How would you like to be appraised?

Friday, 24 July 2020

Like me, you probably grew up with “Treat others the way you want them to treat you.”

When you became a manager you probably realized, like me, that others might not want to be treated the way you wish to be treated. And the more diverse your colleagues and subordinates, the trickier it became.

You might even have thought Shakespeare had the answer when he said, through Hamlet, that we should not react to others based on who they are, but that we should treat them in accordance with who we are. (I expressed this in my words, because the way he treated English is not my way.)

But good old Goethe has given us a better way: “Treat others as if they were what they ought to be, and you will help them to become what they’re capable of being.”

Why is this something you should think about? Why now, what with so much going on WFH! (Yes, I also trip over those letters until I slow down and read them as Working From Home.)

Here’s why. If you think in-person performance appraisals are tricky, wait until you try them on video. (Frankly, if you have WFH people, then you should do appraisals far more often. But that’s another story.)

To make these appraisals easier on you giving, and more helpful to them receiving, I suggest you use Goethe’s notion as a mantra to repeat to yourself as you tackle your (overdue) appraisals via video calls.

Here’s your Friday Trigger Question:

For you to become what you are capable of being, how should “they” treat you? (Once you have answered that, it will be easier to imagine how to apply it to others.)

As always, don’t forget to review our 5 regular Friday Trigger Questions:

  1. What did you succeed at or achieve this past week?
  2. What had you planned to do or to achieve this week, but did not?
  3. What did you fail at this past week?
  4. What surprised you, or caught you unprepared, this past week?
  5. What important or mutually beneficial relationship changed this week?

Bonus Question: What had you worried or concerned, but never happened?