Learning to love ’em . . .

Appraisals.

Love ’em?  Hate ’em?

Let’s be honest, I think most people hate them.

Why?

Often because the appraisal system itself wins no fans.

But sometimes because the appraiser isn’t good at doing their job.

Last week, someone I know had their annual appraisal.  And it was brilliant.  It was brilliant because their boss prepared well, gave the appraisee time to speak, was thoughtful and reflective in the moment, and showed their support for their continuing development.  There was honest discussion, openness and a genuine commitment from both parties to want to continue to work together.

OK, I’ll come clean.  It was my appraisal . . . I was the appraisee.  And my boss was superb.  I believe our meeting will take our relationship to new heights.  I couldn’t be happier.  I don’t think that my boss reads my blog posts, so I’m not writing this to seek her approval or to stroke her ego.  And I will tell her, through alternative means, how much I appreciated her efforts, her skill, her attention in my appraisal meeting.

I’m simply sharing here because the occasion has reminded me that appraisals can be useful, powerful and meaningful.  I always hoped I knew that when I was managing a team and conducting their appraisals.  And this week I confirmed it to be true.

So complete the appraisal paperwork because you must, but focus as well on what genuinely matters: attention, time, commitment, care, empathy and honesty.

Learn to love ’em.

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