve conflicts
  • Jane is a calm and confident decision-maker that is willing to take charge

Average Performance Review Phrases for Leadership Traits

Sometimes, the employee you’re reviewing is performing as expected, but you feel they are capable of taking their leadership skills to the next level. In these scenarios, you don’t want to be too positive, or too negative.

The aim is to celebrate them for the positive steps they are making whilst still giving them guidance on how they can improve and grow. The performance review phrases below will help you do just that.

  • John is willing to get involved in the decision-making process when asked
  • Jane uses critical thinking and reasoning skills to assist when there is a problem to solve
  • John has good rapport with other employees and will sometimes help to resolve conflict
  • Jane shows good attention to detail and is quick to come up with solutions when problems arise

Performance Review Phrases for Leadership Traits that Need Improvement

As we all know, giving negative feedback in a performance review can be a little tricky. Performance reviews are all about growth and improvement, so it’s important that your employee feels inspired to improve, rather than feeling criticized or bullied. Here are some performance review phrases that you can use to evaluate employees that you feel are in need of some improvement when it comes to leadership skills.

  • John shows good attention to detail, but is often a little too meticulous which causes him to miss deadlines
  • Jane is capable of problem-solving, but only offers solutions when prompted
  • John is a hard worker but mainly keeps to himself. As a result, his relationships with his fellow employees aren’t so strong.
  • Jane will often create a plan to solve a problem without considering others’ opinions. This can sometimes lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.

Leadership Performance Review Phrases for Self Evaluation

Self-evaluation is a good way to really get employees thinking about their own performance. However, if you don’t provide employees with a performance review template, they may get hung up mulling over what to write. Presenting your employees with some set phrases and questions can help them to efficiently evaluate their own performance.

Below are some self-evaluation performance review phrases that you can use to create leadership self-evaluation forms for your employees. They can be used in a “which of these phrases best applies to you” format.

  • I take initiative to get processes started, and readily involve others to delegate tasks
  • Overall, my team is happy, hard-working and meeting targets set out for them
  • I rarely praise my fellow employees and only really consult them if there is a problem with their work
  • I focus on my own goals, and not the goals of the whole team

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. Hopefully, these performance review phrases will help you to get through all your employee reviews with the minimum amount of stress. Check out the rest of the blog to find more examples of performance review phrases that might work for your business.

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