My hands are clammy…my pits are oozing sweat…my stomach is churning…OMG I THINK I AM GOING TO THROW UP!!!!!!
At previous jobs, I was either lucky or the people I worked for just didn’t care as I never had a review of my performance. Due to that, I was never really sure, day to day, what was expected of me, what areas I could improve, what areas I was great at, mediocre at or totally horrible at and whether or not my performance was average or stellar or just plain sucked. Compliments were rare. And criticisms, not even close to being constructive, were the norm. As a result, hearing PERFORMANCE REVIEW, was wickedly scary.
Not that I have anything to be afraid of…except my esteem, my pride, my Jiminy Cricket on steroids, my doubting Thomasina reminding me ‘I am not good enough’, and the thought that I still have issues to work on. Maybe it will snow one foot tonight…and I will have to stay home. Yeah, in my dreams! It is frightening and intimidating to face someone you know will be honest. But here is the catch…
I felt ALL of the above and more. Then, my inner coach slapped me upside the head, HARD, reminding me to TRUST. For gosh sakes, my current employer is NOTHING like my previous. Matter of fact, where I work now is every ‘wish’ I prayed for. This job has truly been gifted to me in more ways than one.
Yet, those feelings of angst are still stirred up from below the surface. However, this time I know will be different because of the way I have been treated. And, it is not only a review, but also goals for this year. That means I get to contribute. Wow, a new concept for sure but one I am excited about!
Despite my job performance, I know I am replaceable, at any moment. There will always be someone out there who can do it better. There will always be someone out there who can do it worse. Nevertheless, no job is secure. And sometimes, when a person least expects it, doors will fly open, inviting that person to stroll on through. In spite of that, I have always believed the only way an employee is going to be great is if the employer has an honest heart-to-heart, focusing not only on the good but also areas where improvement can be made. Sadly, my past experience has been once an ‘executive’ title is placed on an employer a transformation takes place, sort of like when Dr Jekyll turned into Mr Hyde or like the employer’s britches have shrunken so much, their ego can’t fit anymore!!! And the ‘little’ people or peons of the company no longer matter even though without them the employer would not have a functioning business.
I remember one of my former bosses opening his wallet to show me how much cash he carried, all of it hundreds!!! Why would he do that? I was flabbergasted as to the answer then. Now I believe he thought showing off his money would boast his image making him look prestigious. Meanwhile, I was thinking, hope he doesn’t get robbed because who in their right mind would carry around that much money!!!! Obviously, his ego needed uplifting quite a bit as I was not the only one he was a braggart to. He definitely was not the type of boss I had pictured working for or ended up enjoying working for.
Anyway, one would think I would be over and done with my past dwellings on former jobs. However, sometimes I can’t get those ‘happy’ times out of mind. I do know, today many businesses are going in a different path towards offering compassion, encouragement, positivity, accepting mistakes and allowing employees to grow beyond their potential. Plus, they are doing whatever they can to not only attract the best of the best but also keep the best of the best. And I think, in order for companies to thrive, they need to not only hand out performance reviews but also encourage employees to give back with a performance review.
As Jim Collins states, author of the book Good to Great, “For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.”
So, with my head held high, my ego shut off, and my heart wide open, I will make my way into my performance review, ready to face what will come, knowing I took a risk leaving the zone of comfort so I could continue having a life of relevance that overflowed into my work. After all, facing uncomfortable truths is the only way one can grow. And by golly, I am ready to bust through whatever obstacles, challenges and walls to become better than the best I can be.